My First Hendon Line
In the premiere edition of My First Hendon Line, we take a look at six legendary players and when they earned their very first score on The Hendon Mob…
›› May 1972: Las Vegas, 3rd World Series of Poker World Championship, Binion’s, 3rd, $32,500
Let’s kick things off with Texas Dolly, Doyle Brunson (GPI#7880), who’s first Hendon line comes from the WSOP Main Event, way back in 1972! To think that over 40 years ago, participants were putting up the same 10K players are putting up now in hopes of becoming the next World Champion, is remarkable.
Brunson would win the WSOP Main Event in 1976 and again in 1977. His last cash on the live tournament was also in the WSOP Main Event this past summer in Las Vegas where he would finish in 409th position. Although Doyle rarely plays tournaments anymore, we hope that he fills in a few more Hendon lines before he calls it a career!
›› May 2002: Las Vegas, Five Diamond World Poker Classic, Bellagio, 1st, $556,460
Thirty years (almost to the day) that Doyle earned his first Hendon line, Gus Hansen (GPI#4801) earned his in remarkable fashion. It didn’t take long for Hansen to become a household name, in fact, all it took was his first ever cash, a big win at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic, a win that helped propel poker into the mainstream. That’s right, Hansen’s first ever score came in the World Poker Tour’s first-ever tournament presentation.
Even more spectacular was that Hansen’s second score was also a big win – the WPT L.A. Poker Classic. Hansen would collect over 1M USD with his first two cashes on the live tournament circuit!
›› Oct 1987: Reno NV, 1987 Pot of Gold, Grand Sierra Resort, 5th, $1,980
Phil Hellmuth (GPI#144) is the most decorated player in World Series of Poker history. However the Poker Brat, who owns 13 WSOP bracelets, did not earn his first Hendon line at Binion’s in downtown Las Vegas but instead up north in Reno at the 1987 Pot of Gold tournament series inside the halls of the Grand Sierra Resort.
Hellmuth’s first ever win on the live tournament circuit would come the following year, at the 1988 edition of the Pot of Gold in Reno, where he would secure the title in the $200 buy-in NLH tournament … one year before he would become, at the time, the youngest WSOP Main Event World Champion in history.
›› Dec 1998: Atlantic City, Trop’s Invitational Tournament, Tropicana Casino, 1st, $1,000
What about Ivey? Phil Ivey (GPI#627) was just 22 years old when he earned his cash, winning a Seven Card Stud invitational tournament in Atlantic City, where he got his start in poker.
Ivey’s first open-field cash was also a tournament win – at the First Annual Jack Binion’s World Poker Open at the Horseshoe Casino & Hotel in Tunica, Mississippi. Ivey would cash four times during the series.
Interestingly enough, Ivey’s first Hendon line in a No Limit Hold’em event would come in the year 2000, at the 31st World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. That would also be the year that Ivey would collect his first ever WSOP bracelet, in a PLO event.
›› Jul 1997: Las Vegas, 1997 Orleans Open, Orleans Hotel and Casino, 10th, $1,050
A few months before Ivey earned his first Hendon line, Daniel Negreanu (GPI#2) would earn his, a $200 buy-in NLH event at the Orleans Hotel & Casino just outside the Las Vegas Strip.
Negreanu would collect his very first WSOP bracelet just nine months later in a Pot Limit Hold’em event at the 39th World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Kid Poker added his latest two bracelets during the 2013 poker season.
›› Nov 1991: Bell Gardens CA, Winter Poker Olympics, Regency Card Club & Casino, 2nd, $6,600
We can’t forget about Scotty Nguyen (GPI#1084) baby! One of the most recognizable faces in poker, the former WSOP World Champion would collect his first Hendon line in 1991 at the Winter Poker Olympics in Bell Gardens, California.
Nguyen’s first substantial score would come a few years later at the Four Queens Poker Classic in September of 1995. Nguyen would end up winning the event and pickup a $59,600 USD cheque.