Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People: The Memoirs of the Greatest Gambler Who Ever Lived
Amarillo Slim Preston, Greg Dinkin
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Amarillo Slim Preston has won $300,000 from Willie Neslon playing dominoes and $2 million from Larry Flynt playing poker. He has shuffled, dealt, and bluffed with some of twentieth-century's most famous figures. He beat Minnesota Fats at pool with a broom, Bobby Riggs at table tennis with a skillet, and Evel Knievel at golf with a carpenter's hammer. Amarillo Slim has gambled with 'em all, and left most of them wishing they hadn't.
The memoirs of a living American icon, Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People is the story of life as a Texas road gambler and the discovery of the Wild West. It's also the story of how Slim won the World Series of Poker at Binion's Horseshoe, became a worldwide celebrity, and brought poker from smoky backrooms to mainstream America. Just let him tell it:
"If there's anything I'll argue about, I'll either bet on it or shut up. And since it's not very becoming for a cowboy to be arguing, I've made a few wagers in my day. But in my humble opinion, I'm no ordinary hustler. You see, neighbor, I never go looking for a sucker. I look for a champion and make a sucker out of him ..."
"I'm fixing to tell you a few things that I've been keeping to myself for a lot of years. If you're not careful, you just might learn how to get rich without ever having a job."
fishing hole where he used to spend all his free time with his cute little spaniel named Carlo. One day a man, who I'll call Eugene, came to the pond with a real fancy fishing rod and offered to exchange his rod for Carlo. When Ti said that he couldn't dare part with his little pup, Eugene added some cash to the deal, and when Ti said no again, Eugene demanded an explanation. Keep in mind, Ti was only eleven at the time, and he explained that he had the smartest dog on earth. Carlo was so smart,
on Texas. Johnny Moss said he played it in the late thirties, so I imagine that's when it really got popular. He also said that "Hold' em is to stud and draw what chess is to checkers," and that's about as good a way of putting it as I can think of. Here's how the game works: Each player is dealt two cards, and a round of betting follows. If you're dealt two aces, which happens only once in every 425 deals, you've got the boss hand-for the time being anyway. The dealer then "flops" three
the guy. Heck, while I should have been studying poetry at Peabody Academy, I was writing my own poetry on their snooker table. After Thcumcari we went to Clovis, New Mexico, about ninety miles southwest, to play a railroader named Tom Christensen. Christensen was one of the best players in New Mexico, and when we got into town, another gentleman by the name of "Mexican" Tom, said to me, "Say, son, you're kinda setting the woods on fire." It's a small world, and Mexican Tom-who owned the local
fanciest hotels. But it wasn't about the money, see. Now I had me a challenge-and old Slim never backed down from a challenge. I played poker all night, and as soon as it got light outside, I set about trying to find me the right animal. I'd never been on a camel in my life, but surely if I could ride a horse, I could find some way to tie me on a camel. When I finally found me one, and paid his owner a couple of bucks to rent him out, I wasn't scared of him at all. Truth be told, I felt like I
and a little bit of a stake to get started in life, which I've been able to do. Folks have a hard time believing that when I was at home, I was just your average, everyday father in Amarillo. I coached Little League baseball and football and drove my fair share of car pools, especially for all my kids' golf tournaments. In fact, one of my best memories wasn't the 1972 World Series of Poker but the 1959 World Series of Little League between the Pleasant Valley Prairie Dogs and the Avondale