Crandell Addington
Crandell Addington was a WSOP legend, reaching seven consecutive Main Event final tables, a record which will surely never be broken.

Crandell Addington, one of the perennial players in the 1970’s World Series of Poker Main Events, has died aged 85. The Poker Hall of Famer, who was honored in 2005 by joining other greats in that pantheon of poker success, died earlier this week. No-one in poker history has ever reached more WSOP Main Event final tables than the Texan, who despite that, never won a WSOP bracelet.

One of the Originals

Crandell Addington, known as ‘Dandy’ for his legendary attitude to attire, has died at the age of 85. One of the original six men who contested the 1970 WSOP ‘Main Event’, the celebrated businessman Addington was an old school Texas road gambler and Poker Hall of Famer who was inducted in 2005.

Back in the 1970s, Addington played in all the World Series of Poker events as the new series of tournaments set in motion a series of events that have arguably led to poker become the world’s biggest card game today. Incredibly, Addington made the final table of the WSOP Main Event in seven consecutive years during the decade, with no victories coming and two runner-up positions in four top five finishes.

A hugely popular player with his peers, Addington was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2005 despite never winning either the Main Event or any other WSOP event, the runner-up in 1974 and 1976 being the first player to lose to Doyle ‘Texas Dolly’ Brunson in his back-to-back world championship victories in the decade.  Addington did, however, win biggest at the 1969 Texas Gamblers Reunion in Reno which led to the formation of the 1970 World Series of Poker, where Addington was one of the six players who voted unanimously – no-one could not vote for himself – for Johnny Moss to become the first official world champion of the game.

The Retiring Gambler

“In no-limit hold’em, the target comes alive and shoots back at you.”

While many of poker’s earliest players stayed in the game until their very later years, Addington retired from poker to continue his successful business pursuits. Living in San Antonio, he boosted a start-up in the oil industry, and launched Addington Enterprises, recording his final WSOP cash in the 1989 Main Event where Phil Hellmuth, aged just 24, won his first of 17 WSOP bracelets. Addington came 36th, winning $7,500, a loss on his $10,000 entry fee.

Addington was something of a seer in the game, stating once that “Limit poker is a science, but no-limit is an art. In limit, you’re shooting at a target. In no-limit, the target comes alive and shoots back at you.”

Speaking at Harvard University in 2007, Addington spoke deeply about his love of the game and confessed that in the early years of poker, players carried weapons.

“[They weren’t] to use on each other. If we won, we wanted to be able to get back to the car with the money. Not only did we have to beat a lot of really good players, but we had to dodge the hijackers and often times the sheriff of the county.”

Inducted alongside Jack Binion in 2005, Addington was a popular member of the Poker Hall of Fame. At that time, Addington had already returned to his homeland and went on to use his entrepreneurial spirit to become the CEO, Chairman and Director of Phoenix Biotechnology, a research organization into the treatment of cancers.

Crandell WSOP HOF
‘Dandy’ (left) was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame alongside Benny Binion (right) in 2005.

A Lifelong Legacy

Crandell Addington was a permanent fixture at the top table of poker’s glorious past. Helping to put in place the game we all enjoy today, the Texan may not have been a world champion in the WSOP history books, but he remains a poker legend. No-one but ‘Dandy’ has ever reached seven consecutive Main Event final tables and it is highly unlikely anyone else ever will.

While many in the game of poker will remember Crandell Addington’s attitude at the table and away from it, ‘Dandy’ created a legacy outside of poker. A genial man, Addington loved family and animals, and donated to numerous sanctuaries and wildlife preserving charities.

Addington’s earlier forays into the oil industry were converted in the direction of biotechnology. Survived by his wife Judy, two children, and many other family members and friends, Crandell Addington will be celebrated by a day of remembrance ceremony which is to take place at the Paisanos Restaurant in Lincoln Heights, Texas in San Antonio on Friday April 26th.