The Poker Joker Forum >> Legends of Gambling >> Message started by: Five Fingers on 05/28/03 at 09:19:06
Title: Hall of Fame: Bill Werbeniuk
Post by: Five Fingers on 05/28/03 at 09:19:06
The 20-stone giant Canadian sadly passed away in January, 2003.
A well known Ipswich Town fan - indeed he was spotted wearing an ITFC tie on TV way back in 1978 - Bill reached his snooker playing peak in the early 1980's, ranking No. 8 in 1983. The four-time World Championship quarter-finalist also helped his home nation win the 1982 World Cup.
Werbeniuk's colossal girth - he was the first man to split his trousers during a televised match - and his consumption of 50 pints of lager a day made him one of snooker's most recognisable figures.
Werbeniuk suffered from an hereditary nervous disease (or so he and his doctors claimed) which caused his hands to shake. The only solution which allowed him to participate in his trade was drink. Werbeniuk's condition, as he argued towards the end of his career, could have been stabilised under the influence of beta-blockers. Unfortunately, the only such drug recommended by his own consultant, Inderal, was banned by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. He acquired a medical certificate which approved his beer-drinking, and became the envy of every armchair viewer when it was explained that he could offset the cost of beer against income tax.
"First and foremost, I'm a gambler," he declared in 1989. "Cards or snooker, it's always been a gamble."
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