Poker Pros

Poker Hall of Famer Crandell Addington discusses the early days of the WSOP

The longtime poker pro has watched as the tournament scene has changed over the years

Retired pro poker player Crandall Addington still holds the record for the most times someone has ever reached a final table in a World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. His impressive record comes from the ’70s that saw much smaller WSOP events than the large crowds attending the series in recent years. Somehow, this change in popularity has ensured him to maintain his record for good. Addington, 81, was a recent guest on the PokerNews Podcast where he talked about what he has been doing ever since he disappeared from the poker scene in the late ’80s.

Actually, one of the most famous poker lines still around these days comes from him, “Limit poker is a science, but no-limit is an art. In limit, you’re shooting at a target. In no-limit, the target comes alive and shoots back at you.” Despite being out of the poker landscape for decades, his legacy still stands strong. He was included in the Poker Hall of Fame back in 2005 – that was the last time he was ever seen at a poker table in the WSOP series.

Addington talked about the early years of the WSOP series and how it turned to be something different from the original plan. “The World Series of Poker was never really intended to be what it’s become. Tom Moore from San Antonio, who was a friend of mine, who I moved to Reno with, in 1967, he was trying to buy the Holiday Hotel & Casino downtown on the river in Reno. It was a locals casino, and the owner Newt Crumley had died in a plane crash.”

He added that, even if they couldn’t get the license, there was a Texas Gamblers Convention in the late ’60s, which was the WSOP precursor. The rights were later bought by Benny [Binion], who really knew how to promote the event, and it was then relocated to Las Vegas.
From there, it evolved into the biggest and most popular live poker series in the world.

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