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1997 WSOP Main Event Winner Stu Ungar
Runner Up John Strzemp
Winning Hand A 4
Losing Hand A 8
1st Place Prize $1,000,000
Number of Main Event Entrants 312

The 1997 WSOP was the site of the legendary Stu Ungar’s third WSOP title. Stu entered the tournament after borrowing money from his friend Billy Baxter. Stu had a difficult first day as he was worn out from staying awake over 24 hours trying to find enough money to play in the event. However, Stu came back on the following days to amass a huge chip lead and become known as the “Comeback Kid.”

Stu faced John Strzemp in heads-up play and won with the hand he is most remembered for, A-4. Strzemp held A-8 and both players saw a flop of A-3-5. Strzemp bet out and Stu moved all-in, with Strzemp making thecall and showing his A-8 for the best hand at the moment. A three fell on the turn to keep Strzemp in the lead, but the two on the river gave Stu Ungar the straight and the victory.

1997 would be the last time Stu would play in the WSOP Main Event, as he would refuse to enter the 1998 Main Event and be found dead in a hotel room at the Bellagio a few months later, a victim of his many years of drug abuse.