If you don’t at least recognize this family name, you must be new to poker. Whatever the case, Benny Binion was on of Las Vegas’s main players and legends. He started out by running an illegal boot legging and gambling ring in Dallas Texas, in the 30s when gambling was big time, but illegal. He moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1946 – leaving behind a mysterious murder rap (as far as gossip goes anyway). Whether or not he left Texas to avoid the murder rap or not, this man gave Vegas a shot in the butt.
After arriving in Vegas, he bought he run down Eldorado Casino and swiftly renamed it Binion’s Horseshoe. Soon after, the casino became the most popular gambling places in all of Vegas. Many of you may know Binion’s to be a gamblers casino – meaning it wasn’t geared towards recreational travelers or vacationers as some of the other casinos were at the time. The Horseshoe was for locals and serious players.
For more than 40 years, Benny Binion posted an offer that no other casino really stood up to. In his casino, he would accept a bet of any amount – no limit. So many pro players have bet suitcases full of money on one bet at a craps table. Benny’s tonic was clearly poker.
He started the WSOP at his casino, and to this day, the casino is still involved with the biggest event in poker playing. While the event’s popularity demands a much bigger venue these days, Binion’s Horseshoe still hosts part of the event each year.
Benny Binion died in 1989. may of you already know that his family has taken to the casino industry and still runs the playamo casino today.
Straight out of Texas, Texas Dolly – to many, was born in Longworth, Texas (Western) in 1933. This man was a very good athlete before he became a poker playing legend. He was even awarded a full scholarship to play basketball at Hardin-Simmons University before an injury side lined him just before the NBA draft. He went to school and received a degree in education. He also toured the underground poker circuit in the South like many other great players did at the time. WInning tons of cash while playing illegally. He was said to have been robbed of his money many times, too.
He went on to win back to back world poker championships in 1976 and 1977. He even came in a respectable second place in 1980. In total, He has won 6 WSOP events – the last in 1998.
In 1999, he defied all the odds by making the final table at the very first Tournament of Champions, beating out some 500 other players. He has written poker books and made many contributions to the furthering of poker. He lives in Vegas today and even plays every day he can – look for him at the Bellagio.