WSOP Main Event Runners-Up Playing Cards: The Eights

[LL] “The next group covers 1996 to 1999”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Eights:”1

Bruce Van Horn

8

Bruce Van Horn

8
Bruce Van Horn – 1996
Born: 1939/02/25 (Ada, OK?)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1996)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 10
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $928,365
Quote: “This is so much fun. I’m just a doctor — not a professional player — and there’s no other sport where an amateur like me can enter a tournament and end up sitting here playing with the Magic Johnsons and Henry Aarons of the game.” — Bruce Van Horn (May 15, 1996 interview).
  • Reached four other WSOP final tables, including a 3rd place finish in the 2003 $2,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em for $71,920.
  • During his 2007 $WSOP 1,500 Pot-Limit Hold ‘Em final table, ESPN couldn’t find a pro who knew about his 1996 success.

John Strzemp

8

John Strzemp

8
John Strzemp – 1997
Born: 1951/11/03 (Illinois?)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1997)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 21
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $1,135,403
Quote: “John Strzemp who played well all day but got real lucky to win a few hands, now in the hand that counted the most got real unlucky.” — Gabe Kaplan (after Strzemp lost the final hand of the 1997 WSOP Main Event when Stu Ungar hit an inside straight on the river).
  • Finished 2nd in the 2006 Five Diamond World Poker Classic $2,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em and won the 2006 Wynn Signature Weekend $600 No-Limit Hold ‘Em.
  • Has 5 WSOP Main Event cashes.

Kevin McBride

8

Kevin McBride

8
Kevin McBride – 1998
Born: ~1955 (Florida?)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1998)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 9
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $884,225
Quote: “Well, I had a huge draw; I had Queen-Ten of hearts. flush draw… straight-flush draw. I wouldn’t have called the bet. The only thing is Scottie said, ‘If you call it, it’s all over.’ I didn’t think he was telling me the truth. He was. It’s all over. It was a great play by Scottie.” — Kevin McBride (May 14, 1998 interview by Vince Van Patten just after Main Event ended).
  • In 1998 also final tabled the $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em, finishing 5th for $25,000.
  • Won the 1999 Carnivale of Poker II $1,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em for $87,965.

Alan Goehring

8

Alan Goehring

8
Alan Goehring – 1999
Born: 1962/02/21 (Milwaukee, WI)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1999)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 11
WPT Titles: 2
Live Earnings: $5,234,551
Quote: “I have never read a poker book that suggests regularly making such a small raise, and in fact some books explicitly state that this is poor play… maybe I don’t want the blinds to fold, because if [they do], I am not going to win much. So, it doesn’t matter what I have or if I am in early or late position, it is going to be two times the big blind.” — Alan Goehring (2006 Card Player).
  • Won the 2006 L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 Championship for $2,391,550 and the 2003 $25,000 WPT Championship for $1,011,886.
  • Finished 3rd in the 1997 WSOP $3,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em for $61,845.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of May 1, 2019.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2019 Robert Jen and were created with help from the now-defunct iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

Tags:
Categories:

WSOP Main Event Runners-Up Playing Cards: The Sevens

[LL] “The next group covers 1992 to 1995”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Sevens:”1

Tom Jacobs

7

Tom Jacobs

7
Tom Jacobs – 1992
Born: ~1946 (Denver, CO)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1992)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 20
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $1,336,575
Quote: “Tommy was so much fun just to be around. Never a bad word to say about anyone. He was always trying to help his friends and family. I played many hours of poker with Tommy and we had many great conversations about life… I will always remember Tommy and that great smile he had at the poker table as he raked my money in.” — Russ Hamilton (March 16, 2007 Card Player).
  • Won 2003 WSOP $3,000 Limit Hold ‘Em for $163,000.
  • Also finished 9th in the 1986 WSOP Main Event, 19th in 2000, and 24th in 1987.

Glenn Cozen

7

Glenn Cozen

7
Glenn Cozen – 1993
Born: 1953/10/09 (California?)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1993)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 16
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $961,608
Quote: “I feel great. I mean everything worked great for me today… I’ve learned that you’re never out of it.” — Glenn Cozen (interviewed just after 1993 WSOP Main Event where he snuck into 2nd place with a tiny stack).
  • Won the 1989 Super Bowl of Poker $1,000 Limit Hold ‘Em ($54,250), the 1994 Queens Poker Classic $1,000 Ace-to-Five Lowball ($30,000), and the 2004 Five Diamond Poker Classic $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha ($105,729).

