3 Examples of Real Poker Champions

Joseph Cada, from Shelby Charter Township, Michigan, is best known as the winner of the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event, and is the most recent addition to the poker champions Hall of Fame. Cada started playing online poker at about the age of 16.

Cada’s November 2009 victory, which occurred just a week before his 22nd birthday, made him the youngest ever WSOP Main Event champion, a record previously held by Peter Eastgate, who won at the age of 22.

But Cada is a relative newcomer to the game. Here are some real poker legends who have made history through the ages:

Poker Champions Who Made History in Poker

Johnny Moss

Moss is a gambling star who won the first ever World Series of Poker championship in 1970, and played at every single WSOP tournament until his death in 1995. He also won the Main Event titles in 1971 and 1974, and was one of the charter inductees to the Poker Hall of Fame in 1979. The Texas Hold-em starting Ace-Ten is named the “Johnny Moss” in his honor. Moss knew how to beat out other poker champions and how to win at poker – during his career he won nine WSOP bracelets and $825,000 in tournament play.

Moss quit his last regular job as a truck driver in 1928 and promptly lost his entire savings – $35 – playing poker. He had saved the money to pay for a doctor to deliver his wife Virgie’s first baby, and he really needed to win at poker that day. Instead, he had to hire a midwife and assist in the delivery himself. After that Johnny did considerably more winning than losing, giving most of his profits to Virgie, who invested them primarily in real estate.

Amarillo “Slim” Preston

Amarillo Slim, born Thomas Austin Preston Jr. in 1928, is a professional gambler, famous for his poker skills and proposition bets. Preston was a rounder before he became a well-known competition player, doing a tour of the United States looking for action together with other gambling stars Doyle Brunson and Sailor Roberts. He appeared on a number of talk shows, including The Tonight Show, following his WSOP victory in 1972, and had a bit part in the 1974 Robert Altman movie California Split.

Phil Hellmuth

Phillip Jerome Hellmuth Jr. is an American professional poker player, best-known for holding a record 11 WSOP bracelets. Hellmuth also holds the record for most WSOP cashes and most WSOP final tables, he simply dwarfs many other poker champions. He has also made his mark on the World Poker Tour (WPT) tournament – although he has not won the event, he has cashed 11 times and made three final tables so far.

Like these men, players who become poker champions at the WSOP or the WPT often go on to have very successful poker careers. Other Main Event winners such as Huck Seed, Scotty Nguyen, Chris Ferguson, Juan Carlos Mortensen, Greg Raymar and Joe Hachem all know how to win at poker and have had some degree of success following their victories over the last 10-15 years.