Johnny Moss

Johnny Moss (May 14, 1907 –December 16, 1995) is one of the legendary professional poker players of all time in the world of poker. He earned fame by winning world tournaments and also being formally inducted in the Poker Hall of Fame. Johnny Moss was known for being the first poker player to win the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. His winnings also include the current tournament format of World Series Poker Main Event in the year 1971 and 1974.  

Personal Life

The birthplace of the legendary poker player, Johnny Moss, is Marshall, Texas. But he grew up in Dallas where he became familiar with the intriguing card game poker which he later played passionately. How Moss learnt to play poker is quite interesting. He came in contact with a gang of cheaters who trained him to cheat in games. But Moss utilized the knowledge to get a job in a salon to look out for players who were cheating. He put this time in good use by learning poker strategies which later helped him to win tournaments. 


Moss won the World Series of Poker Main Events in 1970, 1971 and 1974. Because of his excellent poker skills and effective poker strategy, his peers elected him as the champion and conferred a silver cup as a symbol of ‘excellence’.  

Johnny Moss won nine World Series of Poker bracelets; the last one might have been one of his greatest achievements since he was over 70 years old at the time. Moss has won a total amount of $824,922 in WSOP tournament play. Johnny Moss gambled huge amounts of money.  On one hand he would win millions of dollars betting on his personal bowling and golf matches and on the other hand lose in millions on craps tables. Until his death in 1997, Johnny Moss lived in Las Vegas and regularly played at The Horseshoe. Doyle Brunson, who also was from Texas, always admired Moss. Johnny Moss participated in various tournaments and events. The year 1949 is considered as one of the historical moments in poker, which might have been the introduction to today's World Series of Poker. In a five month long  poker marathon arranged by Benny Binion, an American poker enthusiast and casino owner, Moss confronted Nick the Greek , earning somewhere between $2 and $4 million. After the game ended Nick was worn out and said to Johnny that "Mr. Moss, I have to let you go” which became the most popular quotes in the world of poker and also became inspiration for many to play in the WSOP.

Some feel that Johnny Moss would have won more World Championships without any difficulty if the WSoP had been started earlier. The Ace-Ten (starting poker hand) is named after Johnny Moss. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Johnny Moss was and will remain the ‘best player of all time’. 

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