Hugh Vincent

7

Hugh Vincent

7
Hugh Vincent – 1994
Born: ~1930 (Florida?)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1994)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 1
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $722,613
Quote: “I don’t memorize a lot of numbers, but you need a rough idea of what the odds are. You can’t take the wrong end of the bet very often and come out ahead. You’ve got to be able to recognize… what are playable hands… Every time I got called I had the winning hand, and the few times I didn’t get called I didn’t have anything.” — Hugh Vincent (March 30, 1995 Miami New Times).
  • Retired CPA from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida had won a $16 million Lotto with his wife in 1990.
  • Won the 1996 Four Queens Poker Classic $535 Limit Hold ‘Em for $26,400.

Howard Goldfarb

7

Howard Goldfarb

7
Howard Goldfarb – 1995
Born: ~1961 (Toronto, Canada)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1995)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 2
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $535,800
Quote: “The increase in contestants and in the amount of the prize reflect the game’s growing popularity, due mainly to the Internet and sports channels… Before facing off in real-life championships, many players improve their skills on the Internet… This has reinvigorated the game, but it has also made for tougher competition.” — Howard Goldfarb (July 18, 2007 Globe and Mail).
  • Amateur poker player who was a businessman and land developer.
  • His only other recorded tournament cash was for 22nd place in the 1994 WSOP Main Event for $16,800.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of May 1, 2019.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2019 Robert Jen and were created with help from the now-defunct iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

Tags:
Categories:

WSOP Main Event Runners-Up Playing Cards: The Sixes

[LL] “The next group covers 1988 to 1991”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Treys:”1

Erik Seidel

6

Erik Seidel

6
Erik Seidel – 1988
Born: 1959/11/06 (New York, NY)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1988)
WSOP Bracelets: 8
WSOP Cashes: 107
WPT Titles: 1
Live Earnings: $34,860,729
Poker
Hall of Fame
2010
Quote: “Think your way through all situations. When things have gone badly, sit there just as tough as you were when you came in. That can be very discouraging to other players.” — Erik Seidel.
  • Final tabled the WSOP Main Event in both 1988 (2nd) and 1999 (4th).
  • Recorded his first career live tournament cash in the 1988 WSOP Main Event.

Johnny Chan

6

Johnny Chan

6
Johnny Chan – 1989
Born: 1957 (Guangzhou, China)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (1987, 1988)
WSOP Bracelets: 10
WSOP Cashes: 50
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $8,689,453
Poker
Hall of Fame
2002
Quote: “I suppose the only regret I might have is that I didn’t beat Phil Hellmuth in 1989 [for unparalleled third straight Main Event title].” — Johnny Chan (September 1, 2006 PokerPlayer interview. He also admitted to AskMen that he wakes up in a cold sweat thinking about the final hand).
  • Last player to win back-to-back WSOP Main Events, a feat that is very unlikely to be done again.
  • Was the first player to win ten WSOP bracelets, four days ahead of Doyle Brunson in 2005.

Hans Lund

6

Hans Lund

6
Hans Lund – 1990
Born: 1950/09/23 (California)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1990)
WSOP Bracelets: 2
WSOP Cashes: 22
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $2,915,310
Quote: “You’ve got to have the heart of a lion — play fearless, don’t be afraid, and, when you roar, they better back up.” — Hans Lund.
  • Won 1978 WSOP $1,500 No-Limit Hold ‘Em and 1996 $1,500 Ace-to-Five Draw.
  • Finished 3rd in 1992 WSOP Main Event for $176,750.

