Shortly after the United Federation of Planets arrived to administer Deep Space Nine, Quark began making plans for a poker tournament. He invited a number of poker players from throughout known space to come to the station, from a variety of races. Among the races represented at the tournament were humans, Vulcans, Romulans, Klingons, Bajorans, Cardassians, and Ferengi.
Shortly before the tournament was set to begin, a Romulan player was murdered by L'sthwan - a human who had been wanted a variety of charges by a number of different species. Odo deduced that the murderer was another player who had come to play poker. He then decided to enter the tournament to keep an eye out for the murderer, and keep him from striking again.
During the tournament, the station was badly affected by subspace waves. L'sthwan attempted to murder a Ferengi who he had earlier accused of cheating. While the Ferengi was badly injured, his life was saved by Julian Bashir, and L'sthwan was apprehended by Odo.
Odo continued to play in the tournament, doing amazingly well for someone who had never played poker before. Eventually, he and Grand Nagus Zek were the last two players in the tournament. Odo was able to defeat Zek in the final hand with a straight flush, queen high. To Quark's horror, Odo donated his winnings from the tournament to charity. (DS9 novel: The Big Game)
- Etana Jol
- L'sthwan (playing under the alias Klar until his capture)
- Grand Nagus Zek
- Doctor Julian Bashir
- Berlinghoff Rasmussen
- Elim Garak
Commander William T. Riker had been invited to participate in the tournament, and planned to play in the tournament. However an emergency prevented him from taking leave, and Riker was forced to cancel his visit. (DS9 novel: The Big Game)