Ever wondered how many people regularly play poker? In a deck of cards who do the kings represent? When & where playing cards were invented? Phil Ivey's illegal exploits? Doyle Brunson's famous hand? Below just for fun, FTP have answered these & compiled a bunch of other entertaining facts about poker games, players, history etc that you can use to impress your friends.
John Montague, Earl of Sandwich, was a man of doubtful integrity & a compulsive gambler who lived in the 1700s. Reluctant to leave a card game for a meal that he had a servant bring him a piece of meat between 2 slices of bread so he could eat w/1 hand and play cards w/2nd. This later became commonly known as a sandwich.
A 5th suit was added in 1937 but never caught on because people had to buy all new decks.
Poker HOF inductee Nick “The Greek” Dandolos according to an urban legend once had the opportunity to escort Albert Einstein around LV. Thinking that his gambling friends may not be familiar with him, Dandolos allegedly introduced Einstein as "Little Al from Princeton" and stated that he "controlled a lot of the numbers action around Jersey”.
WSOP bracelet winner & creator of the famous Stratosphere, LV the late Bob Stupak (1942-2009) famously made a $1,000,000 wager on the Super Bowl XXIII & won.
When a man w/$$$ meets an man experienced man on the felt, the man with experience leaves w/$$$ and the money man leaves w/experience, commonly known as learners tax.
Poker professional Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier was a professional gamer before turning to poker he was 2nd at the 2001 world cyber games in Starcraft & followed that up w/2nd in WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos during the 2002 televised Ongamenet WarCraft Retail League.
The term 'tilt' comes from getting a player so mad that they would lean on the rail of the table so hard it would make the table tilt.
2004 WSOP ME winner Greg “Fossilman” Raymer uses a small fossil as a card protector when he plays poker…early in his poker career he supplemented his BR by selling fossils to other players at his table.
The 1st poker chips were made of wood, bone, ivory, mother of pearl and, probably a few other materials. Sometime in the early 20th century they started making them out of clay.
Contrary to popular that Chris Moneymaker (2003) or Robert Varkonyi (2002) were the 1st amateurs to win the WSOP, Hal Fowler won it all as early as 1979 & this marked the 1st time an amateur player won the WSOP ME.
The Poker Hall of Fame was created in 1979 w/7 inductees;
- Johnny “The Grand Old Man of Poker” Moss
- Nick “The Greek” Dandolos
- Felton “Corky” McCorquodale
- Red Winn
- James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok
- Edmund Hoyle
- Sid Wyman
6 time WSOP bracelet winner Men “The Master” Nguyen is widely recognized in the poker community as a cheat for a number of reasons but notably he was found in possession of a suitcase full of MTT chips. The theory is that Men had players scooping chips from the smaller BI events so that Men & his other staked players could use them in the higher BI events & further reports of cheating were explained by Daniel Negreanu in his blog where all of Men’s staked players had to fold to Men’s raises regardless of any action.
There are 2 ‘1 eyed’ Jacks in a deck of cards…Js & Jh.
Sister to Howard Lederer & WSOP bracelet winner Annie Duke taught Hollywood actor Ben Affleck how to play poker in 2004, Ben went on to win the 2004 California state poker championships.
Contrary to modern day poker, in early century poker the kings were always the highest card in their suit and the ace was the lowest.
2 time WSOP bracelet winner Freddy Deeb was attending Utah state university when civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975, a war which ultimately meant Deeb lost contact w/his parents (who had been sending him money to support his education) for 2 years. Deeb was unable to gain employment due to the restrictions of his student visa, so he began gambling. Deeb was forced to leave his education, just 12 credits away from graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering.
WSOP bracelet winner Mike Sexton joined the US army as a paratrooper in the 82nd airborne division in 1970. Upon leaving the army Sexton was temporarily a salesman until realizing he could make more money on the felt, so in 1977 he too up poker. Sexton was a well known cohort with poker player Stu Ungar & was a pallbearer & speaker at his funeral on November 26th 1998.
3 time WSOP bracelet winner Chau Giang fled Vietnam in a small boat in the late 1970s and arrived in Florida where he worked many NMW jobs. He moved to Colorado soon after, taking a job as a chef for $160 P/W which was where he began to learn poker & shortly moved to LV & made $100,000 in his 1st year as a professional poker player.
2 time WSOP bracelet winner including the ME Daniel “Action Dan” Harrington is the distant cousin to both professional golfer Padraig Harrington & NFL quarterback Joey Harrington.