Don Holt

6

Don Holt

6
Don Holt – 1991
Born: 1927/04/15 (Pittsburgh, PA)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1991)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 8
WPT Titles: N/A
Live Earnings: $879,625
Quote: “Cards were his life. He just enjoyed it more than he did anything else. He even taught his grandchildren to play poker — the way other people build model airplanes.” — David Hameroff (Don Holt’s son-in-law, May 6, 2003).
  • Won 1989 WSOP $5,000 Seven-Card Stud for $154,000.
  • Won two Super Bowl of Poker events: 1988 $1,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em and 1989 $1,000 Seven-Card Stud.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of May 1, 2019.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2019 Robert Jen and were created with help from the now-defunct iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

Tags:
Categories:

WSOP Main Event Runners-Up Playing Cards: The Fives

[LL] “The next group covers 1984 to 1987”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Fives:”1

Byron Wolford

5

Byron Wolford

5
Byron Wolford – 1984
Born: 1930/09/14 (Barbers Hill, TX)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1984)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 10
WPT Titles: N/A
Live Earnings: $1,018,600
Quote: “Unlike the casinos today, we weren’t always safe in our poker games in Texas. We had a lot of things to worry about — hijackers, cheats, police raids. We always took every precaution we could to protect ourselves, but it seemed like no matter what we did, it wasn’t enough.” — Byron Wolford (from his 2002 autobiography, Cowboys, Gamblers and Hustlers, p. 203).
  • Won the 1991 $5,000 Limit Hold ‘Em event for $210,000.
  • Was a calf-roper on the professional rodeo circuit when he was young.

T.J. Cloutier

5

T.J. Cloutier

5
T.J. Cloutier – 1985 & 2000
Born: 1938/10/13 (Albany, CA)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1985, 2000)
WSOP Bracelets: 6
WSOP Cashes: 70
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $10,421,153
Poker
Hall of Fame
2006
Quote: “You can’t let it get you down when somebody knocks you out of a tournament playing a hand they shouldn’t have played. Without these types of players, nobody would win any amount of money, so sometimes you just have to take your medicine.” — T.J. Cloutier.
  • Also final tabled the Main Event in 1988 (5th) and 1998 (3rd).
  • Played football for U.C. Berkeley in the 1949 Rose Bowl and the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League.

Mike Harthcock

5

Mike Harthcock

5
Mike Harthcock – 1986
Born: 1951/12 (Winter Haven, FL?)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1986)
WSOP Bracelets: 4
WSOP Cashes: 18
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $1,603,898
Quote: “I came out here May 1 with $10,000, and was down to $3,500 last week. They were having a two-table satellite at the Golden Nugget for a seat in the championship, but I didn’t want to risk the $515 to enter. But they needed just one more player, and I ended up winning it.” — Mike Harthcock (June 9, 1986 PokerPlayer newspaper, p. 15).
  • Also known as Mike Hart.
  • Won the 1984 WSOP $1,000 Razz, 1990 $1,500 Limit Hold ‘Em, 1991 $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Split, and 1994 $1,500 Razz events.

Frank Henderson

5

Frank Henderson

5
Frank Henderson – 1987
Born: 1931/12/14 (Vicksburg, MS?)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1987)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 37
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $1,552,237
Quote: “I played well with the cards I had. I didn’t make any bad plays. I’m not ashamed of any of the plays I made in the tournament.” — Frank Henderson (interviewed immediately after losing to Johnny Chan for the 1987 WSOP Main Event title; his wife Mary Jane added that they planned to save the $250,000 he won).
  • Won the 1989 WSOP $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament for $184,000.
  • Finished 18th in the 1996 WSOP Main Event for $23,400.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of May 1, 2019.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2019 Robert Jen and were created with help from the now-defunct iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

Tags:
Categories:

WSOP Main Event Runners-Up Playing Cards: The Fours

[LL] “The next group covers 1980 to 1983”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Fours:”1

Doyle Brunson

4

Doyle Brunson

4
Doyle Brunson – 1980
Born: 1933/08/10 (Longworth, TX)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (1976, 1977)
WSOP Bracelets: 10
WSOP Cashes: 36
WPT Titles: 1
Live Earnings: $6,176,737
Poker
Hall of Fame
1988
Quote: “No-Limit Hold ‘Em… is the Cadillac of Poker games… And it’s truly a game that requires very special talents in order to play it at a world class level.” — Doyle Brunson (1979 Super System).
  • Became the first player to earn $1 million in tournaments in 1980.
  • Won his tenth bracelet in 2005, eight days after his son Todd won his first.

