Stu Ungar
February 25th, 2010 by Deacon
[ English ]

The primary basis for why Stu Ungar changed from gin rummy to poker was that he was a bit too skilled at it. So good was he, that no one could stand up to him. Even the so-called professionals who were supposed to be the most favorable at gin rummy were beat when they faced Stu Ungar. One of these gin rummy player was Harry Stein, nicknamed, "Yonkie". Harry was handed such a debilitating beating at the hands of Stu Ungar that he allegedly stopped competing in it professionally and never showed up at a gin tournament.

Accordingly, with a reputation like that it wasn’t very long before people became weary of playing against Stu Ungar. He couldn’t find any games and in his agony he started doing something no one had performed prior. Stu offered beginning handicaps to potential competitors in the hope that they might just compete with him if they believed they had an advantage. He deliberately started from a disadvantageous arrangement and one story has it that stu even competed against a consistent cheater. During the game, he get advice that the bad egg was at it once more but stu stated that he was aware of the fraudulent activity and he would still acquire a win, which of course, he did.

The same trend followed Stu Ungar to Las Vegas. He won so much that the poker rooms began asking him not to wager on their rooms anymore. The reason for it was that other casino clientele would not sit at the table if he were playing.

Stu Ungar is remembered better for his achievements in holdem poker but he always insisted that he was much better at gin rummy.

He beat Doyle Brunson in the WSOP in 1980 and became the youngest world champion. Because of his looks that made him seem far younger than he was, he was nicknamed, "The Kid".

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