The Algonquin Hotel also hosted the Round Table's infamous weekend poker sessions, which had begun with Harold Ross, Franklin. P. Adams, Alexander Woollcott, Heywood Broun, and others in Paris during the war. Skilled card player George S. Kaufman was soon added to the ranks, as were Harpo Marx, Herbert Bayard Swope, Irving Berlin, New Yorker publisher Raoul Fleischmann, banker Henry Wise Miller, socialite Gerald Brooks, and various invited friends. F.P.A. dubbed the group "The Thanatopsis Pleasure and Inside Straight Club," in reference to Sinclair Lewis's popular novel Main Street. "Thanatopsis," or contemplation of death, seemed an appropriate moniker, for the participants did not take life too seriously, but took competitive games very seriously indeed.
Future diplomat and novelist Paul Hyde Bonner first admired the work of caricaturist Will Cotton when visiting theatrical producer Crosby Gaige, whose study was lined with the artist's pastel portraits. Bonner commissioned this copy of the Thanatopsis Club, which includes images of them both.