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H.O.R.S.E.: The Player's Championship
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
|$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|