Johnny Moss

Johnny Moss

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Johnny Moss

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Johnny Moss (May 14, 1907 &ndash; December 16, 1995)<sup></sup> was a gambler and professional poker player. He was the first winner of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, at the time a cash game event in which he was awarded the title by the vote of his peers in 1970, He also twice won the current tournament format of the WSOP Main Event in 1971 and 1974. He was one of the charter inductees into the Poker Hall of Fame.

Learning the game

Moss was born in Marshall, Texas in 1907 and grew up in Dallas, Texas where he learned how to gamble as a young boy. A group of cheaters taught him how to cheat in games, but Moss put this knowledge to good use. As a teenager he was hired by a local saloon to watch over games and make sure they were played fairly. While he was keeping games safe from cheaters, he was also learning the strategy behind playing poker. Two years later he became a rounder, a player who travels the country looking for gambling action.

Heads up with Nick The Greek

In 1949, Moss played with Nick the Greek in a five month long "heads up" poker marathon set up by Benny Binion, winning between $2 and $4 million. At the conclusion of the game, Nick the Greek uttered what has become one of the most famous poker quotes ever: "Mr. Moss, I have to let you go." This game is often cited as the inspiration behind the WSOP.<ref name = "espnhistory"...
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