Perry Green

4

Perry Green

4
Perry Green – 1981
Born: 1936 (Seattle, WA)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1981)
WSOP Bracelets: 3
WSOP Cashes: 31
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $1,124,024
Quote: “I was pretty much a novice. It was the only game I had really played… We just played lowball in Alaska, and I figured I could play with anybody because in my home game I was a pretty consistent winner.” — Perry Green (June 5, 2014 PokerNews interview, referring to winning the $1,000 Ace-to-Five Lowball Draw during his first WSOP in 1976).
  • Won the 1976 WSOP $1,000 Ace-to-Five Draw, the 1977 $5,000 Ace-to-Five Draw, and the 1979 $1,500 No-Limit Hold ‘Em Non-Pro events.
  • Also final tabled the 1991 WSOP Main Event, finishing 5th for $69,000.

Dewey Tomko

4

Dewey Tomko

4
Dewey Tomko – 1982 & 2001
Born: 1946/12/31 (Glassport, PA)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1982, 2001)
WSOP Bracelets: 3
WSOP Cashes: 45
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $4,934,681
Poker
Hall of Fame
2008
Quote: “I’d rather have a gambler’s word than any businessman’s check. I got shoe boxes full of bounced businessmen’s checks. Gamblers pay in cash.” — Dewey Tomko (2003, quoted in Rick Reilly’s Who’s Your Caddy?, which devotes an entire chapter to Tomko as a high stakes golfer).
  • Graduated from Salem College and became a kindergarten teacher in Hanes, Florida but earned more playing poker at night, so he quit his day job.
  • Also finished 10th in the WSOP Main Event in 1986.

Rod Peate

4

Rod Peate

4
Rod Peate – 1983
Born: ~1953 (Portland, OR?)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1983)
WSOP Bracelets: 1
WSOP Cashes: 7
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $880,847
Quote: “I’ll say one thing, Rod is one rough, tough player. And I had to do it my way, which is a slow, long grind. I have nothing but the highest respect for Rod. We were friends before the tournament. I’m sure we’ll stay friends after the tournament.” — Tom McEvoy (after the 1983 WSOP Main Event).
  • Also final tabled the 1990 WSOP Main Event, finishing 7th, and placed 15th in 1997, 16th in 1987, and 23rd in 1998.
  • Got into the 1983 WSOP Main Event through a $25 Bingo Palace satellite, which earned him a seat in a $110 satellite.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of May 1, 2019.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2019 Robert Jen and were created with help from the now-defunct iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

Tags:
Categories:

WSOP Main Event Runners-Up Playing Cards: The Treys

[LL] “The next group covers 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979 (Addington having repeated in 1978)”, Leroy the Lion said. “Here are the Treys:”1

Bob Hooks

3

Bob Hooks

3
Bob Hooks – 1975
Born: 1929/08/18 (Edgewood, TX)
WSOP Main Event: never cashed
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 0
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $0
Quote: “[Johnny Moss] took a liking to me. I’d take him every week to Waco. He would swap me 10 percent. As time drew on, he wanted to swap quarters. I was getting to where I was a little bit better of a player I guess. Soon, people were calling me Johnny Moss’s boy.” — Bob Hooks (November 28, 2013 PokerNews interview by Chad Holloway).
  • Texas road gambler who learned from Johnny Moss.
  • Runner-up to his roommate Sailor Roberts in 1975 WSOP Main Event, but rumor says they had made a deal before the end of the tournament.

Jesse Alto

3

Jesse Alto

3
Jesse Alto – 1976
Born: 1927/01/01 (Mexico)
WSOP Main Event: 3rd (1984)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 8
WPT Titles: N/A
Live Earnings: $459,995
Quote: “When he was playing his best, Jesse was one of the greatest Hold ‘Em players in the world, but he wasn’t always on top of his game. Age had done nothing to mellow his hair-trigger temper.” — Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback (All In, p. 123, regarding the 1984 WSOP Main Event final table).
  • Runner-up to Doyle Brunson in the winner-take-all 1976 WSOP Main Event.
  • Also final tabled the WSOP Main Event in 1978 (5th for $21,000), 1985 (6th for $42,000), 1986 (4th for $62,700), and 1988 (9th for $21,000).

