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Good poker face? McCain caught playing game at Syria debate

Published: Updated:

Although U.S. Senator John McCain may have tried to keep his poker face at a congressional hearing on Tuesday, calling his bluff proved easy.

During one of the most pivotal hearings of the year, in which lawmakers were debating military intervention in Syria, McCain was snapped playing poker on his smartphone.

A picture of McCain, a longtime advocate for forceful military intervention in Syria, making poker bets on his iPhone during the hearing was taken by a Washington Post photographer.

“Scandal!” tweeted McCain in a sarcastic response to the photo that rapidly made the rounds on Twitter.

“Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing - worst of all I lost!” he joked.

McCain, hardly the only US lawmaker ever to seek a diversion from what can be hours of legislative debate on Capitol Hill, addressed the gaffe afterward.

“As much as I like to always listen in rapt attention constantly (to) remarks of my colleagues over a three-and-a-half-hour period, occasionally I get a little bored and so I resorted” to poker, a flushed but chuckling McCain told CNN, according to AFP news agency.

“But the worst thing about it is I lost thousands of dollars in this game,” he said, clarifying that it was “fake” money.

Earlier this year, a member of Jordan’s parliament was caught entertaining himself with a soccer game app on his smartphone, not paying full attention to a speech being made by the country’s prime minister during a session.

The Jordanian lawmaker used his finger to push around the digital “football” and scored virtual goals, but didn’t realize he had an onlooker who decided to record the incident and post it on the online video sharing website YouTube.

Photojournalist, Amjad al-Taweel, shot the amateur video which received more than 100,000 hits in its third day of broadcasting on YouTube.

(With AFP)