The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, The Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker
- Doug J. Swanson
15th July 2015
Benny Binion was many things: a cowboy, a pioneering casino owner, a gangster, a killer, and founder of the hugely successful World Series of Poker. From a Texas backwater, Binion rose to prominence on a combination of vision, determination, and brutal expediency. His formula was simple: run a good business, cultivate the big boys, kill your enemies, and own the cops.
Through a mix of cold-bloodedness, native intelligence, folksiness and philanthropy, Binion became one of the most revered figures in the history of gambling, and his showmanship, shrewdness and violence would come to dominate the Vegas scene. Veteran journalist Doug Swanson uses once-secret government documents and dogged reporting to show how Binion destroyed his rivals and outsmarted his adversaries, playing a crucial role in the shaping of modern Las Vegas.