Gary Berland

3

Gary Berland

3
Gary Berland – 1977
Born: 1950/05/09 (Gardena, CA)
WSOP Main Event: 3rd (1986)
WSOP Bracelets: 5
WSOP Cashes: 11
WPT Titles: N/A
Live Earnings: $390,801
Quote: “I used to be skinny.” — Gary Berland (sarcastically explaining why he was nicknamed “Bones”, even though he was still just 140 pounds; All In, p. 57).
  • Also finished 2nd in the WSOP Main Event in 1977 when Doyle Brunson took the only prize.
  • Died of a rare blood disorder when he was only 37.

Bobby Hoff

3

Bobby Hoff

3
Bobby Hoff – 1979
Born: 1939/12/14 (Victoria, TX)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1979)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 11
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $534,639
Quote: “If I were going to make a perfect game for myself, I’d play pot-limit before the flop and no-limit after the flop. What hurts no-limit hold ’em…, is the big reraise before the flop. You get a shutout. And often the first reraise, from the big blind, is a shutout raise. You just can’t make that play in pot-limit.” — Bobby Hoff (interview in Harrington on Cash Games, Volume II, 2008).
  • Finished 12th in the 1998 WSOP Main Event ($40,000), 13th in 1990 ($12,500), and 25th in 1993 ($12,000).
  • After reading Ed Thorpe’s “Beat the Dealer”, played on a blackjack team until they were banned everywhere in Vegas.

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of May 1, 2019.

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2019 Robert Jen and were created with help from the now-defunct iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

Tags:
Categories:

WSOP Main Event Runners-Up Playing Cards: The Deuces

[LL] “The WSOP Main Event Runners-Up playing card deck will be complete with 52 cards in 2026 (except in the unlikely event that somebody repeats as a second place finisher), but here are the first 45 cards of the WSOP Main Event Runners-Up playing card deck”, Leroy the Lion stated.

Here are the Deuces:”1

Jack Straus2

2

Jack Straus

2
Jack Straus – 1971
Born: 1930/06/16 (Travis, TX)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (1982)
WSOP Bracelets: 2
WSOP Cashes: 3
WPT Titles: N/A
Live Earnings: $830,269
Poker
Hall of Fame
1988
Quote: “I think Texans just got a lot more guts has a lot to do with it, most other folks just don’t take the heat when you start playin’ real poker. In Texas you grow up playin’ poker, it’s a Texas game.” — Jack Straus (1973 Texas Monthly interview).
  • Nicknamed “Treetop” for his great height (6’7″) and bushy hair.
  • Became the source of the phrase, “a chip and a chair”, when he came back from a single, napkin-hidden chip to win the 1982 WSOP Main Event.

Puggy Pearson

2

Puggy Pearson

2
Puggy Pearson – 1972
Born: 1929/01/29 (Adairville, KY)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (1973)
WSOP Bracelets: 4
WSOP Cashes: 12
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $443,480
Poker
Hall of Fame
1987
Quote: “The real things to know is that folks will stand to lose more than they will to win. That’s the most important percentage there is. I mean, if they lose, they’re willin’ to lose everything. If they win, they’re usually satisfied to win enough to pay for dinner and a show. The best gamblers know that.” — Puggy Pearson.
  • Convinced Benny Binion to make the 1971 Main Event a freezeout poker tournament after only cash games were played in 1970.
  • Became the first player to win three events in one WSOP in 1973.

Johnny Moss

2

Johnny Moss

2
Johnny Moss – 1973
Born: 1907/05/14 (Marshall, TX)
WSOP Main Event: 1st (1970, 1971, 1974)
WSOP Bracelets: 9
WSOP Cashes: 27
WPT Titles: N/A
Live Earnings: $1,254,859
Poker
Hall of Fame
1979
Quote: “You have to learn what kind of hand this guy shows down, what that one’s moves, watch the veins in his neck, watch his eyes, the way he sweats.” — Johnny Moss (1975).
  • Tied with Phil Ivey for the most WSOP bracelets in a decade (7 in the 1970s).
  • Won a record 7 WSOP bracelets in the 1970s, the most in a decade.

