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"Championship Table" Review

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TitleChampionship Table
AuthorDana Smith,1 Tom McEvoy, & Ralph Wheeler
Skill Levelany
ProsWell-organized presentation of the final players with starting chip stacks and results, the final hand, and a summary for every WSOP Main Event from 1970 to 2008. Excellent interviews.
ConsSome years are unnecessarily brief, spanning a mere two pages. Numerous final hand errors.2

Table of Contents
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11Foreword by Tom McEvoy
151970 World Championship Event * 1st WSOP
181971 World Championship Event * 2nd WSOP
201972 World Championship Event * 3rd WSOP
22Thomas "Amarillo Slim" Preston - Interview: "The Old Days at the World Series" - by Dana Smith
321973 World Championship Event * 4th WSOP
33How It Happened; Highlights
34Walter Clyde "Puggy" Pearson - Interview: "On the Road Again" - by Dana Smith
401974 World Championship Event * 5th WSOP
40Johnny Moss, 1907-1995
441975 World Championship Event * 6th WSOP
44How It Happened; Highlights
45The Road Gamblers
461976 World Championship Event * 7th WSOP
47How It Happened; Highlights
48Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson - Interview: "The Warrior Returns to the Arena" - by Dana Smith
581977 World Championship Event * 8th WSOP
59How It Happened; Highlights
601978 World Championship Event * 9th WSOP
61How It Happened; Highlights
621979 World Championship Event * 10th WSOP
63How It Happened; Highlights
65Bobby Hoff - Interview: "A Sunny Day after a Long Night" - by Dana Smith
741980 World Championship Event * 11th WSOP
75How It Happened; Highlights
761981 World Championship Event * 12th WSOP
77How It Happened; Highlights
781982 World Championship Event * 13th WSOP
79How It Happened; Highlights
80Dewey Tomko - A Conversation with Dana Smith
821983 World Championship Event * 14th WSOP
83How It Happened; Highlights
84Making the Final "Casino" by Tom McEvoy
901984 World Championship Event * 15th WSOP
91How It Happened; Highlights
92Byron "Cowboy" Wolford - Interview: "Rodeoing 'n Playing Poker" - by Dana Smith
1001985 World Championship Event * 16th WSOP
101How It Happened; Highlights
102T.J. Cloutier - Interview: "When T.J. Talks, They All Listen - by Dana Smith
1081986 World Championship Event * 17th WSOP
109How It Happened; Highlights
1101987 World Championship Event * 18th WSOP
111How It Happened; Highlights
1121988 World Championship Event * 19th WSOP
113How It Happened; Highlights
114Erik Seidel - A Conversation with Dana Smith
1161989 World Championship Event * 20th WSOP
117How It Happened; Highlights
1181990 World Championship Event * 21st WSOP
119How It Happened
120Tuna Lund - A Conversation with Dana Smith
1221991 World Championship Event * 22nd WSOP
123How It Happened
1261992 World Championship Event * 23rd WSOP
127How It Happened; Highlights
1281993 World Championship Event * 24th WSOP
129How It Happened; Highlights
1301994 World Championship Event * 25th WSOP
131How It Happened
132Russ Hamilton - Interview: "He's Worth His Weight in Silver" - by Dana Smith
1361995 World Championship Event * 26th WSOP
137How It Happened; Highlights
138Barbara Enright - Interview: "The First Lady at the Last Table" - by Dana Smith
1441996 World Championship Event * 27th WSOP
145How It Happened; Highlights
1461997 World Championship Event * 28th WSOP
147How It Happened
148John Strzemp - A Conversation with Dana Smith
150Stu Ungar, 1953-1998
1521998 World Championship Event * 29th WSOP
153How It Happened; Highlights
1541999 World Championship Event * 30th WSOP
155How It Happened; Highlights
156Noel Furlong - Interview: "The Champ Pays Tribute to a Pioneer" - by Dana Smith
1642000 World Championship Event * 31st WSOP
165How It Happened
167Chris Ferguson - Interview: "A Champ Who Waltzes in Three Worlds" - by Dana Smith
1722001 World Championship Event * 32nd WSOP
173How It Happened; Highlights
1742002 World Championship Event * 33rd WSOP
175How It Happened; Highlights
1762003 World Championship Event * 34th WSOP
177How It Happened; Highlights
1782004 World Championship Event * 35th WSOP
179How It Happened; Highlights
1802005 World Championship Event * 36th WSOP
181How It Happened; Highlights
1822006 World Championship Event * 37th WSOP
183How It Happened; Highlights
1842007 World Championship Event * 38th WSOP
185How It Happened; Highlights
1862008 World Championship Event * 39th WSOP
187How It Happened; Highlights
189The Poker Hall of Fame
197Photographic Credits
199Index of Players and Personalities
205About the Authors
207Gallery of Champions

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Championship Table is a great companion book to All In. It complements the older book's biggest weaknesses with excellent organization. Every World Series of Poker Main Event gets its own chapter with the same basic structure. The final players are listed in seat order, usually with their chip stacks at the start of the final table. A separate chart lists the order of finish with prize money. The final hand is described in the text with the hole and board cards displayed graphically. Brief highlights of the entire WSOP are usually given.

While Championship Table doesn't include nearly as many stories as All In, thirteen of its chapters include an interview or a conversation with the winner or the runner-up or, in one case, a Ladies World Champion.

These dialogues with Smith, even though they date from 1996 to 2001, are the best part of the book. The nine interviews are:

while the four conversations are with Dewey Tomko, Erik Seidel, Hans "Tuna" Lund, and John Strzemp. Features on two of the first champions to pass away, Johnny Moss and Stu Ungar, also appear.

The book presents numerous photos throughout, with at least one of every champion. Although these pictures are black and white, they include over a dozen excellent group shots dating back to 1974. The "Gallery of Champions" with every Main Event winner in chronological order is the final page of the book, but a better, color version without text adorns the front cover.

Like All In, Championship Table could use a sequel or an update, as it only covers through 2008, but of the two, it's the book you'll turn to first if you want to look something up about the first three decades of the WSOP.

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