Poker Legend & WSOP Bracelet Winner Tommy Hufnagle Dies at 77
After struggling a coronary heart assault in Mississippi on Feb. 15 that left him incapacitated and unresponsive, poker legend and World Collection of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Tommy Hufnagle died on the age of 77 on Friday.
Born Jan. 10, 1944, and hailing from Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, Hufnagle made his solution to Vegas within the early Seventies after serving in Vietnam the place he turned often called among the finest restrict maintain’em gamers on the town.
“Tommy is without doubt one of the ‘previous guard’ poker greats,” Doyle Brunson advised PokerNews on Hufnagle. “He had a piece ethic that almost all gamers by no means attain. God bless him!”
Right here’s how the 1977 WSOP media information described him:
“He ventured into the Horseshoe On line casino for the World Collection for the primary time final yr and proved his talent by ending third. His status as one of many world’s greatest all-around poker gamers derives from his expertise as a really excessive restrict participant, and if he have been to focus on no-limit taking part in, he may very effectively be primary within the World Collection. The good-looking, 34-year-old Hufnagle enjoys water snowboarding, boating and weight-lifting. He is a health-conscious nonsmoker.”
In line with The Hendon Mob, Hufnagle amassed $866,372 in dwell match earnings relationship again to 1976. That included a WSOP bracelet victory within the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud Break up occasion in 1998 for a career-high $139,305.
Different profession highlights embody third within the 1999 Carnivale of Poker II $5,000 Championship for $96,425, profitable the 2002 LAPC $1,060 H.O.S.E. for $49,920, and coming runner-up to Mike Laborious within the 1994 WSOP $1,500 Razz for $44,400.
He has 10 victories on his match poker résumé in such prestigious collection as Amarillo Slim’s Tremendous Bowl of Poker, Gold Coast Open, and Corridor of Fame Poker Traditional, and he was identified to have competed for untold fortunes in high-stakes money video games for many years.
Many years within the Recreation
Terry King, one of many recreation’s greatest sources on the historical past of poker, shared some ideas and tales about Hufnagle with PokerNews.
“He was one powerful son of a gun again when,” she recalled. “He turned a craps desk over by himself. Tommy was a beast as a participant. He was all the time among the finest all-around gamers ever.”
In 2017, David Kopp shared a narrative from 1979 when he was simply 23 and in Las Vegas for 2 years. He crossed paths with quite a few poker legends, together with Hufnagle.
“Stud-8 was new — it had simply hit city a yr in the past — and even the opposite skilled gamers hadn’t mastered it but. There have been two guys of their 30s (this appeared impossibly previous to me on the time) who each performed it very effectively. Ken (Skyhawk) Flaton and Tommy Hufnagle. They have been each well-known and well-respected. That they had been within the Military collectively they usually all the time swapped 10% with each other in any match they each performed. (In these days, there was solely the WSOP and Amarillo Slim’s Tremendous Bowl of Poker. Solely two main tournaments a yr.) It was an enormous increase to my ego once they requested me to be in on their ‘swap 10% deal.’ They have been an odd pair. Tommy appeared like Bluto from Popeye and Kenny appeared just like the quintessential getting old Jewish man from New York.”
As PokerNews as soon as reported, Hufnagle was additionally buddies with certainly one of poker’s most iconic duos.
“Hufnagle ran with the Gold Mud Twins within the late 70s and early 80s — Chip Reese and Danny Robison. The Twins, so the legend goes, arrived in Vegas with $700 between them and ran it as much as over $2 million taking part in poker and gin and betting on bowling and different video games. All the things they touched turned to gold.”
In his autobiography “The Godfather of Poker,” Corridor of Famer Doyle Brunson recounted profitable the 1976 WSOP Fundamental Occasion (22 entries) and having to take care of Hufnagle throughout three-handed play.
“Along with his youth, expertise, and flashy model, Hufnagle had earned his nickname of ‘Quick Eddie’ from the film ‘Hustler’ starring Paul Newman and had already put in a powerful efficiency. I’d have preferred his possibilities if I hadn’t been on the desk.”
Brunson ultimately busted Hufnagle with pocket jacks holding towards eights, after which he bested Jesse Alto in heads-up play to win his first Fundamental Occasion title. Again then, it was winner take all, so neither Alto nor Hufnagle acquired any cash whereas Brunson banked $220,000.
Hufnagle’s final match money got here within the 2016 Wynn Summer season Traditional $600 Seniors Occasion when he completed in forty fifth place in a 347-entry subject.
PokerNews affords condolences to the household and buddies of a real poker legend.
Lead picture courtesy of John Holley. Different photographs courtesy of Hufnagle’s daughter, Lesley Erica.