WSOP bracelet winner the late (1961-2010) Amir Vahedi served in the Iranian army during the Iran/Iraq war before becoming a war refugee and immigrating to the USA, & whilst in the USA along w/Annie Duke he was 1 of Ben Affleck's early poker tutors.
Annette Obrestad is the youngest person to ever win a WSOP bracelet an achievement earned by winning the 2007 WSOPE ME aged 18 (1 day before her 19th birthday). In July 2007 Obrestad won a $4 BI 180 person online SNG where she claims to have played almost the entire MTT w/o looking at her cards only looking once when faced w/AI decision, this was to demonstrate the importance of POS in poker.
2006 WSOP ME winner Jamie Gold entered the event staked by Bodog for 50% of his action, upon winning the ME & 12,000,000 Gold reneged on the deal & attempted to keep the entire 1st place prize. After several restraining orders preventing Gold from collecting $6,000,000 & court hearing’s, Bodog & Gold issued a joint statement stating they had settled the matter outside of court. Bodog then immediately ended their relationship w/Gold.
2 time WSOP bracelet winner David “Dragon” Pham was born in Vietnam & fled for USA aged 17 in a boat carrying 145 people of which 46 survived the journey. Once in the USA Pham found employment at his cousins Men “The Master” Nguyen’s laundry business before Men taught David the art of poker.
Poker player, journalist, & presenter the beautiful Kara Scott lost a proposition bet w/Chris Tessaro (Hardcore Poker Radio Show Host) in 2007 resulting in her having to do her commentary from EPT San Remo dressed in a bunny suit.
2007 WSOP ME winner Jerry Yang was born in Laos & when the communists took over in the 1970’s Yang & his family escaped to Thailand spending 4yrs in a refugee camp sadly losing his brother & sister. Yang has since emigrated to USA where he resides in Madera, California w/6 children & his wife.
92 is commonly known as the “Montana Banana” the nickname is referring to how it is more likely that bananas will grow in chilly Montana than this hand making money.
4 time WSOP bracelet winner John “JJ” Juanda was born and raised in Indonesia but is ethnically Chinese. John was a high school track star for the 200 meter sprints to the 5000 meter marathons then had a stint as a door to door salesman selling bibles before diverting his attention to poker.
The act of gambling may actually predate documented history, examples of gambling appear in all civilizations as long as people have been able to write things down. Whether it existed prior to the act of writing however, is anyone's guess.
2005 WSOP ME winner Joe Hachem was taxed 30% by USA government for claiming on his entry form he was a professional player when in actual fact he was a recreational player & a chiropractor by trade, which made him liable for tax in his home country Australia but fortunately his accountant had financial records to prove he was in fact at the time only playing poker as a hobby thus saving more unfortunate tax for a white lie.
The game of 21 got its common nickname BJ from a practice in illegal casinos in the early 1900s. Some casinos paid a bonus if a 2 card 21 was made up of an AJs. Others paid bonuses if an As was accompanied by a Js or Jc…the black J was the key to the bonus, and became the name of the game. Less commonly used nicknames for the game of 21 include Pontoon and Van John. Both arose in the South, probably around illegal casinos in New Orleans. Both nicknames probably are corruptions of the pronunciation of the French game vingt-un, which means "21" and is believed by some to be a BJ forerunner. Others believe there are closer connections between BJ and the Spanish game uno y trente, the Italian game baccarat and a much older Italian game called 72.
2004 WSOP ME winner Chris Moneymaker had ancestors that made silver and gold coins and modified there surname from the German Nurmacher to Moneymaker after their trade.
Coin-operated gaming devices in the late 1800s included games w/large revolving wheels divided into colour segments. Players wagered on which colour the wheel would stop. They're considered the forerunners of modern slot machines, even though they didn't have reels. The first recognizably modern 3-reel slot was the Liberty Bell, invented by Charles Fey in San Francisco in 1899. The machine was so popular that for many years all slot machines were referred to as bell machines & the bar symbol used on modern slot machines is derived from a Bell Fruit Gum logo. The gum was dispensed in slots designed by Herbert Mills in Chicago in 1910 & other fruit symbols on slots were derived from the gum flavours. Among the most popular early slots were poker games, although the machines did not usually pay out coins. Payoffs had to come from the operator. After the introduction of the Liberty Bell, poker-based slots waned in popularity, until the invention of video poker in the 1970s.
