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Bobby "The Wizard" Hoff (born in Victoriamarker, Texasmarker) is an Americanmarker professional poker player, based in Long Beachmarker, Californiamarker.

Early years

In 1958, Hoff studied at the University of Texasmarker on an athletics scholarship, where he frequently played golf from a scratch handicap.

Hoff learned poker in Las Vegasmarker 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. Together, they drank large amounts of alcohol and took cocaine. Hoff regularly took two lines of cocaine before a big game and chased it with Cognac.

1979 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 A T outdrew A Q when the T 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 A A were outdrawn by Fowler's 7 6 on a board of J 5 3 4 T .

The heads-up match lasted over 10 hours, and was considered the original David and Goliath match of the WSOP, as Hoff was the big 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.

Further poker career

He also finished in the money of the $10,000 WSOP main event in 1990, 1993, 1996 and 1998. He also finished 2nd in a WSOP preliminary event in 1984.

Hoff also appeared in Poker Superstars II, finishing second in two heats (both times to Ted Forrest).

As of 2008, his total live tournament winnings exceed $460,000.

His alias on UltimateBet is "DaWiz".


  • According to Hoff, his nickname refers to his ability to make mountains of chips disappear.
  • Hoff describes Bobby Baldwin as the best poker player he ever saw.
  • 2006 WSOP main event winner Jamie Gold described Hoff as "maybe the best player in the world." [213820]


  • All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of The World Series of Poker, Jonathan Grotenstein & Storms Reback, ISBN 0-312-34835-5

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