You may have heard this football expression, “The game isn’t over until the whistle blows”. From winning the UEFA champion League in injury-time to the buzzer-beating basketball shot to win the championship, sports is filled with stories of snatching a victory in the last minutes of the game. A similar poker expression was born at the 1982 World Series of Poker and it all started with Jack ‘Treetop’ Straus and ‘Single chip and a chair.’
He is best known for winning the World Series of Poker Main Event in 1982. He was also nicknamed ‘Treetop’ due to his imposing 6 ‘6″ frame. Straus began playing poker in the early 1970s. With a fearlessly aggressive playing style, his speciality was heads-up poker, and when he played full ring he was never scared to get all his chips in.
He had much success in the WSOP main events and has two gold bracelets to his name. Straus is one of the few that have made the final table three or more times. Other players to have done this include Main Event champions like Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Stu Ungar, etc. In addition, Straus is known for successfully pulling off one of the best bluffs in the history of poker.
The meaning of the poker phrase ‘a chip and a chair’ was coined on this joyous day. On the second of the ME, he pushed his chips into the pot, was called and lost the hand. He thought he had been knocked out but as he stood up, he noticed a single 500 chip hidden under the napkin. It had not been included in Straus’s shove, and he hadn’t announced ‘all-in’, so he was allowed to sit back down and play.
Straus has made the final table a couple of times in the past and with his aggressive style of play. He was doubled up from a single 500 chip and by the end of the day, he had 90,000 chips. He went on to become the chip leader with 341,500 chips on the third day. Before long, Straus had single-handedly eliminated most of the final table until only he and Dewey Tomko were left. He triumphed over Tomko, the heads-up lasted just ten minutes and won the 1982 WSOP ME all with a chip and a chair.
Jack’s epic comeback in the 1982 main event is proof positive that you should never give up in a tournament, even if you are down to hardly any chips. You just never know what could happen. It is just one out of hundreds of poker terms already available. So if you are a beginner, and are looking forward to diving deep into the sport, we’re building a bank of poker terms and you can check them all out here.
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