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1972 WSOP Main Event Winner Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston
Runner Up Walter “Puggy” Pearson
Winning Hand K J
Losing Hand 6 6
1st Place Prize $80,000
Number of Main Event Entrants 8

The 1972 World Series of Poker was all about Amarillo Slim.  The WSOP was in danger of disappearing, but Amarillo Slim became poker’s savior with his entertaining personality and his victory in the 1972 WSOP.

Amarillo Slim was one of the “Texas Rounders,” traveling from poekr game to poker game with his buddies, Doyle Brunson and Sailor Roberts.  The spectators at the WSOP got the show they were looking for from Amarillo Slim, especially once the tournament got down to heads-up play between himself and Puggy Pearson.  Slim began catering to the crowd even more, keeping them entertained while he slowly and surely destroyed his opponent.  After the tournament Amarillo Slim would appeared on talk shows and wrote a book, forcing the world to think of him and the game of poker.

As poker was not the spectator sport it is today, the details of much of the play is unknown.  In the final hand Amarillo Slim’s K-J managed to win the race against Pearson’s pocket sixes, giving the title of champion to Amarillo Slim.

It has been stated by numerous people that Puggy Pearson actually threw the match, not wanting the publicity of winning and also not wanting to pay the taxes.  Whether this is true or not is up for debate, but if it is true, the game of poker may have benefited immensely from this less than ethical action.