Today marked the passing of a legend in the poker world as “Amarillo Slim” Preston passed away at the age of 83. Part of the core group of Texas road gamblers who helped popularize poker in the early 1970s (the most famous of whom is Doyle Brunson), Slim rose to fame when he captured the World Series of Poker Main Event Championship in 1972. The game’s first true ambassador, Slim’s media appearances on outlets such as The Tonight Show and Good Morning America gained him nationwide notoriety that lasted throughout the remainder of his life.
Cardplayer Lifestyle last wrote about Amarillo Slim Preston just a couple months ago, mentioning that he had founded the Super Bowl of Poker, an event second in prestige only to the World Series of Poker, which ran from 1979–1991.
Aside from his Main Event win in 1972, the 4-time WSOP bracelet winner was also victorious in the $1,000 No Limit Hold’em event in 1975, and then in the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha event in both 1985 and 1990. His last major tournament showing was a runner-up finish to Phil Ivey in 2000 in a $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha event.
Ever recognizable, well into his old age, in a white Stetson, Preston was also a noted author, with his strategy piece “Amarillo Slim’s Play Poker to Win” and autobiography “Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People” among poker fans’ all-time favorite poker books.
Slim was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 1992 and was one of its 20 living members (out of 42 in total).