WSOP Poker Legends, Johnny Moss

Like Benny Binion, Johnny Moss learnt his trade when poker and gambling were the favoured pursuits of bookmakers, bootleggers and bandits and on more than one occasion he was robbed of his winnings, which in those days were bankrolls of  notes, often in denominations of five hundred and thousand dollar bills!

‘The Grand Old Man of Poker’ is one of the undeniable legends of the WSOP – he won the Main Event three times, supported every single WSOP until his death in 1995 and is placed fourth on the list of overall bracelet winners, behind Johnny Chan, Doyle Brunson and Phil Hellmuth.

Moss’ well publicised image in golf cap, cardigan jersey and Buddy Holly glasses will arguably remain synonymous with the World Series of Poker until the end of time, and he has set a benchmark for other aging poker professional – he won his final WSOP bracelet at the ripe old age of 81!

Inveterate Gambler

Moss had gambling in his blood and he would wager money on virtually anything. As a youngster he learnt some invaluable lessons on how to cheat and soon took to the road following the scent of filthy lucre. He won millions of dollars at poker, bridge, golf and bowling but lost millions at shooting dice, betting on sports and the ponies.

In the early days of his expanding gambling career Moss would be found wearing baggy, pleated dark pants and this was to disguise the fact that he was always carrying a gun. As his winnings grew, so too did his reputation. He was possibly one of the most feared opponents at the tables and an acquaintance, Johnny Hughes, remembers him for his poker face and unreadable eyes “His eyes were piercing, all-knowing, fearless, scary, bemused, cold, predatory and conceited. It appeared as if he could see right through you and the back of your cards”.

Johnny’s WSOP Coups

  1. 1970 – World Series of Poker Championship – N/A
  2. 1971 – $5000 No Limit Holdem World Championship – $30 000
  3. 1971 – Limit Ace to 5 Draw – $10 000
  4. 1974 – $10 000 No Limit Holdem World Championship – $160 000
  5. 1975 – $1000 Seven Card Stud – $44 000
  6. 1976 – $500 Seven Card Stud – $13 000
  7. 1979 – $5000 Seven Card Stud – $48 000
  8. 1981 – $1000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo – $33 500
  9. 1988 – $1500 Ace to 5 Draw – $116 400