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Story behind WSOP

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  • Story behind WSOP

    I know that there are a lot of young people who are members of PSO, and I want to encourage all of them to learn the story of Benny Binion and his family. Benny, and some of his poker playing friends, started what we now know as the World Series of Poker. Some believe, and I am one of them, that the WSOP contributed to poker as we know it today.

    But beyond that, the story of the Binion family is one which will be of interest to many. It is a story which involves some of the early pro poker players (known as road gamblers), the early years of Las Vegas, as well as the tradgedy of murder. There were some pople who thought Benny himself had killed a man, and that he moved to Las Vegas because of that.

    Benny's son, Jack, more or less ran the casino while his father spent more and more time at his ranch. Jack was very helpful to the pro poker players in many ways, including loaning money to them. Jack liked poker, and he saw just what the WSOP could become. He played a big part in making the WSOP what is is today. After his father had died, and after the murder of his brother, troubles within the family caused Jack to sell his share of the business. The ownership of the casino in Las Vegas had marked a change. A change which may become important to all poker players in the years to come. At this time, there is a Horseshoe casino in Las Vegas, one in Shreveport, Louisiana, and the one in Tunica, Mississippi. The ownership of each is not the same.

    Benny and his wife had a favorite booth in their downstairs cafe, and the staff would see to it that other customers were not seated in that booth. His wife often stayed in that booth for hours. When I was younger, I saw the two of them there together. No, I never met him or his wife, but I did meet his sons. Later, I did have the opportunity to play in some ring games and tournaments with Johnny Moss, Bill Smith, Amarillo Slim, and others including some of today's well known tournament players such as T. J. Cloutier, Johnny Chan, and Bonnetti.

    It seems to me that Benny Binion deserves a place of honor in the history of poker, and I would urge all of the younger poker players to learn more about him, his family, and his friends.

  • #2
    just in case you missed it....Benny Binion has a place of honor in the "The Poker Hall of Fame". he was selected for the hall of fame in 1986, and enshrined in 1990. he was the catalist for the WSOP, as we know it today.

    a little trivia....
    Felton "Corky" McCorquodale (another hall of famer) introduced the game of hold 'em to Las Vegas in 1963.

    Time is the fire we all burn in


    • #3
      Dont forget about Jack's Horseshoe in Hammond, IN.

      Since Jack sold out to sister Becky....I think the WSOP is about the only thing that has kept her Horseshoe alive. She has run the place down until its a shell of its former self. Luckily I was able to see the Shoe before she sold off the best parts. If she keeps it up we'll all be able to buy a piece of the Horseshoe on Ebay......brick by brick.