April 14, 2006
Puggy Pearson 1929-2006
Legendary poker player Walter Clyde "Puggy" Pearson died on Wednesday, April 12.
Puggy Pearson grew up in a working poor family in Tennessee. He enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 16, and he honed his cardplaying skills while he was in the service. After his discharge, he followed the white line in the middle of the highway from game to game during the heyday of the Texas road gamblers. Such players as Amarillo Slim Preston, Doyle Brunson and "Sailor" Roberts were his peers.
Pearson wasn't just a poker player, but a multitalented game player. He was, among other things, a world-class pool player. He had a slogan, which he had painted on the side of the RV that he drove in his later years:
I'll play any man from any land any game he can name for any amount he can count. (Providing I like it!)
Pearson supposedly passed his notion of a freezeout – a game where everyone buys in for a fixed amount and plays until one player has all the money – was adopted by Benny Binion for the fledgeling World Series of Poker during its second year in 1971. Consequently, some people call Pearson the father of tournament poker. Pearson himself won his WSOP world championship bracelet in 1973.
I only played with Puggy once, in a cash game at Binion's Horseshoe during the 2003 WSOP. It was a forced-move feeder game into another forced-move feeder game, and the brush was quite busy. Puggy kindly told me, soon after I sat down, to make sure that the brush knew I was in the game, to preserve my position on the forced-move list.
(via buckeyebrain on the LiveJournal's Poker community)