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World Series of Poker: A Retrospective
Summary of 1978 Tournament
Notable Players
Amarillo Slim Preston
Barbara Freer, the first woman player
Brian "Sailor" Roberts
Doyle "Texas Dolly" Brunson
Gabe Kaplan of Welcome Back Kotter
Johnny Moss
Ken Smith, a utilities contractor from Dallas and a chess champion. He dressed up like Abe Lincoln and would tip his hat after each hand he won, while tipping his hat, would proclaim " What a player!"
Walter "Puggy" Pearson
Grand Prize Winner: Bobby Baldwin, $210,000 prize

Runners Up: Crandall Addington $ 84,000, Louis Hunsucker
$63,000, Buc Buchanan $ 42,000, and Jesse Alto $21,000
Notes on Play

The ' 78 WSOP tournament was the first WSOP not to have the winner-take-all prize. Instead, it had progressive pot which the top five players would share.. The split was at a 50% for grand prize and then down from there: 20%, 15%, 10% and 5%.

The Tournament

May 17th

Thirty-one players enter the ' 78 WSOP to stake their claim at the title of World Champion. During the first day of play all pervious WSOP champions were knock out. This day also include the elimination of the only female player Barbara Freer. At the end of the day only Eleven players remain in contention; including crowd favorite Ken Smith*3.

May 18th

By Midnight, eleven players are now carve down to six players in the series. These six players were: Crandall Addington, Jesse Alto, Bobby Baldwin, Buc Buchanan, Louis Hunsucker, and eccentric crowd favorite Ken Smith. These players would meet each other again at noon on the following day.

May 19th

The final day of play began at noon, and had its first player eliminated crowd favorite Ken Smith at 12:50pm. Ken Smith is followed by Jesse Alto at 2:15pm and then by Buc Buchanan at 2:45 pm. The next player to leave the series would not come for almost five hours. At just before 8:00pm the next player to leave would be Louis Hunsucker.

Then there were two.

Bobby Baldwin and Crandall Addington.

The two remaining players would attack each other relentlessly and ruthlessly. The lead would switch back and forth between the two of them for the next hour.

Just before 9:00pm, Addington with $50,000 found himself face with an aggressive play by Baldwin. Baldwin would raise the pot $10,000 before seeing the flop.

This left Addington with the only play he could make, he raised the rest of his chips.

Baldwin called.

Both players showed their hole cards.

Baldwin Addington Flop

Q(D) Q(C) N(C) N(H) K(S) Q(S) N(H)

The tension in the room elevated.



No help for either player.

Time for the final card



With the final card Bobby Baldwin became the youngest World Poker Champion yet.

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