According to T.J. Cloutier 1985 WSOP ME winner Bill Smith didn’t play well when sober as he was too tight & likewise when exceedingly intoxicated because he was far too LAG, it was between these 2 extremes he was at his best. In 1985 the year Smith won the ME he entered the final day sober & blinded down until the drink began to effect him & he began to accumulate chips & fortunately he got enough chips together for the backend of the MTT when he became mega AGRO the drunker he got.
The slang expression "rolling the bones" has an origin that is quite literal. Dice were carved from bones for 1000’s of years…it was not at all unusual in Roman times for dice to be fashioned from sheep's knuckles. Dice have been made from wood, clay, stone, peach pits, animal horns, teeth, ivory, bronze, porcelain, even jewels. The oldest known dice w/regular sides were found in northern Iraq. They're made of baked clay & date to about 3,000 B.C.
After retiring at 76yrs old, Bob McCune sold his luxurious home in LV & moved to Lake Havasu, Arizona. It's a 45-minute drive to Laughlin, Nevada, from Bob's home which he done regularly to place bets. But just before Week 7 of the 1999 NFL season, Bob decided to skip a week and lounge around the house. Meanwhile the local newspaper in Lake Havasu had a weekly football handicapping contest, participants picked 20 games including college and pro vs. the published pointspreads. It was a simple contest to promote the paper's circulation & free to enter of which the winner w/most correct picks wins $150. Bob passed the time one evening by marking off his choices and entering the contest. The $150 was definitely not his motivation as Bob was a pro handicapper & generally risked at least $1,000+ per bet so w/20 bets for the day, you can expect to risk north of $20,000-$40,000 so needless to say the $150 contest was nothing more to Bob than a way to relax for an hour or so. Bob amazingly went 20-0 that day, exact odds of this happening are 1,048,755:1 collecting the 1st place prize of $150 but missing out on an astronomical sum of $$$ had he made is usual 45 minute drive making it the “unluckiest lucky streak in history”.
David “Joker Of Poker” Levi was born and raised in Israel & served in Israel defence forces as a paratrooper before playing professional soccer for Hapoel Ramat Gan. Levi then moved to USA where he was introduced to poker & was once the roommate of the late Amir Vahedi (1961-2010).
NPC & UK circuit follower professional poker player James
“Hollywood” Browning began his gambling career as a professional backgammon player being crowned 1984 European champion at St Tropez. James even played BJ counting cards until casino’s banned him from BJ he then turned his attention to poker & has never looked back finishing as Europe’s No1 pro rank 2 player 2008.
2 time WSOP bracelet winner Humberto “The Shark” Brenes began his career in gambling by playing baccarat in the early 1970’s & it wasn’t until the mid 1970’s that Brenes turned his attention to poker & in fact didn’t become a regular on the MTT scene & at the WSOP until as late as 1988.
WSOP bracelet winner & Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari was born called Amir Esfandiary but changed his 1st name to Anthony after teasing at school & then at 19 changed it again to the familiar Antonio...he later changed the last letter of his surname from a y to a i because he believed it looked better.
Mansour Matloubi was the 1st non USA citizen to win the WSOP ME when he won it all in 1990 collecting $895,000.
10 time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny “Orient Express” Chan worked as a short order chef at his family owned restaurant before discovering his real passion in poker, however Chan still loves his restaurant heritage & actually owns a fast food franchise in Stratosphere, LV.
6 time WSOP bracelet winner T.J. Cloutier got his start at poker while in the Army. After the Army he played professional football for the Montreal Allouettes, but a knee injury forced him to leave the team. T.J. owned a wholesale food business w/his family, but when it folded in 1976 Cloutier made his way to Texas and started working on an oil rig. Still playing cards, however, he eventually started making more money at poker than he did at his routine job so started playing poker professionally.
It’s impossible to complete a 5 card straight in poker w/o holding either a T or a 5 & both straights containing Ax have nicknames w/A2345 called a wheel & TJQKA called broadway.
5 time WSOP bracelet winner Allen Cunningham attended UCLA where he planned on pursuing an Engineering degree. While he enjoyed his studies, Allen also discovered that playing poker in some of the local casinos was an enjoyable and profitable past time. Soon, the success he experienced at the tables led Allen to leave school and pursue poker full time. It's a move he hasn't regretted.
Q7 is commonly known as the “Computer Hand” from an apocryphal story that a computer proved that these were the most commonly occurring cards on the flop & another suggestion is a computer simulated Q7 vs. ATC & it was a break even hand.
