Bill (William) Boyd was a professional poker player who was born in 1906 in Arkansas. He was instrumental in bringing the game of poker to the place where it is most famous today – Las Vegas. He arrived in Vegas just as it was becoming the gambling city that we know today and he made it his mission to ensure that poker would become one of the main games played there. In 1946 he opened what was for years the only card room in Las Vegas which was legal.
As well as managing card rooms, Boyd was a dab hand at playing poker too and during his career he managed to pick up four World Series of Poker gold bracelets. All of his bracelets were won in variations of the five card stud game of poker and Boyd was considered by many to be one of the best if not the best five card stud player that ever played.
Boyd’s first WSOP bracelet was won in 1971 in the Limit Five Card Stud and he won his third bracelet in the same event in 1972. He won his second bracelet in 1972 in the $10,000 Five Card Stud event and in 1974 he picked up his fourth bracelet in the $5000 Five Card Stud event. Boyd’s entire tournament earnings came from his four cashes at the World Series of Poker where he picked up $80,000 in prize money.
Not only did Boyd help to establish the game of poker as we know it today in the city of Las Vegas but he was also instrumental in creating the game of Omaha with Robert Turner. He was one of the first players inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1981. Bill Boyd was one of the most respected figures in the world of poker right up to his death in 1997 at the fine age of 91.