Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts
Mixed Martial Arts

Search This Blog

UFC Betting and Prediction Information Site

Welcome to my blog which deals with mixed martial arts betting and preview with a detailed analysis on the world of MMA. This blogs covers anything relating to the UFC, Strikeforce, Dreams or any other MMA organization.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

And You Thought Poker Players Were Honest....

I had a conversation with Barry Greenstein today. Barry’s been very gracious with his time in answering questions for me on occasion over the last half-year. This time around, I left a message for him asking for some thoughts on Puggy Pearson. If you’re reading this blog, you probably know that Puggy passed away a few days ago.

Barry gave me a lot of information with permission to post it here. The most shocking revelation to come out of the conversation was that while Puggy was enormously proud of his 1973 World Championship, he should have won the previous year also.

The ’72 championship was down to three players; Pearson, who was more or less the king of the Vegas poker world, Doyle Brunson, then the usurper to Johnny Moss’ Texas throne, and Amarillo Slim, the aw shucks-con man/pool hustler/road gambler. Doyle and Puggy wanted no part of the title; it would prove to be a tax burden, and for Doyle, who comes from a Christian family, it would be seen as a dubious honor. An agreement was struck that saw Doyle drop out for his cut of the pot, while Puggy would ‘play out the final, agreeing to fold at opportune moments so Slim could take the title in front of the cameras.

Slim and Pearson started playing and good to his word, Pug folded the winning cards in key moments in order to throw the match. Slim, always a showman, celebrated his “bluffs” by turning his rags over and showing them off to the crowd, which didn’t sit too well. It was what came after Slim’s victory that really hurt.

Carrying the crown with him, Slim made the rounds, appearing on the Tonight Show and other mainstream outlets. The exposure gave organized poker its first major dose of public attention, and Slim got a lot of credit for that attention. Of course, Puggy realized that could have been him. He spent a good part of the rest of his life celebrating the Series, showing up in costume, regaling spectators with stories and even wallpapering his home with Series news clippings and the like.

In addition to his win, Pearson was Vegas’ dominant poker player at the turn of the seventies, the first non-Texan to take the championship and the possible creator of the freezeout. Wednesday, April 12th, 2006 will go down as a day on which poker lost one of its pioneers. R.I.P. Pug,