Next up in our series of the World Series of Poker Champions we take a quick look at the life of Puggy “The Roving Gambler” Pearson:
“I’ll play any man from any land any game he can name for any amount he can count…”
These were the immortal words displayed on the ‘Roving Gambler’ – the RV of the 1973 WSOP Champion, Puggy Pearson. While on the road if someone would challenge Puggy to a game that he wasn’t so fond of he would point to just below his famous phrase where it read, “…Providing I like it”. This was Puggy Pearson!
At the age of 12 a school yard accident gave him a bashed-up nose as well as the nickname ‘Puggy’. When he turned 17 years old he enlisted into the United States Navy, it was here where he strengthened his skills at poker and gambling. An enormous fan of poker, Pearson is the only person to have been present at all WSOP Main Event tables be it as a player or spectator – until his death in 2006.
He’s also credited with the freezeout tournament concept, an idea that was suggested to Las Vegas club owner Benny Binion, who then adopted it for all tournaments and changed the face of poker. 1973 saw Pearson became WSOP Champion which stopped Johnny Moss in his tracks from winning his 3rd title in 4 years by calling Moss’s all-in bet with Ace-Seven, which beat Moss’s King-Jack. No matching cards were on the table for both players.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987, Pearson attended his final WSOP in 2005 before passing away in April 2006. He will be remembered as one of the pioneers of poker.
The WSOP 2013 Main Event
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