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With the 2013 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event less than a month a way I thought it’d be fun to take a trip down the memory lane of poker. In 1970 Benny Binion invited who he considered to be the world’s seven best poker players to his legendary Horseshoe casino in Las Vegas to determine which of them should be considered the greatest living poker player. The strange thing about the first WSOP championship was that it was awarded without a single hand of poker being played.

So The Story Goes…

All of the seven assembled players were simply asked by Benny to cast a vote on who they thought was the best poker player. Poker players naturally tend to believe they are the best and so the first ballot proved inconclusive as each man voted for himself. With a bit of head scratching later Benny decided the players should cast a new ballot. With each of the players asked to now vote for who they thought was the world’s second best poker player, so who won? That’s right Johnny Moss.

The Grand Old Man of Poker

Born in 1907, Johnny was introduced to poker as a teenager when he got a job observing poker games in a Dallas saloon. Johnny Moss probably had one of the strangest jobs you’ll ever hear of, he was actually employed to spot the cheats, however he used his time well to develop his own skills as a poker player. Shortly after Johnny hit the road becoming what’s known as a ’rounder’ and never looked back.

Have To Let You Go

Much of Johnny’s reputation prior to the advent of the WSOP is staked on a legendary high stakes poker game that he played with Nick ‘The Greek’ Dandalos in 1949. The marathon game lasted around five months during which time Johnny and ‘The Greek’ played their way through a wide range of poker games. Johnny took around an estimated $4 million before the ‘The Greek’ uttered the famous phrase, “Mr. Moss, I have to let you go.”

No Doubt

If anyone doubted Johnny’s abilities after the first WSOP title was awarded by ballot, those doubts were laid well to rest one year later in 1971 when Johnny won the first competitive WSOP Main Event where he beat ‘Puggy’ Pearson heads up. And he didn’t stop there Johnny went on to win again in 1974 to become one of only two people to have won the Main Event three times. Can you name the other?

Las Vegas is calling, Will You Answer?

If you fancy heading down to Vegas to take part in some big name tournaments it may be worthwhile taking a look at our how to play poker guide that offers tips and advice for novice as well as advanced poker players!

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1 Comment

  1. My father was in that game when it was down to three. A tragically overlooked poker player. James ‘Long Goody’ Roy