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1985 saw Mikhail Gorbachev take power, the world losing Orson Welles and the birth of one of the greatest footballers Cristiano Ronaldo. Meanwhile a character with a more of a ‘down-to-earth’ name was making his mark in Las Vegas.

Known To One And All

A familiar face at the WSOP Main Event throughout the early to mid 1980s was a man called Bill Smith. Before passing Smith reached the final table an impressive 3 times, with 1985 being his championship year. Those in the know also suggested that Smith would have snagged even more WSOP bracelets, had he curbed his demons.

How He Played His Best

But that was how he played you see; T.J. Cloutier once remarked: “Bill was the tightest player you’d ever played in your life when he was sober. And when he was halfway drunk, he was the best player I’d ever played with. No one could read opponents’ hands better than half- drunk Smith. But when he got past that halfway mark, he was the worst player I’d ever played with.”

In His Blood

As with the majority of poker pros, poker was in Bill Smith’s blood, poker was his life and he would do anything to seek out some good old gambling action. For example, in his backroom days Smith was arrested for playing poker with his friends 3 times – in one day! This was the wild life of Bill Smith, a man who won $700k in his only WSOP win in 1985.

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