Category Archives: Biographies

Legends of the Game: Johnny Moss

Johnny Moss is regarded as one of the all time greats of the game and the first mainstream poker player in the world. He was born in Marshall, Texas in 1907 and moved to Dallas. His gambling days began as a teenager when Moss was hired by a saloon to watch over poker games to make sure they were being played fairly. He took this opportunity to learn the strategies of the game. It wasn’t too long after this Moss became a poker fanatic, looking for any games he could find. Moss became a superb no limit hold ’em player and 7-card stud specialist, the game he won most of his WSOP bracelets.

Legends of the Game; Tom McEvoy

Thomas K. McEvoy was born on November 14, 1944 in Grand Rapids, MI. He learned to play poker at the age of 5 and played so often he would regularly get in trouble throughout elementary school for his habit. McEvoy began his work career as an accountant, playing poker on the side. After being laid off from his job, he decided to make poker his life and started playing full time.

McEvoy’s first major tournament cash was at the 1982 WSOP where he placed 6th at the $1,000 Razz Event. The following year would prove to be his best showing at the WSOP in his career. He won his first bracelet at the $1,000 Limit Hold ’em event defeating Irish poker pro, Donnacha O’dea. He also was the Main Event champion that year. He finally defeated Rod Peate to secure the 1983 World Championship in what was the longest heads-up match in WSOP history. The record would last 22 years until it was broken by the $50,000 H.O.R.S.E. event in 2006 by Chip Reese and Andy Bloch. McEvoy’s main event victory was the first time anyone had won the title by qualifying previously through a satellite event. Since his two wins in 1983, McEvoy would go on to win two more bracelets. The 3rd of his 4 WSOP bracelets came in 1986 when he bested Alma McClellend at the $1,000 Razz Event. Six years later he won his 4th bracelet defeating 1986 Main Event champion, Berry Johnston at the $1,500 Limit Omaha Event. However, since his 1983 win McEvoy has only cashed in one other main event, finishing 371st in 2006.

Legends of the Game – Stu “the kid” Ungar

by: Michael  Krisle – Senior Writer/Editor – AGP

Regarded as the greatest no-limit player of all time, Stu Ungar lived and breathed high stakes. Ungar was born on September 8, 1953. He was raised by Jewish parents in and around Manhattan. His father, Isadore Ungar, was a loan shark who ran a bar called Foxes Corner which doubled for a gambling venue. It was here that Stu began to gamble at an early age. Despite his father’s efforts to keep him away from the gambling scene, Stu began playing gin rummy with great success. His father passed away in 1966 and his mother fell ill soon after.

Ungar floated around Manhattan gambling scene for several years until he turned 18 and met organized crime figurehead, Victor Romano. Like Ungar, Romano was a gifted card player and odds calculator. The two became very close, with Romano serving as Ungar’s mentor and protector. The protection would come in handy throughout their relationship as Stu was a very abrasive and arrogant style of player. Ungar would openly call out bad play from others when he saw it. He always wanted to win and losing was not something he enjoyed. A famous quote from Ungar states, “Show me a good loser and I’ll just show you a loser.” He continued to make a name for himself in the gin rummy world by winning several tournaments where the pay out for winning was $10,000 or more. Ungar was seemingly unbeatable at gin rummy. He beat Harry “Yonkie” Stein 86 matches to zero. Stein was considered one of the greatest gin players of all time. After the defeat, Stein faded from the gin rummy scene and eventually quit playing professionally all together. Ungar moved to Las Vegas in 1977 and won several gin tournaments there as well. He won so often that casinos would ask him not to play in the tournaments because others would not play if Stu was in the tournament! It was after realizing he had no competition that Ungar made the switch to poker. Another famous quote from Ungar regarding his gin play, “Someday, I suppose it’s possible for someone to be a better no-limit player than me. I doubt it, but it could happen. But I swear to you, I don’t see how anyone could ever play gin better than me.”

Legends of the Game – “The Grand Old Man of Poker,” Johnny Moss

Johnny Moss is regarded as one of the all time greats of the game and the first mainstream poker player in the world. He was born in Marshall, Texas in 1907 and moved to Dallas. His gambling days began as a teenager when Moss was hired by a saloon to watch over poker games to make sure they were being played fairly. He took this opportunity to learn the strategies of the game. It wasn’t too long after this Moss became a poker fanatic, looking for any games he could find. Moss became a superb no limit hold ’em player and 7-card stud specialist, the game he won most of his WSOP bracelets.