Crandell Addington

2

Crandell Addington

2
Crandell Addington – 1974 & 1978
Born: 1938/06/23 (Graham, TX)
WSOP Main Event: 2nd (1978)
WSOP Bracelets: 0
WSOP Cashes: 3
WPT Titles: 0
Live Earnings: $162,350
Poker
Hall of Fame
2005
Quote: “One of the most colorful and greatest players in poker history.” — Doyle Brunson (“Super System 2”, 2005).
  • Also finished second in the WSOP Main Event in 1974 and 1976 when the event was winner-take-all.
  • Finished in the final ten of the WSOP Main Event seven times (although only one of those was a cash).

Footnotes:

  1. This deck doesn’t really physically exist; the versions here are lovingly crafted from JPEGs, CSS, and HTML.

    Cards may not display properly unless you view this post by itself.

    Stats current as of May 1, 2019

    Caricatures and cards are Copyright © 2019 Robert Jen and were created with help from the iOS app Caricature Me and the MacOS app Photoshop Elements.

  2. While Puggy Pearson is generally also credited with a second place finish in 1971, no evidence backs this up. In Amarillo Slim in a World of Fat People, page 158, Preston goes on record that it was Jack Straus who was the runner-up, while he himself finished third. It’s very possible that Pearson’s second place finish in 1972 is the source of the confusion; it’s unlikely that nobody would mention a three-year run of second-second-first when he won the title in 1973.

Related Links:

Tags:
Categories:

2019 WSOP Schedule


[SS] “It’s a great year for round numbers”, Stan the Stat teased.

[LL] “What do you mean?” Leroy the Lion played along.

[SS] “Well, it’s the 50th World Series of Poker1 with 89 bracelet events,2 including two new tournaments with a $400 buyin, five at $500,3 six at $600, and three at $800. Most of those are online events as nine of those were added after the initial schedule was released.”

[LL] “Is that the most low-buyin events ever?”

[SS] “Indeed. Obliterated last year’s record of eight sub-$1,000 events by nine.”

[LL] “Did any events get removed?”

[SS] “Just the Big One for One Drop, which is held every even year.

And the waste of time it took for everyone to ante, at least in Texas Hold ‘Em events, where big blind antes are now standard.”4

[LL] “What else is new?”

[SS] “More chips. The Main Event will start with 60,000 chips instead of 50,000. Almost all the other buyin-levels are also starting with more chips.5

There’s a new $10,000 short deck Hold ‘Em event (where flushes are worth more than full houses), a $50,000 NLHE High Roller for 50th ‘anniversary’, and a $500 Salute to Warriors tournament (where $40 from each entry goes to the USO and other veteran organizations), and a $1,500 Bracelet Winners Only No-Limit Hold ‘Em.

Here’s how the schedule compares to last year by game type, limit type, and buyin:

WSOP Event Comparison: 2018 vs. 2019

By Game Type:

Game Type 2018 2019 Change
Hold ‘Em 43 55 +12
Lowball 6 6 0
Omaha 14 13 -1
Stud 4 4 0
Mixed Games 11 11 0

By Limit Type:

Limit Type 2018 2019 Change
Limit 15 14 -1
Pot-Limit 14 13 -1
No-Limit 41 53 +12
Mixed-Limit 8 9 +1

By Buyin:

Buyin 2018 2019 Change
$365 3 0 -3
$400 0 2 +2
$500 0 5 +5
$565 4 0 -4
$600 0 6 +6
$800 0 3 +3
$888 1 1 0
$1,000 11 13 +2
$1,111 1 1 0
$1,500 24 24 0
$2,500 4 4 0
$2,620 1 1 0
$3,000 6 6 0
$3,200 1 1 0
$5,000 3 3 0
$10,000 15 16 +1
$25,000 1 1 0
$50,000 2 2 0
$100,000 1 1 0
$1,000,000 1 0 -1

This year’s WSOP kicks off with the $500 (down from $565) Casino Employees event on May 29 and ends with a $5,000 No-Limit Hold ‘Em tournament from July 15 to 16. The Main Event is expected to run from July 3 to 15.”

Footnotes:

  1. Coming soon: an incredible app celebrating 50 years of the World Series of Poker.
  2. An increase of 11 events from last year. It was a nice round 80 events until they added nine more online events. { Updated April 30, 2019 }
  3. One of the new $500 events is the celebratory $500 No-Limit Hold ‘Em “Big 50” with a $5 million guaranteed payout.
  4. As Stan the Stat predicted last year.
  5. The only exception is the $2,620 Marathon, which already had a generous 26,200 starting stack. CardPlayer listed all the starting chip changes.

