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Stu Unger: Poker Player

[ English ]

The basic reason why Stu Ungar switched from gin rummy to poker was that he was a little too skilled at it. So good was he, that no one was able equal him. Even the apparently champions who were meant to be the greatest at gin were demolished when they faced Stu Ungar. One such gin rummy professionals was Harry Stein, nicknamed, "Yonkie". Harry was handed such a debilitating defeat at the hands of Stu Ungar that he apparently stopped competing in it professionally and never resurfaced at a gin rummy tournament.

Of course, with a notoriety like that it was not very long before everyone became weary of betting against Stu Ungar. He could find no matches and in his boredom he began doing something no one had done prior. Stu issued beginning handicaps to potential opponents in the high hopes that they might just play with him if they thought they had an edge. He deliberately played from a negative position and one story has it that he even played with a consistent bad egg. Amid the match, he received advice that the absconder was at it yet again but stu assured that he knew of the chicanery and he would still acquire a win, which he did, of course.

The same problem followed Stu Ungar into sin city. He won so often that the casinos began asking him not to wager on their respective premises anymore. The explanation why was that other casino visitors would not sit at the poker table if Stu was playing.

Stu Ungar is recalled better for his abilities in texas hold’em poker but he always maintained that he was considerably more skilled at gin rummy.

He beat Doyle Brunson in the WSOP in Nineteen Eighty and became the youngest world champion. Due to his features that made him seem far younger than he really was, he got the nickname, "The Kid".