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1974 World Series of Poker

The fifth annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) was held in May of 1974 at Binnion’s Horseshoe. There were 16 entrants to the main event, and each participant paid $10,000 to enter the tournament.

The event was very similar to the WSOP of the past year. The buy-in for the championship round was $10,000 in each year and the preliminary tournaments were essentially the same. These included the Five-Card-Stud, the Seven-Card Razz, the Seven-Card Stud, the No Limit Hold’em, and the Deuce to Seven Draw.

The 1974 WSOP saw an increase in the number of players in the main event for the third consecutive year. There were 16 players at the 1974 main event, up from 13 in 1973 and 8 in 1972 and 6 in 1971 (the first year the tournament featured a main event).

The tournament was eventually won by Johnny Moss. After winning the WSOP in each of the first two years of its existence, Moss became a three-time WSOP champion. To this day, he is one of only two poker players to win the WSOP three times.

Although the buy-in amount for the main event was the same as it was in 1973, the extra three participants added another $30,000 to the overall prize. As a result, Moss walked away with a $160,000 cash prize (up from $130,000 in 1973). It was a $130,000 increase from when he won the tournament in 1971.

Finishing second in the main event was poker pioneer Crandall Addington. The self-made millionaire played poker primarily for fun, and in 1969 he and some friends met in Reno, Nevada, for the first and only Texas Gamblers Convention. Addington won the event, and although the event was never held again, it was there that the idea for the World Series of Poker originated. For his contributions to the game of poker, Addington was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2005. His second place finish at the 1974 WSOP (along with his second place finish at the 78 WSOP) would be the closest Addington would ever get to winning the tournament.

Moss was not the only player to walk away from the 1974 WSOP as a winner. Moss finished second to Jimmy Casella in the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud, which won Casella a cash reward of $41,225. Casella took home another $25,000 by winning the $1,000 Seven Card Razz.

The other winners of the preliminary events include Bill Boyd, who won $40,000 in the $5,000 Five-Card Stud, Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston, who won $11,100 after finishing first in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em,, and Brian “Sailor” Roberts, who took home $35,850 after winning the $5,000 Deuce to Seven Draw.

Prior to the tournament, Benny Binnion, owner of Binnion’s Horseshoe, boasted in an interview about the growing success of the tournament. He mentioned that 13 people participated in the WSOP in 1973 and that they were planning on having 20 in 1974. Although his lofty goal was not quite met, the small increase was still a positive sign. Participation continued to increase, peaking in 2006 when 8,773 poker players entered the tournament.

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Poker, Sports & Recreation | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment