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It was probably the most famous poker duel ever: Johnny Moss vs Nick "the Greek" Dandalos, in Vegas back in 1949. The game was five-card stud. Benny Binion, the rapscallion gambler who founded the Horseshoe casino in Fremont Street, staged the game as a way of attracting customers. They stood six-deep around the table. Other players came and went if they could put up a minimum of $10,000. Legend has it that the game ran for five months.

Johnny was the best there was. Jimmy was a gambler seeking action. One particular hand everyone remembers. Moss was dealt (9) 6 and bet $200 against the Greek's 8 showing. He raised it back $1,500. Next card for Moss was a 9, giving him a concealed pair. The Greek caught a 6. Moss now bet $5,000 and the Greek came right back with $25,000. Moss just called. He aimed to take down all the money on this one.

Fourth card Moss got a deuce and the Greek a trey. He checked to trap him and the Greek bet out, just as Moss wanted. So now Moss raised him back, high. The Greek called. There was $100,000 in the pot. Last card for Moss was a 3, the Greek caught a jack.

Johnny Moss: (9) 6 9 2 3

The Greek: (?) 8 6 3 J

The Greek was high on the jack and bet $50,000. There was no way he could have paid so much in the hand to outdraw him, as Moss figured it. So he stuck all his money in. If the Greek called it would mean a half a million pot. He stayed quiet, as if pondering, and then said: "Mr Moss, I think I have a jack in the hole."

"Greek," said Moss, "if you've got a jack down there, you're liable to win yourself one helluva pot."

He had the jack. But that was okay with Moss. He knew that if his opponent was going to go on "chasing dreams", he would break him in the end. As indeed he did.

Johnny Moss, three times world champion, a legend at the table, died in December, aged 88. He played in the World Series every year and usually wound up in the money. Las Vegas won't be the same without him.

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