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World famous poker player Amarillo Slim passes away

World famous poker player Amarillo Slim passes away

THE world famous poker player Amarillo Slim Preston has passed away. He was 83.

Mr. Preston epitomised many people’s impression of a Texan gambler — he was over six feet tall, slim, and always in cowboy hat and boots.

He is credited with helping bring poker out of smokey back rooms and on to the world stage via television and the internet.

Mr. Preston took part in the first World Series of Poker when it was staged in Las Vegas in 1970. He went on to win the event five times during his career and is believed to have won $500,000 from tournament play.

He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1992.

Over the years he was to play poker against many diverse opponents including US Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, and the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Away from the card table, Mr. Preston was always willing to have fun and make money with some outrageous gambling antics.

He once bet the 1939 Wimbledon tennis champion Bobby Riggs that he could beat him at table tennis. Amarillo’s only stipulation was that he should be allowed to pick the rackets.  Riggs agreed only to discover that on the day of the match Mr. Preston insisted on playing with iron skillets, having spent months practicing with them.

Following this, he bet a gambling syndicate in Tennessee that he could beat a world table tennis champion. The champion prepared for the match by using an iron skillet as a racket. But Amarillo Slim won game after insisting on using empty Coke bottles.

To view an interview which Amerillo Slim gave several years ago, click here.


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