Three stories the poker world will remember Larry Flynt for

It has been a week since news of notable figure Larry Flynt’s passing took everyone five decades back worth of memories to where the Hustler founder was seemingly on top of the world. Flynt was mainly known for the Hustler brand in which he founded in the late 1960s stemming from entertainment bars, a pornographic publication to eventually transitioning into an actual casino in California. From managing a booming line of clubs, running the highest stakes against the best poker players in the industry, taking a shot in running for public office to five wives and five children, it looked as if Flynt was a man who had it all.

Having most recently passed away at the age of 78 due to heart failure, Flynt’s journey throughout the years likewise had its ups and downs in spite of his huge success in business. While his initial investment in the adult entertainment scene propelled him to a life of wealth and fame, an unexpected shooting in 1978 left him paralyzed waist down for the remaining years of his life. Flynt also encountered a fair share of legal trouble brought by controversial issues against obscenity laws, as well as an unfortunate circumstance in his personal life that resulted in the death of his fourth wife, Althea Leasure. That same year, his eldest daughter Tonya Flynt-Vega accused him of sexual abuse in which he strongly denied the charges. Despite the challenges, Flynt left a legacy to the world which will keep his memories alive for many years to come. To date, Flynt is survived by his fifth wife, four children and several grandchildren.

rip flynt

1) Host of the biggest Stud game in the world

Apart from his high profile business ventures, Flynt was also largely known in the poker industry for his contributions to the growth and popularity of his favorite card game, Seven-card Stud. His passion for the game stems back to the 1970s where he was reportedly friendly with the likes of Danny Robison, Poker Hall of Famer Eric Drache and Thor Hansen. Enjoying the game himself, he later on hosted the biggest Stud game in the 1990s from his home and was eventually moved to his casino thereafter.

With quite an extensive bankroll and a skill level incomparable to that of pros, Flynt’s $2,000/$4,000 Stud game with a $1,000 ante and a minimum buy-in of $200,000 was visited by the most popular players at the time. Poker legends such as Phil Ivey, Barry Greenstein, Ted Forrest and John Hennigan frequented the game making the event as exciting as could be. While the anticipated game has relatively ended its course, the well liked Hustler Casino in California grew to become one of Flynt’s most profitable businesses which up until now, runs its independent festivals with six-figure guarantees.

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2) Banned from the WSOP

Given Flynt’s participation and passion for the poker industry, it would have been safe to assume that the avid player would be a regular in the World Series of Poker circuits. While the Stud player’s first recorded tournament cash was that of a WSOP event back in 2000, his $10,100 prize for finishing 8th in a $5,000 7-card Stud event would unexpectedly be his one and only WSOP score. This comes as a result of a lifelong ban after being caught chip dumping by Jack Binion. Apparently having made a crazy bet with Doyle Brunson to win the 1988 WSOP, Flynt hired players to gain an unfair advantage on the felt.

While the constituted cheating led to Flynt being banned for life on WSOP tournaments, the ban was eventually lifted when Becky Binion took over. Unfortunately for Flynt, his WSOP run would be very much short-lived with no additional cashes to follow his 8th place finish.

3) Opening the Hustler Casino

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The Hustler Casino in California. Credit: Cardplayer Magazine

Having already established the Hustler brand under its line of clubs and pornographic publications, Flynt ventured on to establish the Hustler Casino in Gardenia, California. Operational now for over two decades, the casino was originally built on land where the El Dorado Club stood. Flynt reportedly purchased the establishment for $8 million back in 1998 and expanded the complex in the years to follow.

The Hustler Casino came to be Flynt’s most successful venture, earning over $20 million annually as recorded in 2007. The biggest 7-card Stud game in the world was at its peak, running its highest stakes of $2,000/$4,000 with a $1,000 ante and a minimum buy-in of $200,000. While the casino was also among others affected by the current global health crisis which followed a temporary closure, the complex has since reopened an outdoor gaming set-up catering to players 24/7.

Remembering its founder, the official Hustler Casino social media account posted a short tribute to Larry Flynt for his impressive work and dedication saying, “The world knows Larry for his innumerable accomplishments throughout his lifetime. We know Larry as our inspiring boss and fearless leader, with the best poker face in town. His legend will live on with every hand dealt at our tables. Rest In Peace Mr. Flynt. #LarryFlynt #RIPLarryFlynt”

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Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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