Poker Player: Stu Unger

by Ali on June 29th, 2013

The basic reason why Stu changed from gin to poker was that he was a tiny bit too skilled at it. So good in fact, that no player could equal him. Even the so-called champions who were meant to be the greatest at gin rummy were beat when they competed against Mr. Ungar. One such gin masters was Harry Stein, called, "Yonkie". Harry Stein was handed such a belittling defeat at the hands of Stu Ungar that he allegedly stopped competing in it professionally and never resurfaced at a gin tournament.

Of course, with a image like that it was not very long before players became shy of gambling against Stu Ungar. He couldn’t find any matches and in his agony he started doing something no one had performed before. He began offering starting handicaps to potential adversaries with the hope that they might just compete with him if they thought they held an edge. He deliberately played from a negative position and one story has it that he even played with a regular bad egg. During the game, he received a few words of wisdom that the absconder was at it again but mr. ungar guaranteed that he was aware of the cheating and he would still actually win, which of course, he did.

The same trend followed Stu Ungar into Las Vegas. He won so often that the casinos started asking him not to bet on their poker rooms anymore. The reason for it was that other casino clientele refused to be seated at the table if Stu was seated.

Stu Ungar is recalled better for his achievements in texas holdem poker but he himself always insisted that he was far more accomplished at gin rummy.

He beat Doyle Brunson in the WSOP in 1980 to become the youngest world champion. Because of his features that made him appear far younger than he was, he was nicknamed, "The Kid".

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