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1970 World Series of Poker

1970 WSOP Overview
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In 1968 Vic Vickrey created the Gaming Fraternity Convention, inviting gamblers to play at the Holiday Hotel casino in Reno, Nevada. The response was muted.

The following year, Tom Moore added poker games as the focus of the "Texas Gambler's Reunion" and got an excellent turnout. Crandell Addington, Benny Binion, Doyle Brunson, Charles Harrelson (actor Woody Harrelson's father), Johnny Moss, Puggy Pearson, Amarillo Slim Preston, Sailor Roberts, Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder, Jack Straus, and Rudolph Wanderone (before he called himself "Minnesota Fats") were among the attendees who played Five-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud, Seven-Card Stud Hi/Lo, Ace-to-Five Lowball, Deuce-to-Seven Lowball, and Texas Hold 'Em cash games for a week. Moss was named "King of Cards" as the Best Overall Player, while Addington was "Mr. Outsider" as the best of the non-Texans.

Moore had hoped that away from reunion activities, the gamblers would play other games at his casino, but that didn't happen nearly enough, so he had no plans for another convention. Binion, however, loved the idea and requested permission to use it. Neither Moore nor Vickrey had objections, and the World Series of Poker was born in 1970.1

Thus in May 1970, Binion debuted the grandiosely named World Series of Poker, following Moore's formula by running different types of poker cash games: Five-Card Draw, Deuce-to-Seven Draw, Seven-Card Stud, Razz, and No-Limit Hold 'Em. Because the Horseshoe didn't have a poker room, the baccarat area was cleared out and set up with three poker tables for the few days of the event.2

WSOP Wrapup
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During four days of play, as many as 36 players took part in at least one of the cash games, including Amarillo Slim Preston, Bill Boyd, Bob Hooks, singer/actor Chill Wills, Crandell Addington, Curtis "Iron Man" Skinner, "Doc" Green, Don Howard, Doyle Brunson, George Barnes, Jack Straus, Jimmy Casella, Joe Bernstein, Joe Floyd, Johnny Moss, J.R. Green, Puggy Pearson, Sailor Roberts, and Titanic Thompson.

There were no tournaments, but at the Sombrero Room banquet the players voted for a number of poker and non-poker awards:

Legend has it that the final vote was deadlocked as each player voted for himself. Jack Binion solved the problem by asking them to select the second best player, which led to Johnny Moss's third award (retroactively considered the first of his three WSOP championships).

Further Reading
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