8 time WSOP bracelet winner Eric Seidel was originally a tournament backgammon player for over 8 years & he even gambled in the stock market before eventually finding his true calling & turning his attention to poker.
Dead man’s hand is A8 of black suit combination after legend Wild Bill Hickok was shot in the back whilst holding this hand. Bill although 1 of the best known players pre 20th century largely down to his death, historians generally agree that Bill Hickok (poker hall of fame 1979) was a lousy poker player.
“High Society” is the nickname given to the highest chip value available in that casino, commonly if your in possession of those chips you are considered the casinos high rolling clientele thus receiving complimentary benefits.
Doyle Brunson hand is T2 of any suit combination after his back to back WSOP ME win’s in 1976 & 1977 holding T2.
In the 1800s, 2,000+ riverboat gamblers played poker on American waterways. By contemporary a/c's no more than 4 of these poker players were honest all the time. A straight beat a flush at this time.
5 time WSOP bracelet winner Chris “Jesus” Ferguson has the ability to throw playing cards fast enough to cut through bananas, carrots, and even melons.
French understanding of suits is;
Spades = Royalty
Diamonds = Merchants
Clubs = Peasants
Hearts = Clergy
Edmond Hoyle, best known for his contribution towards the rules & play of card games w/Whist book in the 1700’s & the famous
“according to Hoyle“ saying also more recently poker hall of fame inductee (1979) lived to be 97, but died 150 years before Poker was invented.
Playing cards were introduced in Europe in the 1300s but most likely invented in China in 1120 AD.
Poker hall of fame inductee 2008 Harry Orenstein patented the idea of the "hole card cam" a camera that would show poker player's hole cards to TV viewers in 1997.
Benny Binion (1904-1989) father of Jack & Ted Binion & instrumental in launching the WSOP has criminal FBI files dating back to 1924 listing offences including theft & 2 murder convictions. Binion shot an unarmed Ben Frieden in order to gain control of all gambling operations in Dallas & then shot himself in the shoulder & turned himself into police claiming self defence which the police bought, it’s alleged Binion also shot another competitor Sam Murray but he was never convicted & all charges were dropped. By early 1940’s Binion was the reigning mob boss of Dallas & then sought to take over gambling rackets in Fort Worth, Lewis Tindell who at the time was the mob boss of that city was shortly murdered. Binion lost his fix with the local government after the 1946 elections, and fled to LV. While in Dallas, Binion had begun a long-running feud with Herb Noble, a small-time gambler in Dallas, which continued after Binion moved to LV. Binion demanded that Noble increase his payoff to Binion from 25% to 40%, which Noble refused to do. Binion posted a reward on Noble's scalp that eventually reached $25,000 and control of a Dallas crap game. Many tried to kill Noble, but he escaped or survived numerous attempts on his life, although sometimes with gunshot wounds. Eventually Noble's wife was killed in a car bombing intended for him. In retaliation, Noble planned to fly his private plane to LV to bomb Binion's house, but was restrained by local law enforcement before he could execute his plan. Eventually, a car bomber succeeded in assassinating Noble. Because of the nationwide publicity over the Binion/Noble feud, Binion was unpopular w/national Mafia bosses, who felt that he was drawing unwanted attention to their operations in LV & Dallas. After 1 of Binion's bodyguards committed a murder in the men's room of Binion's Westerner Club in LV, the mobsters helped the federal government put Binion away. Binion lost his gambling license in 1951, and was sentenced to a 5 year term in 1953 at Leavenworth federal penitentiary for tax evasion. Binion died of heart failure at the age of 85 on December 25, 1989 in LV. His friend and poker great “Amarillo Slim” Preston suggested as an epitaph, "He was either the gentlest bad guy or the baddest good guy you'd ever seen." He was posthumously inducted into the poker hall of fame in 1990.
The HSP room in the world “Bobby’s Room” in Bellagio play’s host to some of pokers most well known names & is known to reach dizzy limits of $8000/$16000 was named after 4 time WSOP bracelet winner Bobby Baldwin.
4 time WSOP bracelet winner Amarillo Slim was indicted on 3 charges of sexual assault w/12yr old family member in August 2003. The charges were reduced to misdemeanor assault in a plea bargain & on February 10, 2004 he plead no contest to the reduced charges, receiving a $4,000 fine and 2yrs deferred adjudication.
When Columbus landed in North America in 1492, his men plucked wide leaves from trees, drew pictures on them & played cards.
