Jack Strauss began playing in the WSOP events in the early 1970s and finished in 4th place at the 1972 Main Event.
His first bracelet was won in the 1972 $3,000 Deuce to Seven Draw event.
In 1982 he won $520,000 for taking down the World Series of Poker Main Event and made the final table three times in his career.
Strauss was nicknamed "Treetop" because of his 6'6" height and attended Texas A&M University.
He died in 1988 at the age of 58 while playing in a high stakes poker game at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, CA.
His live poker tournament winnings exceeded $750,000.
You may have heard the poker expression, “as long as you’ve got a chip and a chair…” It means that no matter how few chips you have left in a poker tournament, you always have a chance.
But you may not know that this saying was born at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in 1982.
It’s not just the greatest underdog story in poker, but it’s hard to think of a bigger comeback in any sport. Jack Straus, nicknamed “Treetop” due to his imposing 6’6″ frame, was one of the old-school “road gamblers” who would criss-cross Texas in search of a good game. “I’ll show you whichever one of my cards you choose if you give me $25,” said Straus.
With a fearlessly aggressive playing style, his speciality was heads-up poker, and when he played full ring he was never scared to get all his chips in. His opponent couldn’t see the harm in gaining more information, and tossed over a $25 chip.
Straus is known for one of the greatest bluffs in poker, during a high-stakes Texas Hold ‘Em cash game. He selected a card, and Straus turned it over: a 2.
Despite being dealt the worst starting hand in poker, 7-2, he bet out, and was rewarded with a flop of 7-3-3 for top pair. The genius of this move was that, whichever card his opponent selected, he would think that hole card was paired for a full house.