This Week in Poker History March 3rd – 9th

Online Poker History March 3

You’ll have quite the mixture of interesting stories to read through this week as I’ll be touching on a bit of everything, from poker’s foremost whistleblower trying to cash in on his allegations in the form of a book – dubbed THE BEST POKER BOOK EVER, dun, dun, dun – to some impressive tournament results from a bygone era by pair of Poker Hall of Famers.

In This Week in Poker History we’ll bring you those stories plus a whole lot more from poker’s past.

March 6-10, 1989: Eric Drache makes a run for the ages

In 1989 some of the biggest names in poker followed the larger than life Amarillo Slim Preston halfway around the world to Marrakech for the Golden Oasis Tournament Series. You may vaguely remember this tournament series as it played a prominent role in Anthony Holden’s classic poker treatise, Big Deal.

But what Holden didn’t detail in between his numerous Amarillo Slim stories was one particular player’s epic run during the preliminary events of that tournament series, 2012 Poker Hall of Fame inductee Eric Drache.

Now either Eric Drache was the only entrant in four events, or the Hendon Mob’s database is misinformed (which sometimes happens from these older tournament series), or the Poker Hall of Famer went on the run of his life when he won three straight, and four out of five events in the tournament series!

March 3, 1991: Stuey takes down the Four Queens Main Event

The 1991 $5,000 buy-in Four Queens Main Event was the seventh biggest cash of his career but few people remember anything outside of Stu Ungar’s three World Series of Poker Main Event wins, with maybe a handful of poker enthusiasts recalling Stuey’s three Super Bowl of Poker victories as well.

This victory was one of Stuey’s 10 wins in tournaments with buy-ins over $5,000, a pretty impressive number regardless of the era, but made all the more impressive when you consider Stuey entered only 30 such tournaments!

March 4, 2002: Russ Georgiev’s “crusade” to expose everyone

If you were around in the poker world during the onset of online poker there was perhaps no bigger forum troll than Russ Georgiev.

Georgiev, a former poker player (many players have attested to Russ being a solid high-stakes card player) and admitted cheat spent most of his days on the Rec.Gambling.Poker forums trying to ruin the name of every professional poker player in existence and trying to pass himself off as an expert on all things cheating.

In the early 2000’s Mike Caro was exploring the topic and met with Georgiev and several other former cheats for an interview. Things took the proverbial turn for the worse when Georgiev and company filmed the interview and tried to use it as proof for high-level cheating in poker, and did an excellent job of boxing Caro in with the videotape.

The entire story is fascinating (unfortunately you can’t link to Google groups, the link comes up as broken, but you can Google “Best Poker Book Ever by GCA” to find the thread).

And while Russ has received a little redemption after the numerous online poker scandals that have occurred, he unfortunately didn’t live long enough to return with an assault of “I told you so’s!” and new cheating allegations, having passed away in 2009.

Russ was a controversial figure back in the day, and even I will admit that he was more right than a lot of us gave him credit for –but he was still wrong on a lot of things too.

Also from the archives…

Two Full Tilt Poker founders found success on the World Poker Tour almost to the day back in 2003 and 2004. Looking back at it now, these wins probably helped fund Full Tilt Poker.

March 5 and 7, 2007: PPA story in the NY Times and Negreanu’s response

Just after UIGEA passage the poker world was in a state of shock and tumult, and criticism of the game and the game’s practitioners were generally met with venom, as was the case when the NY Times published a scathing article about the Poker Players Alliance and poker in general, which caught the attention of Daniel Negreanu, who offered up a retort on his Full Contact Poker website.

Happy Birthday to…

  • Welsh poker pro Dave Colclough and Finland’s Juha Helppi were both born on March 4th.
  • 2007 WPT Borgata Poker Open Champion Roy Winston was born on March 5th. Winston finished 33rd in the WSOP Main Event in 2007 before somewhat falling off the poker radar.
  • One of the top female poker players in the game, Maria Ho, was born on March 6th.

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