Tags:
Categories:

“Moneymaker” Review

[LL] “Of course, all of you know Chris Moneymaker’s story”, Leroy the Lion began. “Many players got into poker specifically because of his 2003 WSOP Main Event run.”

[RR] “Indeed, our home tournament started right after it was first aired on ESPN”, Roderick the Rock confirmed.

[LL] “It’s a story almost too good to be true, and it would make a decent movie. But for now, we’ll have to content ourselves with Daniel Paisner’s book, Moneymaker, which came out in 2005.

Moneymaker was a degenerate sports gambler who had amassed $50,000 in debt. He didn’t really have any disposable income. Although he played cards most of life and played some poker, he only learned Texas Hold ‘Em after he had started working full-time and gotten married after college. The guy who taught him, the friend of a cousin of a friend of his, regularly cleaned up at their poker games for a while, but Moneymaker wasn’t discouraged.

His family and friends all played a big part in his story, but Moneymaker made his mark at the card table (both virtual and real), where the most exciting parts take place. More details and some corrections1 have come out since the book, but the gist of the unlikely chain of events remains unchanged:

  • His PokerStars account was so low, he had dropped down to playing $0.25 cash games. When he started playing tournaments online, he could only afford $5 buyins.
  • The buyin for the first satellite cost most of his bankroll.2
  • He didn’t even realize it was a satellite or he wouldn’t have played it.3
  • When he won the first satellite, it only got him into a higher-entry satellite.4 The second satellite’s top three prizes were entries into the WSOP Main Event, but Moneymaker coveted the $8,000 fourth prize, which he needed to pay off at least some of his bills.
  • When he reached the final table with the chip lead, he was about to intentionally start lose chips to fall in fourth place when his friend Bruce Peery offered to buy 50% of his stake for $5,000 if he won the seat.
  • Peery then reneged on his offer, but Moneymaker was bailed out by his father Mike (20%), a friend named David Gamble5 (20%), and two other friends (5% between them).
  • On the other hand, Peery’s apology for failing to come up with the cash was a pair of Oakley Straight Jacket sunglasses that he recommended wearing to hide his telltale eyes. Peery also gave Moneymaker invaluable advice to stop looking away when bluffing.
  • Moneymaker had never played in a live tournament before he set foot in Las Vegas shortly before the Main Event.
  • Moneymaker might not have won the event if Sammy Farha had accepted his pre-heads-up bathroom break offer to split the prizes.6
  • Moneymaker got away with the “bluff of the century” against Farha. If Farha had correctly called, he would have had a commanding 7.4 million to 1 million chip lead.
  • And of course, along the way, Moneymaker had to survive numerous all-ins and get the right cards at the right time,7 such as the river Ace that knocked out the formidable Phil Ivey on the final table bubble.

Paisner has written fourteen New York Times best-sellers, so, while Moneymaker is not one of them, it is a well-written account of one of the most amazing chapters in poker history that led to a boom that saw the WSOP Main Event jump from 839 to 8,773 players in three years.

Title Moneymaker
Author Chris Moneymaker with Daniel Paisner
Year 2005
Skill Level any
Pros Very detailed first-person account of Chris Moneymaker’s run to the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event title, including his thoughts during numerous important hands.
Cons More than you ever wanted to know about his sports gambling losses.
Rating 3.0

Footnotes:

  1. For starters, the cover of the books says “How an amateur poker player turned $40 into $2.5 million at the World Series of Poker”. Even when the book was published, the correct buyin amount was thought to be $39. Moneymaker himself somehow misremembered though, and PokerStars later discovered and admitted that the buyin was actually $86 in 2014.
  2. Moneymaker shared this fact in When We Were Kings, posted by Grantland a decade later. Since he thought the buyin was $39, he claimed he had $60 in the account, but the basic idea still holds.
  3. Also from the Grantland article. Moneymaker claims that the PokerStars user interface wasn’t very clear about the fact.
  4. The book incorrectly gives the buyin of the second satellite as $600 instead of $650 ($615+$35).
  5. Key people in the story are named Moneymaker, Gamble, and Goldman (PokerStars marketing guy Dan Goldman). It would be corny if it were fiction.
  6. Also from the Grantland article. Farha countered that they should play winner-take-all, and no deal was struck.
  7. On page 154, Moneymaker admits that he got lucky but insists the way ESPN edited the footage made him look luckier than he was.
Tags:
Categories:

“Total Poker” Review

[LL] “I would have expected a book called Total Poker to be longer than 255 pages”, Leroy the Lion complained. “But then Card Player published The Total Poker Manual, which was almost exactly the same length, two hundred and fifty-six pages.”

