World Series of Poker: How World Series of Poker begun

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World Series of Poker: How World Series of Poker begun

Though the World Series of Poker made its official debut in 1970, the idea of the Horseshoe’s annual tournament was actually conceived more than two decades
earlier.

In the summer of 1949, as the story goes, inveterate gambler Nicholas “Nick the Greek” Dandolos approached Benny Binion with an unusual request – to challenge the best in a high-stakes poker marathon. Binion agreed to set up a match between Dandolos and the legendary Johnny Moss, with the stipulation that the game would be played in public view.

During the course of the marathon, which lasted five months with breaks only for sleep, the two men played every form of poker imaginable. Moss ultimately won “the biggest game in town” and an estimated $2 million. When the Greek lost his last pot, he arose from his chair, bowed slightly, and uttered the now-famous words, ” Mr. Moss, I have to let you go.” Dandolos then went upstairs to bed.

Though significant in its own way as a chapter in poker history, the five-month marathon took on added importance to Benny Binion. It wasn’t...

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