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Poker Star: Jack Straus

Poker Star: Jack Straus
Today's poker star is the American legend Jack "Treetop" Straus.
by Academia   |   comments 0

Born June 16, 1930 in Texas, USA, Jack "Treetop" Straus was an American poker pro. The recognition of "Treetop" came in 1982, when the player put his name in history by winning the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. On this occasion, Straus received the honor of returning to the tournament with reduced chips at the very beginning of the edition, giving rise to the meaning of the phrase "a chip and a chair". Among other things, "Treetop" was recognized as one of the best bluffers in poker history.

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The career

In his mid-40s, in the early 1970s, Straus began his professional journey in poker at tournaments run by the World Series of Poker. By this time, the pro managed to take fourth place in the 1972 WSOP Main Event. However, Straus won his first bracelet in the competition in 1973, in the $3,000 Deuce to Seven Draw tournament. At the same time, the grinder managed to take the bronze medal in the Main Event of the same year, 1973. However, the player's great strength only came in 1982, where Jack was part of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker and cashed in over half a million dollars for the feat, shelving yet another bracelet for his account.

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Through this, Straus began to be seen in a small group of elite players. Group in which all players had a consistency in making it to the final tables of the World Series of Poker. Within this group, there were other champions and legends such as: Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, Johnny Chan and Dan Harrington.

A token and a chair

Straus' title in 1982 was of extreme notoriety for players at the time. The player, who had returned to the event with a single $500 chip, used a phrase that became a reference in the modality: "a chip and a chair". However, there is great speculation about what happened. In one of the stories that circulate, Straus says that the player had pushed his chips into the pot, called, and ended up losing. At this point, the player, who had supposedly been eliminated, got up and found a chip on a napkin on the table and returned to the tournament.

The bluff

The American is well known for being one of the best bluffers in the history of poker. The speculation about his strategies may have originated from a game of No-Limit Texas Hold'em, where the grinder beat several opponents and decided to raise his bet pre-flop, using any two cards. At the time, Straus realized he had a 7 and a 2 in his hand, but even though the cards weren't in his favor, Straus raised the bet. Despite this, his opponent called the bet and the table cards marked 7-3-3. Improving his hand of 7 and 2, Straus bet again and so did his opponent.
Realizing that he might be at a disadvantage, Straus again gambled and waited for something that would form a set in his favor. However, the next card was a two, with the board making 7-3-3-2. Even so, Straus decided to bet an even bigger amount.
So the grinder opponent started thinking about the game. In this, Straus proposed to his opponent to show any card from his hand for $25. The opponent accepted and paid the $25, and Straus showed him his 2. After that, the opponent took a long pause and ended up giving up on the move.

The loss of the star

Straus died on August 17, 1988, aged 58. According to information, the grinder died due to an aortic aneurysm. His legacy left many stories for the sport, including a fortune of over $750,000 at the time.

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