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WSOP Regular, Lakers Owner Jerry Buss Dead

Los Angeles Lakers owner and WSOP regular Jerry Buss died this week. He had been hospitalized for cancer last Thursday and was 80 years old at the time of his death.

Despite owning one of the NBA's most successful franchises, Buss still found time to play poker throughout the years. He started as a high stakes cash game pro and commonly played throughout California and Nevada casinos.

Later on, Buss got into poker tournaments and quickly experienced success with a third place finish in a 1991 WSOP $2.5k Seven Card Stud event ($33,250). He would go on to cash in at least one tournament every year for the next two decades. By the time Buss quit playing tourneys in 2011, he'd racked up $172,490 in career winnings.

Because of his strong link to poker, the WSOP is now considering naming their Seven Card Stud Championship, or trophy for the tournament, after Buss. An unnamed WSOP rep discussed this with the gossip website TMZ by saying, "At the appropriate time, we will seek to ask the family to honor [Jerry's] legacy by possibly naming our WSOP Seven Card Stud Championship after him or awarding the victor a special perpetual trophy in his honor."

He added, "We’re definitely going to miss seeing him...Even when the Lakers were playing in the NBA Finals, you could often find Dr. Buss playing his favorite game — Seven Card Stud — at the World Series of Poker."

Aside from being a poker player, Buss was much better known for owning the LA Lakers from 1979 to the present. During his ownership, the Lakers won 10 NBA Championships and became one of the most successful teams in NBA history.

Long before buying the Lakers franchise, Buss was an LA-area chemist who also taught at the University of Southern California (USC). In order to provide financial security on the side of his teaching job, the chemist began investing in real estate in the early 1960's. After starting small with a $1,000 LA apartment building, Jerry Buss would go on to expand his real estate empire over the years. He eventually earned enough money to purchase the Lakers for $67.5 million in 1979.