01-21-07, LearnTexasHoldem:

1982 WSOP

1982 was a banner year for the World Series of Poker. Perhaps due to the fact that in the previous year (and all subsequent years), everyone at the final table got paid, perhaps due to the fact that an amateur won three years earlier, maybe because of the attention garnered by Stuey Ungar's unlikely repeat as champion, over 100 people signed up for the 1982 WSOP, the first time the century mark was surpassed. This meant a cool half million plus for the winner, a considerable sum even by today's standards.

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Star-studded Final Table

The men taking a shot at this coveted prize at the final table were an assortment of poker greats and poker hopefuls, including poker legend Doyle Brunson, his road gambling partner Sailor Roberts, former Kindergarten teacher Dewey Tomko, and dyed-in-the-wool gambler Jack "Treetop" Strauss.

The final match-up couldn't have had two more contrasting personalities. The teacher Tomko, a talented golfer as well as a gifted poker player, cool and understated, and Jack Strauss, a bear of a man who craved any kind of action he could get, and lots of it. As another poker legend, Puggy Pearson suggested, "He'd bet on a cockroach race."

A Chip and A Chair

Poker has a unique lingo to it, and if you've played for any amount of time, you've heard a lot of clichés that you wouldn't hear anywhere else, but as a poker player you know exactly what they mean: "That's poker!" "Some days you get the chicken and some days you get the feathers." "That's a bad beat." "With pocket aces you either win a small pot or lose a big one." "A chip and a chair."

The origin of this last one, "a chip and a chair" is credited to Jack "Treetop" Strauss, and had its genesis in the 1982 World Series of Poker. The expression essentially means that no matter how far you are down in a poker game, as long as you have one chip left, you can come back. It's usually said to encourage someone who has just taken a crippling beat, or by someone who had been on life support but with a little luck, has managed to amass a sizeable chip stack. This is just what Jack Strauss did in the 1982 WSOP. Earlier in the tournament, Jack pushed what he thought were all his chips into the middle. His opponent called and won the hand, and Jack prepared to leave. As he did so, he noticed one remaining $500 chip that had been obscured by a napkin. Some players, recognizing the futility of the situation, might have left anyway and abandoned the chip. Jack pushed it in on the next hand and won. He pushed again on the following hand and won. By the final day of the 1982 World Series Jack had used that one chip to collect all the chips at the table save those belonging to Dewey Tomko.

Ten on the River

Jack was on a mission, and he would collect those chips as well. On the final hand, Ad 4d heads up must have looked pretty good to Dewey Tomko, but the Ah Tc that Jack held looked equally inviting. Tomko must have been delighted to see a 4 turn up on the flop. He was undoubtedly equally crestfallen when a ten came on the river, allowing Jack Strauss to win a $520,000 payday and the 1982 WSOP with what had once been just a solitary $500 chip, and giving rise to the expression "a chip and a chair" to give hope to poker players down on their luck everywhere.

1982 WSOP Tournaments and Winners

EventWinnerPrizeEntrants
$10,000 Championship Event Jack Straus $520,000 104
$5,000 Limit 7-Card Stud David "Chip" Reese $92,500 N/A
$2,500 A-5 Draw Bill Baxter $48,750 N/A
$1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Ralph Morton $123,000 N/A
$10,000 2-7 Draw Bill Baxter $95,000 N/A
$1,000 7-Card Stud Split Tom Cress $44,000 N/A
$1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Jim Doman $96,000 N/A
$500 Women's 7-Card Stud June Field $16,000 N/A
$1,000 Razz Nick Helm $40,000 N/A
$800 Mixed Doubles Dani Kelly/David Sklansky $8,800 N/A
$1,000 No-Limit Hold'em John Paquette $101,000 N/A
$1,000 A-5 Draw Vera Richmond $38,500 N/A
$1,000 Draw High David Sklansky $15,500 N/A
$1,000 Limit 7-Card Stud Don Williams $56,000 N/A

WSOP Year By Year

2000's

1990's

1980's

1970's

2007 WSOP 1999 WSOP 1989 WSOP 1979 WSOP
2006 WSOP 1998 WSOP 1988 WSOP 1978 WSOP
2005 WSOP 1997 WSOP 1987 WSOP 1977 WSOP
2004 WSOP 1996 WSOP 1986 WSOP 1976 WSOP
2003 WSOP 1995 WSOP 1985 WSOP 1975 WSOP
2002 WSOP 1994 WSOP 1984 WSOP 1974 WSOP
2001 WSOP 1993 WSOP 1983 WSOP 1973 WSOP
2000 WSOP 1992 WSOP 1982 WSOP 1972 WSOP
  1991 WSOP 1981 WSOP 1971 WSOP
  1990 WSOP 1980 WSOP 1970 WSOP

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