Poker community mourns the loss of Amarillo Slim

Poker is a game that seems to thrust some amazing personas and characters into the public consciousness; one such legendary poker player's passing has managed to shake the community of players to its core...

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Amarillo Slim is arguably the most famous poker player and gambler to have emerged within the last 50 years; the poker legend recently passed away at the age of 83, following a prolonged battle with heart disease and cancer.

Thomas Austin Preston Jr., came to be known throughout poker and gambling circles as “Amarillo Slim”; he was well known for the striking rattlesnake hat-band that adorned his ten-gallon hat while playing.

Amarillo Slim did more than perhaps anybody in the history of the game to popularise poker; however, his reputation became tarnished during 2003, amidst allegations of child molestation – this left the global poker community with a fractured view of the gaming powerhouse, and polarised the opinions of those who came to know about his contributions to the game of Texas Hold'em.

Amongst the poker achievements that Amarillo Slim managed to accrue during his eight decades on the earth was an induction to the Poker Hall of Fame and a 1972 World Series of Poker Championship title.

Despite his credentials, it was the aforementioned allegations that hit Amarillo Slim just as America was undergoing a poker boom; this forced him to shy away from publicising the game he championed in the many years prior to the boom.

Amarillo Slim's family recently issued a statement to the World Series of Poker website, regarding his passing. It read: “We hope everyone will remember our beloved Amarillo Slim for all the positive things he did for poker and to popularize his favourite game, Texas Hold’em.”

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