Mosha Honowitz was the third son of Aaron and Miriam Honowitz. They scraped out a living as tailors in New York City, and never really gave up the way of life from the old country.
Mosha wanted more from life than living hand to mouth, and at seventeen hopped a freight train west. He made his way to Cleveland, before finally finding himself in Memphis. By that time, the tailor Honowitz was no more, and Moe Honor had made his debut in several of the more questionable establishments along the Mississippi waterfront.
The two things that Moe could do even better than sew, were count cards, and to lie through his teeth. Mister Honor, late of Manhattan, was a gambling man.
Honor soon was known throughout the whole steamboat trade, and wherever high stakes games might be between St. Louis and New Orleans. His red silk cravat, and gold front teeth became trademarks, not to mention his winning streak that more than once found him catching the next boat out of town before dawn came.
Well, winning streaks don’t last forever, and Moe met his equal when he went head to head with Sam Flash, or more rightly Samuel Fleischmann of Baltimore. The two met up in Natchez and it was a sight to see. Funny thing was that the proceedings were conducted in Yiddish, but both Flash and Honor told onlookers that it was gamblers’ code. The pasteboard pugilists battled the entire evening, and by all accounts the largest pot in living memory all rested in a single hand. That hand has gone down in history, not for its considerable size, but for the fact that in the end eight aces resting on the table.