- THE WAR OF THE SILVER KINGS
Original Airdate: September 22, 1957
Synopsis. Soon after arriving in the mining community of Echo Springs, Maverick wins a high-stakes poker game with Phineas King, the unscrupulous town magnate. King doesn’t take kindly to losing—he has Maverick beaten up, and later tries to have him killed. Knowing that King is as much a cheater as he is a millionaire, Maverick is determined to beat him at his own game.
“The War of the Silver Kings” establishes the key elements of Maverick’s character. Twice, Bret beats Phineas King by sheer bluff—he stayed in the poker game, and later won the game, by betting with an envelope filled with clipped newspaper; then he snows King into settling with the miners even though Maverick knew that the court had reversed the decision upholding the apex law. Upon accepting defeat, King thinks back and then realizes exactly how Bret did it. “It was guts, nothing but guts,” he said, with clear respect for Maverick’s abilities.