Stu Unger: Poker Player

The primary reason why Stu switched from gin rummy to poker was that Stu was a tiny bit too good at it. So skilled in fact, that no player was able stand up to him. Even the so-called professionals who were meant to be the most favorable at gin were beat when they faced Mr. Ungar. One of these gin rummy masters was Harry Stein, called, "Yonkie". Mr. Stein was handed such a debilitating defeat at the hands of stu that he evidently quit participating in it as a pro and never resurfaced at a gin tournament.

Of course, with a distinction like that it was not too long before players became weary of wagering against Stu Ungar. He could find no games and in his boredom he began doing something no one had attempted prior. Stu issued beginning handicaps to potential opponents in the hope that they might compete opposed to him if they believed they had an edge. He deliberately began from a disadvantageous position and one tale has it that he even competed with a consistent cheater. During the game, he received a few words of wisdom that the cheater was at it yet again but Stu Ungar stated that he knew of the cheating and he would still win, which of course, he did.

The same trend followed Stu Ungar into Las Vegas. He won so much that the casinos began asking him not to compete on their respective premises anymore. The reason was that other poker room clients would not sit at the poker table if he were seated.

Stu Ungar is recalled better for his accomplishments in hold’em poker but he always maintained that he was much better at gin rummy.

He defeated Doyle Brunson in the World Series of Poker in 1980 and became the youngest world champion. Because of his features that made him seem far younger than he was, he was nicknamed, "The Kid".

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