Stu Ungar

[ English ]

The primary reason why Mr. Ungar switched from gin to poker was that Stu was a little too skilled at it. So skilled was he, that no player could stand up to him. Even the so-called experts who were supposed to be the most favorable at gin rummy were blow away when they competed against Mr. Ungar. One such gin masters was Harry Stein, nicknamed, "Yonkie". Mr. Stein was handed such a belittling blow at the hands of Stu Ungar that he allegedly stopped playing it professionally and never showed up at a gin rummy tournament.

Certainly, with a notoriety like that it wasn’t too long before players became afraid of playing against stu. He couldn’t find any games and in his agony he started doing something no one had performed prior. He offered starting handicaps to potential competitors in the hope that they may compete against him if they thought they had an edge. He deliberately began from a bad position and one story has it that stu even played with a consistent cheater. Mid game, he received warnings that the cheater was at it yet again but stu assured that he deduced of the fraudulent activity and he would still acquire a win, which he did, of course.

The same problem followed Stu Ungar into Las Vegas. He won so often that the poker rooms began requesting that he not to compete on their rooms anymore. The reasoning behind it was that other casino clientele would not sit at the poker table if he were playing.

Stu Ungar is recollected more for his accomplishments in hold’em poker but he always said that he was far 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 looks that made him appear far younger than he really was, he got the nickname, "The Kid".

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