Thomas Austin Preston, also known as “Amarillo Slim” is widely famous in the gambling world for his unusual bets.
He mastered pool hustling and he began his runs in Texas. Later on he moved to Las Vegas and started with card games, winning the World Poker Series in 1974. However what made him popular in the gambling fields is the unorthodox bets he used to place, and more specifically – his ping-pong battle with Bobby Riggs.
Riggs was the 1939 Wimbledon Champion, but he is better known for the so called “Battle of the Sexes” matches in the 1970s. At the age of 55, Riggs beat the best female player at the time – Margaret Court and later on failed to way lower-ranked Billie Jean King. This is a reason to suspect that Riggs threw the second match, which is nothing that he wouldn’t do, taking in mind what a passionate gambler he was indeed.
Then the time came for Amarillo to step in. He arranged a ping-pong match against Riggs with the following caveat: Slim would supply the paddles. He would bring two paddles, and Riggs could choose either of them, but Slim would be the man to choose and supplying the pair itself. The stake was $10,000.
The day after Riggs agreed to take part, Slim exposed his paddles of choice: cooking skillets. Amarillo had already been practicing for months and was more than ready for the battle. Logically, everything resulted successfully for Slim and the overall score was 21-8 for him.