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The Championship Table (PG000075)

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From the Publisher:

From 1970 when the champion was presented a silver cup, to 2002 when the champion was awarded $2 million, The Championship Table celebrates three decades of poker players who have thrown their hats (and $10,000) into the ring in their quest to win poker's most coveted title. This book gives you the names and photographs of all the players who made the final table, pictures the last hand the champion played against the runner-up, how they played their cards, and how much they won. The Championship Table also features interviews and conversations with the champions and runners-up as well as interesting highlights from each Series. Rather than a complete history of the World Series of Poker, The Championship Table is a factual tribute to the players who have risked their bankrolls and pitted their skills against Lady Luck in the poker world's toughest arena. As such, it is a fascinating and invaluable resource book for WSOP and gaming buffs.

Moss Misses a Draw but the Video Hits the Bullseye at the 1973 World Series of Poker

By Dana Smith, guest columnist

The first year that the World Series of Poker championship event was video taped was 1973 when Walter Clyde "Puggy" Pearson fought Johnny Moss in a heads-up duel at the championship table. Of the 13 players who had plunked down $10,000 each to play the event, the reigning champion Thomas "Amarillo Slim" Preston had been eliminated, as had legendary road gamblers Bob Hooks, Sailor Roberts, and Jack Straus. In the final hand, Pearson held the As 7s and Moss had Kh Js. When the flop came 2c 10s Qs, Moss pushed in his last $40,000 with an open-end straight draw. Pearson called the bet with the nut-flush draw and an overcard. The turn was the 5h followed by the 6d on the river, giving Pearson the pot and the championship with his ace-high hand. It was a winner-take-all tournament, so the 45-year-old Pearson won the entire $130,000 prize pool.

Today's slick video tapes of the championship table at the WSOP are always fast-paced, entertaining, and educational, but in the opinion of many World Series aficionados, the less sophisticated, almost homespun 1973 tape was the most entertaining WSOP video ever filmed. Narrated by oddsmaker Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder, the vintage video shows Pearson at his best, kibitzing and chomping on his signature cigar. "I learnt to play with gamblers!" he exclaimed at the end of the 19-hour marathon, which was chronicled in Jon Bradshaw's 1975 book, Fast Company (a collector's item that is out of print).

Bradshaw wasn't the only professional writer who covered the '73 Series. Reporter Al Reinert described Pearson for his Texas Monthly readers: "Pug looks like he's between acts as a circus clown, but he's one of the best three all-around card players alive." Reinert also wrote a vivid portrayal of Moss: "Johnny Moss' face is transparently blank, the practiced result of 50 years of self-induced rigor mortis." Moss had lost "an easy quarter million" in the month prior to the WSOP in the big-bet games at the fabled Aladdin poker room, Reinert estimated. The reporter also mentioned that Preston, who was knocked out next-to-last, was hawking his new book, Maverick Poker, stating its price as "six nine-five or fifty dollars fer an autograph't one."

During the early Series, players were allowed to buy insurance on their hands, side bets based on the probability of one hand winning over another. In a hand he was playing against Straus, Moss wanted 2-to-1 insurance but Jack Binion offered him only 3-to-2. Moss passed on the wager, but won the hand anyway and knocked Straus out in third place. Snyder had picked Straus as the favorite to win the tournament at odds of 9-to-2.

Great book of Poker History.  Enjoy it today at a super price!!!!
The Championship Table

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