The 52 cards of the ordinary playing deck are said to symbolize the 52 weeks of the year. It is also thought that the 4 suits relate to the 4 seasons;
Spades = Winter
Clubs = Spring
Hearts = Summer
Diamonds = Autumn
The Ace in each suit rules the first week of it’s corresponding season. The Kings rule the second, the Queen rule the third, Jack rule the fourth, Tens rule the fifth & so on with the Two's ruling the last week w/1 extra day in a leap year under the rulership of the Joker.
FTP founder DT played poker in the NPS & followed the UK circuit between 2005-2009 under the identity of Craig Tumilty due to complications involving his casino membership, DT’s only ranking success during this period was 4th place in GCPT, Teesside £100 NLH event for £1350.
WSOP bracelet winner Eli Elezra was a military man in the unit he desired around the late 1970’s & early 1980’s but 1st had to serve a few weeks in jail after not wanting to join the air force.
HSP player Patrick Antonius began his illustrious career as a tennis player/coach & even done modelling in Vantaa, Finland before he became 1 of Marcel Luske’s students in his “Circle Of Outlaws” & polished his poker skills.
WSOP bracelet winner Kenny “Sick Call” Tran gives 10% of his winnings to his extended family, He first began playing poker in 1992 at a bowling alley while working at McDonalds.
POKER, GAMBLING, & VEGAS MOVIES;
- Lucky You
- Owning Mahowny
- The Cincinatti Kid
- The Good Thief
- A Big Hand for a Little Lady
- Top of the World
- Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie
- California Split
- Viva Las Vegas
- The Sting
- 13 Tzameti
- The Conmen in Vegas
- Casino Royale
- Deadly Bet
- Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
- Aces & Eights
- Leaving Las Vegas
- Vegas Vacation
- Oceans 11, 12 & 13
- The Only Game in Town
- All for the Winner
- The Gambler
- High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story
- Bay of Angels
- The Cooler
- Boiler Room
- Dr. Mabuse - The Gambler
- Freeze Out
- Breaking Vegas
- Gambling City
- Poker Nights
- All In
- Indecent Proposal
- The Hangover
- Honeymoon in Vegas
Dave & Scott Collins founded the NPF & are credited w/improving NPS including added value events & helping the players be heard, as well as introducing people in the NPC to friends who under different circumstances may not have had the pleasure.
Former US President Richard Nixon won $6,000 playing poker in his first two months in the U.S. Navy during WWII. That is roughly equal to $42,640 in today’s currency (2010) . He used that money as well as more poker winnings to finance his run for the U.S. Congress in 1946, which he won.
A famous story recounts a HS NL game in which a young man picked up the AKQJTs. The betting was fierce, & when the young man ran out of money, he asked to adjourn the game momentarily while he went to locate his father to get more. His hand, and that of the one opponent remaining, were sealed in separate envelopes; a short time later, the lad was back with his father who was told that the envelope contained a royal flush. The father brought enough cash to call the last bet & make a very big raise. The opponent, who held quad 9s, realized that this could not be a bluff, and he threw in his cards. The son raked in all the chips and the envelopes were unsealed. The young man’s hand was the AcKQJ10s for a broadway straight he had misread his hand.
Tom “#1_Fish” Middleton recognized as 1 of the best online MTT players w/SN “hitthehole” supplemented his BR early in his career whilst studying over Newcastle Upon Tyne in late 2004/early 2005 by playing live 4-10 player £10 SNG’s at the Grosvenor.
J9d is commonly known in the NPC as the Circus hand for it’s inability to lose vs. ATC when played whilst at Circus, Newcastle.
Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne operated a casino on Quayside, Newcastle which ceased trading in September, 2006 w/plans to relocate to Tyneside making it bigger & better. The new casino never transpired & large % of their staff found employment across the other 3 local casinos.
Steve “CGK” Wills played his 1st live poker game in 1989 above a restaurant called Mama Whitakers vs. UK professionals David “Devilfish” Ulliott, Dave “El-Blondie” Colclough, Marc Goodwin, George Geary among other not so recognizable names.
The great US Senator Henry Clay, who lost the presidency 3 times, was, nevertheless, a frequent winner at Pochen, the European forerunner of Poker. John Quincy Adams, who was to become the 6th US President a decade later, reported in his lifelong diary that when he & Clay were diplomats in Ghent, Belgium, negotiating the end of the War of 1812, it was not uncommon for Clay to trudge up the stairs to their quarters at 4 a.m. after an all-night card game just as Adams was waking up to write in his journal & start his day.
