Bobby “The Wizard” Hoff is a poker legend and respected poker player with the gaming community. Nicknamed, The Wizard, he started his professional poker playing career in the 60’s used to regularly take part in high-stakes cash games that were held in California and Las Vegas. At the peak of his career, he regularly competed against the likes of Brian “Sailor” Roberts and Doyle Brunson.
Hoff learnt how to play poker at the University of Texas and started to take the game seriously in the early 60’s. During his lengthy career, he had enormous success including finishing second in the 1979 WSOP main event and cashing in on 29 major tournaments and making himself a pile of money. It is estimated that during the course of his career, he had accumulated over $550,000 through his winnings.
In a statement,
I was a winning player from the start in that game, because my opponents were so poor. If you were a bad player in that game, you were dead. I won 40 times in a row and thought I was surely the best poker player in the world. I won $8,000 in those 40 sessions. In 1959, that was just amazing. So, I thought I was not only the best poker player in the world, but one of the richest ones. I soon discovered I was not.
However, the world of poker has its ups and downs and Hoff eventually ended up broke and had to get himself a job at a Nevada casino. Here he dealt craps and blackjack to make a living and finally went on to play blackjack for a living. However, this did not last long as he was pulled up for card counting and got banned from all casinos in the Silver State, which forced him to go back to the game of poker. Towards the last few years of his life, Hoff started playing $20-$40 limit hold’em at Commerce, near Los Angeles. Hoff did his best to stay with the times and even took part in a few online poker events without having much success.
Hoff went on to say
Occasionally, I get discouraged because I look around and there are just so many more good players than there was. Then I remember that there are also many more bad players than there used to be. I am not so sure that the percentage of good players is higher than it used to be; it might be, because of all of the information that is out there. But I can say that there are a lot of good players right now.
He will be missed and remembered throughout the poker community as a number of tweets suggested. Erik Seidel tweeted
So sad to hear about Bobby Hoff. He was a true NL artist + always such a pleasure to see at + away from the tables. #RIPwizard
— Erik Seidel (@Erik_Seidel) August 26, 2013