was a renowned professional poker
Smith was a staple at the World Series of Poker
during the 1980s. He was involved in three final tables of the main event. At the 1981
WSOP he placed 5th, but at the 1985 World Series of Poker
he won the bracelet
, and $700,000. His total tournament winnings exceeded $1,000,000.
He died in 1997.
Smith would often play professional poker tournaments drunk. By all accounts, he was an alcoholic
According to fellow poker player T.J. Cloutier
, Smith did not play well when he was sober and when he was totally drunk. “Bill was the tightest player you'd ever played in your life when he was sober. And when he was halfway drunk, he was the best player I'd ever played with. No one could read opponents’ hands better than half- drunk Smith. But when he got past that halfway mark, he was the worst player I'd ever played with.”
The year he won the main event, he entered the final day's play sober and just sat there while he warmed up. After he started drinking he accumulated a huge pile of chips by well-timed aggressive play. He had so many chips once he was totally drunk that good luck got him through to the finish line.