The 83 years old poker legend “Amarillo Slim” Preston has passed away after a lengthy illness. The legend was the winner of 1972 World Series of Poker Championship Event, four-time WSOP bracelet winner and Poker Hall of Fame member.

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Earlier it was reported that Preston was battling cancer and heart problems and last weekend he was taken to a hospital. His many poker companions, including his old “Road Gambler” running mate Doyle Brunson, accompanied him to the hospital where he seemed to have improved over the past week. But he could not survive the passing days and his death announcement was provided to poker player Scott Clark. Later, the Preston family released following statement through Nolan Dalla, the Media Director for the WSOP

“We hope everyone will remember our beloved Amarillo Slim for all the positive things he did for poker and to popularize his favorite game – Texas Hold’em”

Texan Thomas Austin Preston, Jr. became “Amarillo Slim” for his fondness for making outlandish prop bets as well as his tremendous skills on the field. Preston with Brunson and another former World Champion-to-be, Brian “Sailor” Roberts formed Texas “Road Gamblers”. The trio would often tour the southwest for poker games and make their living. But according to Brunson, which he stated in interviews, their relationship unfortunately broke up after they lost their bankroll in Las Vegas. However they continued to remain friends and make their living during the early years of the World Series of Poker

“Amarillo Slim” earned his first fame during the 1972 WSOP Main Event, where he took down the championship for his first ever bracelet. Quickly, he built a celebrity status and made appearances on talk shows including The Tonight Show and several movies to promote the game of poker. With his excellent performances on the tables, he won three more WSOP bracelets, and his last victory came in 1990 in a $5000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament.

Preston is also admired for his other poker endeavors. He contributed his experiences for several poker books, including Amarillo Slim’s Play Poker To Win. In his autobiography “Amarillo Slim In A World Full Of Fat People” received a lot of popularity as he enlightened his career on the tables and with his prop bets.

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