The earliest known game of Texas HE was played in Robstown, Texas, in the early 1900s. The game was brought to LV by a group of Texan gamblers and card players, including Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson, Crandell Addington, and Amarillo Slim.
1982 WSOP ME winner Jack “Treetop” Straus made a comeback after being down to a single $500 chip, which coined the common tournament poker aphorism "a chip & a chair." Although a/c’s vary, the most common story is that he pushed his chips into the pot, was called and lost the hand. Getting up, he discovered he had one chip left under a napkin on the table. Because he didn't declare himself AI, the TD allowed him to continue playing. A similar story happened w/FTPer ST vs. pads1161 over Circus casino during 1 of their weekly MTT's when he moved AI & lost only to see he had a $500 tournament chip that wasn't AI & considering he didn't declare it was allowed to play on, however not the same fairytale ending as ST went bust OOTM.
2,589,960 is the number of possible poker hands in a 52 card deck, only 4 of which are royal flushes making the odds of getting a royal flush 649,740:1.
Commonly recognized as the best all round player in the world across all disciplines by numerous poker observers, contemporaries, & fellow players Phil Ivey began his poker career playing at AC casinos under age using the alias Jerome Graham & quickly assumed the nickname “No Home Jerome” for his ever presence in AC card rooms.
In 1949 Johnny Moss played Nick “The Greek” Dandolos HU in a 5 month poker marathon set up by Benny Binion, Johnny won north of $2,000,000 before Nick coincided defeat. This game is rumoured to be the inspiration behind the now famous WSOP.
Every year more than 70,000,000 decks of cards are sold in the U.S.
Andy “The Rock” Bloch is also an accomplished BJ player and was featured in the BJ documentary The Hot Shoe, as well as starring in his own instructional blackjack DVD, Beating BJ, which explains card counting Andy Bloch was a member of the MIT BJ team featured in the book Bringing Down The House. Bloch said he has made up to $100,000 in 1 session while playing BJ.
1998 there was 1 online poker room a number called Planet Poker and the 2nd was Paradise Poker in 1999. This had increased to 128 by 2006 during the Moneymaker boom & is still increasing to this day.
- 92% average of the 133,186+ hotel rooms are booked at any 1 time.
- $103 average cost of hotel room in LV.
- 38,600,000 visitors in 2005 (including DT).
- LV casino’s aren’t legally obligated to pay off their gambling debts.
- There were 16,067 slots in Nevada in 1960. In 1999 Nevada had 205,726 slot machines, 1 for every 10 residents & still counting.
- LV Blvd was originally named Highway 91 & was renamed after the influx of major hotel, casino resorts made it their home & either side of LV Blvd the road is still named Highway 91 or US route 91.
- In the early 1900s all gambling including poker was declared illegal in the state of Nevada. This decision was later on changed since the Attorney General of California declared that draw poker was based upon skill and not solely on chance.
- The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino opened in 1906, making it the 1st hotel & casino to open in LV, NV.
- In 1941, the El Rancho LV was the first resort to open on LV Strip (across from what is now The Sahara).
- The Mirage is considered to be the 1st "mega resort" hotel and casino in LV, opened in 1989 costing $630,000,000.
- In 1966, Howard Hughes begins his infamous stay at the Desert Inn. By 1968 after staying for almost 2yrs, Hughes purchases the Desert Inn after being asked to leave by Hotel management.
- The Stratosphere is the tallest, free-standing, observation tower in the US & the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River.
- 29,000,000+ peopled visit LV, NV in 1996. The gross gaming revenue is reported to be $7,400,000,000+.
- 80% of all visitors are return visitors & average 2 trips per year.
- 44% of all visitors arrive by air while 43% arrive by auto.
- 89% of all visitors gamble w/AVE gambling budget of $500.
- If you add all the numbers of a roulette wheel up it totals 666 which represents the devil & hence the nickname “Devils Wheel”.
- In 2004, Ashley Revell of London sold all of his possessions, clothing included, & brought $135,300 to the Plaza Hotel, LV to put it all on red at the roulette table in a double or nothing bet. The ball landed on red 7 & Revell walked away with his net-worth doubled to $270,600.
