Posts Tagged ‘Benny Binion’

Give Harrah’s Some Credit

Corporate poker giants have been good stewards of the game

by , Jun 26, 2011 | 2:50 am

Johnny Hughes


OP-ED

At the World Series of Poker, they announce the event and coveted bracelet winners and then play the national anthem of the country they come from. Play stops at all the cash games and the players stand and remove their hats. When an American won, my table stood with their hands over their hearts and sang. I looked out over that vast sea of poker players and was overcome by emotion. The song always gives me tingles but there was also a love and astonishment at how wonderful the playing conditions have become for this sport. Yes, it is a sport.

The players’ manners are terrific today compared to the past. Johnny Moss was known for being abusive to dealers. Puggy Pearson was worse. He pissed on one once. Another Hall of Famer, Joe Bernstein, bit a dealer.

I cannot sing enough praise for the poker management of Harrah’s. I had long conversations with Bill Sattler, Director of Poker, and aslo Jake Reville, Cathy Klufer, and Carrie Jacobs. For twenty years, I taught management subjects at Texas Tech. The magnificent professionalism of Harrah’s management makes me wish I could go lecture on how great they are. I played in the cheap no limit where you only buy $300. I’ve never lost at the Rio, but only played there seven times. I’m not trying to beat the best in the world anymore. I’m too old.

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Revising Poker History

by , Apr 2, 2010 | 5:21 pm

Check it out … Pokerati gold-star commenter Johnny Hughes has a great story in Bluff Europe: When the Most Famous Gambler in the World was a Shill.

In it, he directly challenges Michael Craig and Jim McManus for their takes on legendary gambler Nick the Greek Dandolos, and much of the Chicago-Tex-Vegas history between him, Johnny Moss, and Benny Binion.

I have no idea who’s right … it’s all just old-school mob-time poker to me. My take on Johnny is that he’s a solid writer with proper respect for good storytelling, the game of poker, and historical narrative. He also can end up sometimes way off in left field, like any good Texas senior should.

I actually re-read the story upon noticing the publish date of April 1. But then, after re-re-reading, I found myself second-guessing my second-guessing, which i guess is the whole point of the piece.


Even Statues Sometimes Move

by , Jul 7, 2008 | 8:05 am

If you don’t think poker is in a transitional time, you’re stupid you should. A sign of this old-timer era being put out to pasture went virtually overlooked at the start of this WSOP or maybe a little before it — I’m not sure and not even the RJ (Las Vegas Review-Journal to you tourists) covered the actual move … but anyhow, yes, in case you didn’t notice, the famous Benny Binion statue has been relocated … from Fremont street downtown to right in front of the escalators at the new equestrian center at South Point Casino:

Seriously, can you believe no one covered this?

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