|Residence||Long Beach, California, U.S.|
Victoria, Texas, U.S.
|Died||August 25, 2013(aged 73)|
|World Series of Poker|
Main Event finish
|World Poker Tour|
Bobby "The Wizard" Hoff (1939 – August 25, 2013) was an American professional poker player, based in Long Beach, California. According to Hoff, his nickname "The Wizard" refers to his ability to make mountains of chips disappear.
Hoff learned poker in Las Vegas three years after graduating. He worked as a poker dealer and played regularly during his off time. He took up blackjack after reading the book Beat the Dealer by Edward O. Thorp and became a skilled player; however, he often got drunk and lost his winnings. He joined a blackjack team and played regularly for five years. Eventually he was banned from the majority of blackjack tables in Las Vegas, forcing him to return to poker. Hoff became friends with Sailor Roberts, who staked much of his poker action.
World Series of Poker
In the 1979 World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 no limit hold'em main event, Hoff came back from a chip count of $1,730 early on the first day to $225,700 early in the final table's action. He eliminated Johnny Moss in 5th place when his outdrew when the came on the river. Hoff reached the heads-up stage of the tournament, facing amateur Hal Fowler, whom he had eliminated from the same event in 1978. In the final hand, Hoff's were outdrawn by Fowler's on a board of .
The heads-up match lasted over 10 hours, and was considered the original David and Goliath match of the WSOP, as Hoff was the favorite to win. This led to increased attendance in future WSOP main events, as people realised that anyone could win.
Hoff went on to have nightmares about the heads-up match for several weeks afterwards. During this time, Hoff accused Fowler of consuming either Valium or Methaqualone throughout the heads-up match. Hoff's cocaine habit grew, as he began to inject it rather than snort it.
Later poker career
As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $460,000.
His alias on UltimateBet was "DaWiz".
In December 2010, Hoff suffered a stroke which led to his hospitalization in Houston, Texas, in a stable condition. He recovered and returned to play in California.
- All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of The World Series of Poker, Jonathan Grotenstein & Storms Reback, ISBN 0-312-34835-5
- Legends of Poker: Bobby "The Wizard" Hoff PokerNews.com article, July 12, 2005
- Bobby Hoff's tournament results from the HendonMob website
- Deuce Plays Episode 72: Bart Hanson interviews Bobby Hoff DeucesCracked.com (MP3 format), May 25, 2010