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Stu Ungar

The primary reason why Stu Ungar changed from gin to poker was that he was a little too good at it. So skilled was he, that no one possibly could stand up to him. Even the apparently champions who were meant to be the greatest at gin were defeated when they played against Stu. One such gin rummy player was Harry Stein, nicknamed, "Yonkie". Harry suffered such a belittling defeat at the hands of Stu Ungar that he apparently quit playing it as a pro and never showed up at a gin tournament.

Certainly, with a honor like that it wasn’t long before everyone became afraid of playing against stu. He could find no matches and in his agony he began doing something no one had done prior. He began offering starting handicaps to potential opposing players in the hope that they might compete with him if they thought they held an edge. He deliberately played from a disadvantageous arrangement and one story has it that he even played against a consistent bad egg. Amid the contest, he received warnings that the absconder was at it again but stu assured that he deduced of the chicanery and he would still acquire a win, which of course, he did.

The same trend followed Stu Ungar into sin city. He won so much that the poker rooms started requesting that he not to gamble on their poker rooms anymore. The reason for it was that other poker room players refused to sit at the table if he were seated.

Stu Ungar is remembered more for his accomplishments in texas holdem poker but he always maintained that he was considerably better at gin rummy.

He beat Doyle Brunson in the WSOP in 1980 and became the youngest world camp. Due to his looks that made him seem far younger than he was, he got the nickname, "The Kid".


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