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Legendary Tales: Amarillo Slim and His Gambling Journey

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When we think we have seen it all in the poker world, we get shocked again by another talent. We have weighed practically every talent, and Amarillo Slim seems unmatched. He’s not just a poker god but is also described as the “greatest gambler of all time.”

This title isn’t some forged analysis. He reflects some of the best stats in the gambling world. Golf courses, jail cells, poker games, pool halls, and rivers, Amarillo Slim, is the name that rings a bell. Slim’s historic display occurred in 1972 when he immersed fans’ delight with his Pai Gow poker strategy and skills. In this casino news, we’ll examine everything that brought this gambling legend to the limelight.

The Rise of Amarillo Slim: A Poker Prodigy’s Journey

Amarillo Slim, whose original name was Thomas Austin Preston Jr, was born on December 31st, 1928.  He grew up in Turkey, Texas, where he stayed with his dad in Amarillo after their divorce. Early enough, Slim embraced a life of risk in the hustling pool and later ventured into card casino games and sports betting.  In the betting and gaming scene, he goes by the moniker Amarillo Slim. He emphasized that it sounded far better than alternatives tied to his birthplace, like Turkey Tom or Arkansas Austin.

Graduating early from Amarillo High School with a stint in the US Navy, Amarillo Slim’s journey made gambling his forte. His reputation extended beyond Pai Gow Poker Game tables; he earned the title “the World’s Greatest Gambler.” This recognition resulted from his knack for winning substantial amounts through inventive prop bets, showcasing his versatility in gambling.

During the 1960s, Slim sought thrilling gambling experiences. In this adventure, he discovered poker companions Doyle Brunson and Crandell Addington. Together, they played a crucial role in introducing Texas Hold’em to Las Vegas. Their partnership extended beyond the game; they shared a bankroll and ensured each other’s safety.

In 1972, Amarillo Slim reached the pinnacle of poker prowess by winning the inaugural $10,000 buy-in WSOP Main Event. This victory marked the beginning of an impressive career. Slim founded Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker (1979-1991), rivaling the WSOP. Here, players trusted their poker hands guide to win against pros.

Amarillo Slim: A Walk Through His Prop Bets

Amarillo Slim was known for clever prop bets. He famously challenged tennis champion Bobby Riggs to a table tennis match, providing a twist by using frying pans as rackets, ultimately defeating the Wimbledon champion. This stunt mirrored his early hustling days when he beat pool player Minnesota Fats by sinking balls with a broom. Slim’s choice of name contrasted with his rival’s name, “Fats.”

Amarillo Slim’s Unforgettable Moments in Poker

As earlier stated, Amarillo Slim kicked off his poker career in style by clinching the 1972 WSOP Main Event, marking the first $10,000 buy-in. This victory earned him an $80,000 winner-take-all prize. Adding to his triumphs, he secured three more WSOP bracelets in 1974, 1985, and 1990, amassing over $225,000 in winnings with lots of bluffing with low cards, and strong betting techniques when having good hands like a flush. Notably, his 1990 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha victory yielded his largest single live tournament cash—$142,000. (If you want to know what is a flush in poker, make sure to follow our casino guides to learn this, and more).

Beyond the poker table, Amarillo was known for his friendship with WSOP founder Benny Binion; he inherited Binion’s horse after passing in 1989. Amarillo appeared on popular talk shows like The Tonight Show and 60 Minutes, revealing a $190,000 loss on I’ve Got a Secret. He hosted the Annual Poker Classic, later known as Amarillo Slim’s Superbowl of Poker. With 12 WSOP cashes, including four victories, Amarillo Slim left an indelible mark on poker, showcasing triumphs and setbacks, including being bested to a second-place finish against 10-time WSOP Phil Ivey in 2000.

Slim’s Troubled Days

In 2003, Slim faced charges of indecency, later reduced to misdemeanor assault in a plea deal to protect his family. In 2006, he survived an armed robbery attempt, followed by a gunpoint robbery in 2007 and a beating in 2009 while collecting a gambling debt. On April 29, 2012, Amarillo Slim bid farewell at the age of 83, leaving behind a legacy as a gambling demigod.

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, Amarillo Slim is a legendary gambler who’s left an indelible mark on poker and the gambling world, blending skill with charisma. If you intend to make a mark in poker and learn all sorts of strategies and terms, like what is a 3 bet in poker, or how to play your hands better, get started by playing at the best online casino.

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