The only thing that dwarfed Jack Straus' enormous 6 foot 7 inch frame was his exuberant personality and love of life. He was a gambling thoroughbred, betting every dollar he could get his hands on; on just about anything - cards, sports and the track. Once having wagered a massive $30,000 on a ball game, leaving him with a paltry $4, all he said was "Hell, its enough to eat breakfast on". With an almost relentless optimism whenever he did make losses he would shrug it off with casual comments like "such is life" and continue on his way.
I have only a limited amount of time on this earth, and I want to live every second"
"Treetop" was a hugely popular man known for telling the occasional poker yarn, whose warmth of personality infused all who came in contact with him. Known for his aggressive and creative flair at the table, Straus won the World Series of Poker in 1982, incredibly after going down to his last $500.
It is perhaps fitting that Jack died doing what he loved when suffering a heart attack in 1988 during a high stakes poker game at the Bicycle Club in Bell Gardens, California. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame shortly after.
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