[RR] “Oh, I don’t know”, Roderick the Rock countered. “If you think about it the right way, poker is pretty simple. ‘Play tight. Be aggressive.'”

[LL] “Just like the ‘Total Diet’ book only needs to say, ‘Eat less. Exercise more.'”

[RR] “Totally right. If you expend more calories than you eat, you’ll lose weight.”

[LL] “And yet dieting and poker are both billion-dollar industries with hundreds of books and countless articles published every year. The Total Poker book actually came out in 1977 while The Total Poker Manual was nearly four decades later in 2016. Despite the similar names, they’re very different books. The latter is primarily a pithy strategy guide with some bigger picture advice,1 while the former tries to live up to its name by covering strategy, history, and even pop culture.

In 1973, David Spanier flew from England to Las Vegas to play and report on the World Series of Poker, years before his fellow journalists Al Alvarez and Anthony Holden did the same. Total Poker didn’t come out for four years, however. The preface partly explains the delay when he states, ‘one of the things I discovered in writing a book about poker is how deep a subject poker is: one can’t really ever get to the boundaries of it; like exploring space, there’s always farther to go.’2 The scope of the subject also created a book that bounces around diverse topics with little rhyme or reason: strategy sections abut history chapters abut pop culture musings. This review may also seem disorganized as a result.

The first chapter is on bluffing, because ‘bluff is the essence of poker.’3 ‘It is the game itself.’4 In this chapter and elsewhere, Spanier presents examples from his own play, usually in Five-Card Draw, Five-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud, and related low-only and hi-lo games. His strategy advice is generally sound if not very deep,5 but he tries to shore up the lack of rigor with various tables of odds from the different games.

Some chapters cover different eras in the history of poker, with topics including New Orleans, steamboats, early references in books, Wild Bill Hickok, and Poker Alice, a late 19th century, Wild West poker playing legend. U.S. Presidents who played poker get their own chapter, albeit with a long side track exploring John F. Kennedy’s poker-like dealings with Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

As Spanier was in Vegas for the 1973 WSOP, the champion Puggy Pearson gets his own chapter, which includes some hand stories from the Main Event. This is the section with the most Texas Hold ‘Em, but a later chapter describes the game: ‘The key to tactics at hold ’em is to treat the first two cards like stud, but the flop like draw; at that stage you have a five-card hand to work with; strategically, play the game as a variation of seven card stud. A somewhat complicated admixture, but that’s the fascination of hold ’em.’6

One chapter discusses the best poker movies of all time, which, like the J.F.K. digression, features a movie with no poker, The Hustler. The actual poker movies he likes are The Cincinnati Kid (1965), A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966), The Sting (1973), and California Split (1974).

Overall Total Poker is a rare book from an earlier era that doesn’t live up to its grand title but still provides an interesting portal into a world where poker was very different than it is today.”

[RR] “‘Promises everything. Delivers some.'”

Title Total Poker
Author David Spanier
Year 1977
Skill Level any
Pros Lots of poker stories, including some hands from the 1973 WSOP Main Event. Some strategy and odds tables.
Cons Too much about Draw Poker, Five-Card Stud, and Spanier’s home games.
Rating 2.5

Footnotes:

  1. I may do a full review of The Total Poker Manual in the future, but the micro-review is ‘Decent breadth. No depth.’ It’s a colorful beginner’s guide with 266 very short sections ranging from a quarter of a page to two pages.
  2. Page 9.
  3. Page 13.
  4. Page 18.
  5. Although Spanier appears to be a competent home game player, his various trips to the World Series of Poker do not seem to have included any tournament cashes, and he does not have an entry in the Hendon Mob Database.
  6. Page 231.
Tags:
Categories: