Home Poker Poker Prodigy Series – Johnny Moss

Poker Prodigy Series – Johnny Moss

by Craig Edwards
0 comment
Johnny Moss

This week’s Poker Prodigy feature is Johnny Moss, “The Grandfather of Poker”.

Known by his peers to be the first poker prodigy, Johnny Moss was born in 1907 and nicknamed “The Grandfather of Poker”. 

How It All Began for Johnny Moss

The tales of Moss’s legendary life in gambling date back to his days as a young boy when he was taught the vagaries of wagering at an early age. Being around cardsharps, his sharp brain was able to spot cheating, meaning Moss was hired by his local gambling saloon to watch over the games to make sure they were played fairly.

This enabled Moss to further learn to play poker to a high level, and a couple of years later with this unusual education behind him, Moss felt ready to go on the road as a “rounder” finding the gambling hot spots around America.

The Oil Boom of The 1950s

Hailing from Marshall in Texas, fate was shining down on Moss, who was in the right place at the right time when the Oil Boom of the 1950s hit the State. On seeing the high stakes action, the period created at the gaming tables of Odessa, Moss quickly based himself there and became a mainstay at the biggest games from dusk till dawn.

The Benny Binnions Days at the Horseshoe

In the old Mob days of Las Vegas, Benny Binnion ran the biggest games in town, and there was none bigger than Johnny Moss’ five-month marathon dual with “Nick the Greek” that netted him a cool profit of what was said between two and four million dollars in 1949.

Remarkably, details later emerged of how the illegal game took place in 1949 despite the Horseshoe Casino seemingly not opening their trading doors until 1951. The stories are legendary, with Binnion facing extradition to Texas where he faced racketeering charges, and it wasn’t until 1952 that Binnion legally owned the Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas, which has become synonymous in poker folklore and the World Series of Poker.

After this period there was no real way of recognising that Johnny Moss was the greatest poker player of the time, so for the inaugural World Series of Poker Championship he was voted to be the winner by his peers and so the WSOP was founded.

World Series of Poker Achievements

To cap his amazing poker career and cement his legacy at the top of the game, Johnny Moss went on to have a prolific World Series of Poker (WSOP) career with nine bracelets after winning his first at the age of sixty-two in 1970.

WSOP Bracelets

  • 1970 – World Series of Poker Championship (voted by peers)
  • 1971 – Limit Ace to 5 Draw
  • 1971 – No Limit Hold’em World Championship
  • 1974 – No Limit Hold’em World Championship
  • 1975 – Seven Card Stud
  • 1976 – Seven Card Stud
  • 1979 – Seven Card Stud
  • 1981 – Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
  • 1988 – Ace to 5 Draw

Amazingly, Johnny Moss’ final WSOP bracelet came in 1988 at the age of eighty.

Johnny Moss – the Legacy

Rightly known as the “Grandfather of Poker” Johnny Moss’s legacy is set in stone from those early days of gambling and hustling around the country and in his home state of Texas when he accumulated a bankroll from the high-rolling gambling days of the Oil Boom in the 1950s.

Remarkably, his heads-up match with “Nick the Greek” is poker folklore and if the details of those illegal gambling days in Las Vegas in Benny Binnion’s biggest games are shrouded in mystery, there is no doubt they happened. Effectively, Johnny Moss launched the inaugural World Series of Poker in 1970 which he won without competing as he was voted to be the winner and the best card player of the time by his peers.

His remarkable career in poker and gambling was bookended by a remarkable World Series of Poker career that saw him accumulate nine bracelets with his final one at the grand old age of eighty. As Doyle Brunson liked to say, Johnny Moss was the Mount Rushmore of Poker Players to the gambling community and there can be no greater praise than that from the “Godfather of Poker”.

Johnny Moss passed away in 1995 at the age of eighty-eight, and his legacy in poker will be cemented in the history of the game for decades to come.

author avatar
Craig Edwards
Craig Edwards, an online tipster in golf and snooker for over four years, boasts a track record of 7800 bets with a 28% return on investment. A snooker professional from 1988 to 1996, he was once a single-figure handicap golfer. Achieving the 282nd position in the WSOP MAIN EVENT in 2007, Craig possesses a unique insight into the psychological shifts of professional sportsmen, anticipating their mindset week by week.

You may also like

JoeWager is your leading source for trending topics relevant to offshore gamblers, including betting resources, sports & casino guides, entertainment topics, politics and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest Articles

Copyright 2023 – All Right Reserved.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More