- Horizontal gaming wheels such as those used in roulette, were invented in England in 1720 for a game called roly-poly. Roly-poly was similar to roulette, except there were no numbers on the wheel. There were alternating white spaces and black spaces, along w/"bar black" space and a "bar white" space. The "bar" spaces were the equivalents of green 0 & 00 if the ball landed in either space, bets on black or white lost. Roly-poly was banned in England in 1745, but the horizontal wheel travelled well. By 1796, modern roulette was being played in France.
In the book "Casino Royale" by Ian Fleming, James Bond played the game of Baccarat. 50 years later in the movie the game was substituted to Texas HE due it's increasing popularity in the world.
WSOP bracelet winner Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott grew up on a council estate & surround by criminal circles became involved in a safe-cracking team targeting tobacconists, off-licenses,& garages. Ulliott was caught & served jail time in Leeds prison during the middle 1970’s & was in isolation on his 21st birthday. Ulliott was again jailed in the early 1980’s for fighting outside a nightclub & this time served 18 months between Leeds & Durham prison & it wasn’t until Ulliott met his 2nd wife Amanda Ashby & he went straight & began playing poker professionally.
Groucho Marx got his name because he used to carry all his poker money in a Grouch Bag. What's a Grouch Bag? It's a bag that hangs around your neck to keep your possessions in.
Billy Baxter is best known for playing poker, but it was his battle vs. USA where he made his greatest contribution to poker. Baxter fought the internal revenue service & won the right to count poker winnings as earned income. This means that poker winnings would be taxed at a lower rate than other forms of gambling in the USA.
The origin of the name Poker is uncertain. It may come from the German verb pochen, meaning to brag or bluff, & there is an older, German card game similar to poker in that it involved bluffing, called Pochspiel. Another version traces the word to the French poque, also said to have been a card game resembling poker. The earlier version of the game in English was called brag.
Vegan & 2 time WSOP bracelet winner Howard Lederer took a $10,000 proposition bet from fellow poker player David Grey about whether or not he would eat a cheeseburger, Lederer ate the burger & won the bet.
The 7 players who participated in the inaugural WSOP, held at Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, LV in 1970 didn’t determine the champion by means of a MTT. Instead for about a week-and-a-half players rotated between five different CG inc 2T7D, 7CS, Razz, 5CD, & NLH after which the players voted to award Johnny Moss the title of “World Champion Poker Player.” The following year 1791 it was decided to play a NLH MTT F/O to decide the champ & Moss won again. Rather than a bracelet, Moss was awarded a silver cup (and no cash prize) that first year for being voted the champion. It would not be until the mid-1970s that bracelets were awarded to event winners. After it was decided to play a NLH MTT F/O to determine the WSOP champion, the BI was initially set at $5,000 in 1971. The BI was again $5,000 in 1972, but Jack Binion matched the players’ entry fees with $5,000 of his own money, thus doubling the overall prize pool. The BI was changed to $10,000 in 1973, and has remained at that price ever since.
Professional poker players Daniel Negreanu & Evelyn Ng dated in the late 1980’s when both were late teenagers in their hometown of Toronto, Evelyn credits Daniel for helping polish her poker game early. Evelyn is now in a relationship w/poker professional Lex Vedlhuis whilst Daniel is single after separating from wife Lori Lin Weber in 2007.
In 1991, Brad Daugherty became the 1st WSOP ME champion to win $1,000,000. 1st prize remained at exactly $1,000,000 for nearly a decade, until Chris “Jesus” Ferguson won $1.500,000 for winning the ME in 2000.
In February 2003 NPS regular the late Eric Barker entered every event in the North East Champions festival down Teesside & won the entire schedule including a £50+R, £100+R, & £500+R ME.
During several visits between 2001-2006 Billionaire Andy Beal played a syndicate of professional poker players known as "The Corporation", which included Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson, Todd Brunson, Ted Forrest, Jennifer Harman, Howard "The Professor" Lederer, Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Barry Greenstein, Chau Giang, & others. Beal hoped to force the collective group of pros into such HS that their play would be influenced by the amount of money at risk. By the end of their encounters in 2004 they were playing $100,000/$200,000 LHE HU w/$20,000,000+ on the table. Beal returned to LV from February 1-5, 2006 to again take on "The Corporation" in a $50,000/$100,000 LHE match at the Wynn Las Vegas Casino. Opponents included Todd Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Ted Forrest, and others. On February 5, 2006, Beal was down $3,300,000. He then returned to the Wynn a week later and won approximately $13,600,000 from the Corporation during daily poker sessions from February 12-15. The games resumed February 21-23, w/Phil Ivey representing the Corporation vs. Beal at limits of $30,000/$60,000 and $50,000/$100,000. During these three days, Beal lost $16,600,000 to Ivey.
