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1981 Super Bowl of Poker

The Super Bowl of Poker (also known as Amarillo Slim's Super Bowl of Poker or SBOP) was the second most prestigious poker tournament in the world during the 1980s. While the World Series of Poker was already drawing larger crowds as more and more amateurs sought it out, the SBOP "was an affair limited almost exclusively to pros and hard-core amateurs."

Prior to 1979, the only high dollar tournament a person could enter was the WSOP. 1972 WSOP Main Event Champion and outspoken ambassador for poker, Amarillo Slim saw this as an opportunity. "The World Series of Poker was so successful that everybody wanted more than one tournament," he said. Slim called upon his connections and friendships with poker's elite to start a new tournament in the February 1979. Slim modelled his SBOP after the WSOP with several events and a $10,000 Texas Hold'em Main Event.

One of the principal differences between the WSOP and the SBOP was the prize structure. The WSOP's prize structure was flat ensuring more people received smaller pieces of the prize pool. The SBOP typically used a 60-30-10 payout structure. In other words, only the first three places received money and generally in the ratio of 60% to first place, 30% to second place, and 10% to third. This payment schedule predominated the SBOP for the first 5 years of the event, but as the event grew the number of payouts increased while keeping the payout schedule top heavy.

1981 Tournament

The 1981 SBOP was one of the most anticipated poker events in the nineteen-eighties. In 1980, Welcome Back Kotter's lead actor, Gabe Kaplan had won the SBOP Main Event. His victory proved that anybody could play poker. Because of his popularity as an actor, people were eager to see how the returning actor would fare in the 1981 event.

Billy Baxter, a Poker Hall of Famer won the Ace-to-Five Lowball event while fellow Hall of Famer Johnny Moss won the $5,000 Seven Card Stud event.

Key

* Elected to the Poker Hall of Fame.
Place The place in which people finish.
Name The name of the player
Prize (US$) Event prize money

Event 1: $ 10,000 No Limit Hold'em

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st Junior Whitehed $130,000
2nd Perry Green $78,000
3rd Jay Heimowtz $52,000

Event 2: Ace-to-Five Lowball

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st Bill Baxter $26,400
2nd Don Rowe $13,200
3rd Hal Fowler $4,400

Event 3: $ 400 Ladies Seven Card Stud

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st Ruth Godfrey $7,440
2nd Jane Drache $3,720
3rd Shelly Cory $1,200

Event 4: $ 1,000 Ace to Five Lowball

Event 5: $ 1,000 Seven Card Stud

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st Jim McDaniel $23,400
2nd Ken Smith $11,700
3rd Seymour Leibowitz $3,900

Event 6: $ 1,000 Hold'em

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st David Chew $40,200
2nd Glenn Garrod $20,100
3rd Don Zewin $6,700

Event 6: $ 5,000 Seven Card Stud

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st Johnny Moss* $57,000
2nd Pat Callihan $28,500
3rd Rodney Pardey $9,500

Event 7: $ 1,000 Razz

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st Sam Angel $10,200
2nd David Singer $5,100
3rd Mike Sexton $1,700

Event 8: $ 10,000 Deuce to Seven Lowball

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st Dave Hampton $54,000
2nd Doyle Brunson* $27,000
3rd Dick Carson $9,000

Event 9: $ 500 Limit Hold'em

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st Mark Porter $43,800
2nd Kitty Sowa $21,900
3rd Gary Carlson $7,300

Event 10: $ 2,500 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Split

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st Tommy Hufnagle $18,000
2nd Sam Moon $9,000
3rd Spence Edwards $3,000

Event 11: $ 1,000 Hold'em "Follow the Stars"

Final table
Place Name Prize
1st Ralph Morton $46,000
2nd Dick Albano $18,400
3rd Doug Johnson $9,200
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