In the summer of 1949, as the story goes, inveterate gambler Nicholas “Nick the Greek” Dandolos approached Benny Binion with an unusual request – to challengethe best in a high-stakes poker marathon. Binion agreed to set up a match between Dandolos and the legendary Johnny Moss, with the stipulation that the game would be played in public view.
During the course of the marathon, which lasted five months with breaks only for sleep, the two men played every form of poker imaginable. Moss ultimately won “the biggest game in town” and an estimated $2 million. When the Greek lost his last pot, he arose from his chair, bowed slightly, and uttered the now-famous words, ” Mr. Moss, I have to let you go.” Dandolos then went upstairs to bed.
Though significant in its own way as a chapter in poker history, the five-month marathon took on added importance to Benny Binion. It wasn’t until 1970 that Binion decided to re-create the excitement and stage a battle of poker giants – dubbed the “World Series Of Poker” – to determine who would be worthy of the title “World Champion.” Johnny Moss came out on top. The decision was democratic in that the champion of the World Series of Poker was decided by popular vote.
The following year, Moss again was declared the World Series of Poker Champion. In 1972, when Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston won the title and went on the talk-show circuit, the World Series of Poker began to gain a wider following.
It was only a year later that Binion participated in the Oral History Project at the University of Nevada-Reno and discussed the World Series of Poker with interviewer Mary Ellen Glass. “This poker game here gets us a lot of attention,” he told Glass. “We had seven players last year, and this year we had 13. I look to have better than 20 next year. It’s even liable to get up to be 50, might get up to be more than that.” Binion then paused, and as if gazing into the future, prophesied, “It will eventually.”
In the early 1980s, Binion’s prophesy came to fruition and the popularity of theWorld Series of Poker soared.
Today, the legacy Benny Binion left the poker community ranks as the oldest, most prestigious, and most media-hyped gaming in the world. The World Series of Poker has touched thousands of lives over the years.
Five world series of poker rules
1. Hold ’em-Each player is first dealt two cards down.-A round of betting occurs as players decide for the first time if they are in or they’re out.-Then five community cards follow with betting after the flop, the turn, and the river.-In the end, the best five card combination wins the hand and takes the pot.
2. Omaha -Instead of being dealt two cards, each player recives four down cards.-A round of betting occurs as players decide for the first time if they are in or they’re out.-Then five community cards follow with betting after the flop, the turn, and the river.-Those still in reveal their cards. But here’s the catch… A player must use two and only two of their down cards along with three of the community cards. And asalways, the best five card hand wins the pot.
3. Seven card stud -Each player is dealt three cards. The first two are down and the third is up for everyone to see.-Players must then decide for the first time whether they’re in, or out.-The next three cards are all dealt face up, with more rounds of betting after each card. -The seventh and final card is dealt face down.-After one last round of betting, players still in will reveal what they have. As always, the best five card hand wins the hand and takes the pot.