Blondie Forbes is credited with creating the game of Texas HE.
Barry Greenstein is commonly known as the “Robin Hood Of Poker” for his generosity towards charity as he give’s them 100% of his MTT winnings.
Felton "Corky" McCorquodale was a professional poker player, noted as the person who introduced Texas HE to LV in 1963. Since then, the game has become one of the most popular poker variants in history.
5 time WSOP bracelet winner including 3 ME's Stu “The Kid” Ungar considered the worlds best Gin Rummy player had a genius IQ & eidetic memory, in 1977 he was bet $100,000 by casino owner & designer Bob Stupak that he couldn't count down the last 3 decks in a 6 deck shoe...Ungar won. Ungar also won WSOP ME 3 times & 7 months after his 1998 win, Ungar was found dead in his room at the Oasis Motel in LV w/$800 on him. The $800 was the remnants of a $25,000 loan he got from Baxter just a week earlier to put him back in action at the poker tables. Despite winning millions during his poker career, Ungar had no assets to his name. A collection was taken up by friend and fellow poker player Bob Stupak at his funeral to pay for it.
Tom Abdo is 1 of 3 Poker Hall of Famers to die while playing poker. He died from a heart attack. According to legend, after suffering the heart attack, he asked another player to count his chips & to save his seat.
Phil “Poker Brat” Hellmuth Jr. as of 2010 holds the record for most amount of WSOP bracelets w/11 followed closely by Doyle Brunson & Johnny Chan both w/10.
According to 1998 WSOP ME winner Scotty Nguyen, in 1976 he boarded a boat for Thailand & his fellow passengers were chased by the Communist police & ended up losing their way. They had only taken enough water, food, & fuel to last 2 days, just enough for a trip from Vietnam to Thailand. On the 4th or 5th day, they ran out of fuel & drifted aimlessly at sea. Scotty stated that boats would come by but refused to take anyone on board because of a fear that the refugees may be pirates. However, the boats would occasionally throw food overboard, which required Scotty & his fellow passengers to swim in shark-infested waters to retrieve them. During their 22nd day at sea, food had run out and the passengers began making plans to eat Scotty's 12 year-old brother, who had fallen extremely ill; luckily, the following day a passing ship rescued Scotty & the other passengers & any plans concerning Scotty's brother never came to fruition.
At least 65,000,000 Americans regularly play poker equating to on average 1 in 5 citizens.
3 time WSOP bracelet winner Mike “The Mouth” Matusow has had several personal problems. He has battled drug issues, including a 6 month stint in jail in 2004 & 2005 after being caught w/cocaine. An undercover police officer pretended to befriend Matusow & gained his trust. He then arrested Matusow when he asked him for cocaine & Matusow retrieved some for him.
Walter Clyde “Puggy” Pearson is credited w/creating the concept of a F/O MTT.
Jen Harman won her 1st WSOP bracelet in 2000 at the NL 2T7 lowball event, amazingly Jen had never played the game prior & her only understanding was a 5 minute tutorial from Howard Lederer moments before playing.
The 29th U.S. President Warren Harding was a great lover of the game of poker. So much so, in fact, he played at least twice a week. His advisors got the nickname the "Poker Cabinet" because they played w/the President. Rumors say that Harding once lost an entire set of White House China playing poker, but that story is up for debate.
Sam Farha’s largely recognized for finishing 2nd in the 2003 WSOP ME to Chris Moneymaker, however on the 2nd day of play Farha lost a major pot to Barry Greenstein leaving him w/10% of CA. He was considering leaving at this point & was talked into staying by Greenstein. He lost the final hand to Moneymaker after going AI w/pair jacks OTF, only to be called by Moneymaker who had flopped bottom 2P.
According to folklore in a deck of cards;
King of Spades = David, King of Israel
King of Clubs = Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia
King of Hearts = Charlemagne, King of France
King of Diamonds = Caesar Augustus, Emperor of Rome
The late David “Chip” Reese 1 of the most respected poker players in the community by his peers & 3 time WSOP bracelet winner. He came to LV in 1974 w/$400 in his pocket just planning to stay for a weekend, won a poker MTT at Sahara hotel & casino for $60,000 & never left.
Any followers who have some interesting fun trivia to add please comment & once I’ve confirmed it’s authenticity I will of course add it to our wall of fun & interesting poker information.
January Charity Drive Recap
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