After a significant amount of time spent playing blackjack and poker, Russ Hamilton was crowned champion of the main event at the World Series of Poker in the year 1994. Over the course of his career, Hamilton has won more over $1.5 million dollars in live tournaments. This accomplishment alone places him one tenth on Nevada’s All Time Money List.
Despite all of his achievements, Hamilton will probably always be recognized as a cheat for his role in the Ultimate Bet Scandal. This scandal led to the loss of millions of dollars for the dedicated gamers on the site. Despite all of his successes, Hamilton will probably always be known as a cheat. Within the contemporary gaming world, he is regarded as one of the players who is held in the lowest respect possible.
How Everything Got Started
When Hamilton was a student at a community college close to Detroit, Michigan, one of his teachers informed him that due to the fact that he had a distinct way of thinking and a quantitative approach to life, he would most likely be a great poker player.
In spite of the fact that he had only played poker a handful of times before to that talk and was working toward a degree in electrical engineering, Hamilton made the decision to take a chance on the game. He stopped going to school and began spending his time playing poker at seedy dive pubs all around the Detroit region instead. He was really very skilled at it, and in no time at all he was able to build his bankroll to the point that he could relocate to Las Vegas.
When this happened, Hamilton began to take his participation in poker tournaments much more seriously. In 1988, he finished in second place in the Seven Card Stud event of the Summer Poker Festival, and in 1990, he finished in second place in the Los Angeles Poker Classic, winning almost $21,000 in prize money. Both of these accomplishments took place at the Summer Poker Festival.
Around this time, Hamilton was first exposed to the game of blackjack, which would eventually lead to his forming partnerships with pros such as Stanford Wong, Fred Davis, and others of note. They were able to come out on top in the bulk of the cash games and tournaments that they took part in by using a strategy known as card counting. Unfortunately, casinos began to tighten down on card counters, and Hamilton made the decision to redirect his attention back to poker as a result of this.
A Profession Based on Poker
There is little question that following his performance in the World Series of Poker in 1994, Hamilton’s career reached its pinnacle. In the early stages of the tournament, Hamilton was able to finish in the money numerous times, including a seventh place finish in the $1500 Pot Limit Omaha event and a fourth place finish in the $2500 Pot Limit Omaha event.
The highlight of his career was undoubtedly the day he defeated Hugh Vincent in a grueling heads-up battle at the World Series of Poker main event and took home the trophy. Hamilton was awarded his first and only gold bracelet from the World Series of Poker (WSOP), as well as the largest cash reward of his professional career: one million dollars in addition to his body weight in silver (43 silver bars, to be precise).
After winning the World Series of Poker (WSOP), Hamilton gave an interview in which he declared, “Winning the championship was something that I wanted more than anything else in the world.” It catapults you into the upper echelon of poker players, which is a club that only a select few can join.
His next significant victory did not come until the 2002 Caribbean Poker Classic, when Hamilton finished in first place in the No Limit Hold’em Championship event. This was his first major victory in almost a decade. In addition to that, he came in first place in both the Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo event and the No Limit Hold’em event of that tournament, each of which had a buy-in of $300.
The Blackjack Family Tree
Elimination blackjack is basically a hybrid of blackjack and no limit hold’em, and it was established by Hamilton with the assistance of a friend. Hamilton named this new variation of blackjack that he created “elimination blackjack.”
The standards for the Ultimate Blackjack Tour were derived from the rules and procedures that Hamilton devised for elimination blackjack. These rules and procedures were applied afterwards.