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Bill Smith was a player from
Dallas. He was an excellent
gambler and managed to win
the main 1985 after beating TJ
Cloutier with a pair of threes.
Still, if he had not drunk so
much he would have had much
more titles.
WSOP Gallery of Champions Poker Professional Player Biography
Bill Smith WSOP Gallery of Champions
Bill Smith
Bill Smith was an avid professional poker player during a problem time in his
life. Smith would often play professional poker tournaments half drunk, and
was still able to leave a legacy in poker history.

Smith was a regular at the World Series of Poker during the 1980s. He was
involved in three final tables of the WSOP main event. At the 1981 and 1986
WSOP tournaments, he placed 5th, and finally at the 1985 World Series of
Poker he won the title, and a $700,000 cash prize.

Bill Smith was originally from Dallas, Texas. He was an excellent poker player
and managed to win the main event in 1985 after beating TJ Cloutier with a
pair of threes. Had he not been such a heavy drinker, he might have had
more WSOP tournament titles and won more cash prize pools. “Bill was the
tightest player you'd ever played in your life when he was sober", recalled
Cloutier later. “And when he was halfway drunk, he was the best player I'd
ever played with.” No one could read opponents’ hands better than half-
drunk Smith. “But when he got past that halfway mark, he was the worst
player I'd ever played with.”

It’s a shame for poker history that he never cared about that “halfway mark.”
It seemed that he did not even care whether he had any money or not. He
just gambled all the time, and that’s pretty much all that he did with his time.

Smith played poker in the secret back poker rooms as poker was prohibited
during his career. He even set a record for being arrested for illegal poker
gambling. He was playing poker with his friends awhen police raided the
poker room and locked up all of the players. As soon as they got out of jail,
(which happened to be on the same afternoon) they immediately began
another round of a poker game. The police returned repeatedly and
eventually arrested the entire group of poker players. Finally, when Bill Smith
got out of jail for the second time several hours later, he was arrested for a
total of three times on that one particular day.

Bill Smith is now deceased.
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