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Jack Binion -- Father of the World Series of Poker

Poker’s Biggest Event Turns 40; its Father Reflects on its Beginnings

by Justin Marchand |  Published: Jun 22, 2009


“This kind of illustrates it all — the casino industry, poker industry, just about everything,” Jack Binion, father of the World Series of Poker and uber-successful casino executive, says. Jack’s heading back into his conference room, and the weight of a tall book stack has the 72-year-old Binion leaning sideways. Jack’s the man who presided over the creation of poker’s most important event. Impressively, the WSOP is now the world’s richest sporting event, paying out more than $180 million last year alone. He chucks down a thick book pile. “These here are all the present Las Vegas phone books.” They amount to about 3,000 pages. “And this here is the phone book from the entire Clark County in 1953.” The small brown book, 160 pages total, advertises $5 rooms and luxurious floor shows. It’s a flashback to when the Binion clan set out to make its mark in the Nevada ...

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