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 Sequence 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 method to Vegas within the early Nineteen Seventies after serving in Vietnam the place he grew to become referred to as probably the greatest restrict maintain’em gamers on the town. Right here’s how the 1977 WSOP media information described him:

“He ventured into the Horseshoe On line casino for the World Sequence for the primary time final yr and proved his ability 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 enjoying, he might very effectively be primary within the World Sequence. The good-looking, 34-year-old Hufnagle enjoys water snowboarding, boating and weight-lifting. He is a health-conscious nonsmoker.”

Bruce Hershenson and Tommy Hufnagle
Bruce Hershenson shaking palms w/ Tommy Hufnagle (proper)

Profession Highlights

In line with The Hendon Mob, Hufnagle amassed $866,372 in stay match earnings courting 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 embrace third within the 1999 Carnivale of Poker II $5,000 Championship for $96,425, successful the 2002 LAPC $1,060 H.O.S.E. for $49,920, and coming runner-up to Mike Exhausting within the 1994 WSOP $1,500 Razz for $44,400.

He has 10 victories on his match poker résumé in such prestigious sequence 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 Sport

Terry King, one of many sport’s greatest sources on the historical past of poker, shared some ideas and tales about Hufnagle with PokerNews.

“He was one robust 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 at all times probably the greatest 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 at all times 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 enhance to my ego once they requested me to be in on their ‘swap 10% deal.’ They have been an odd pair. Tommy regarded like Bluto from Popeye and Kenny regarded just like the quintessential growing older Jewish man from New York.”

Tommy Hufnagle in WSOP action.
Tommy Hufnagle in WSOP motion.

As PokerNews as soon as reported, Hufnagle was additionally mates with one in all 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 enjoying poker and gin and betting on bowling and different video games. All the pieces they touched turned to gold.”

In his autobiography “The Godfather of Poker,” Corridor of Famer Doyle Brunson recounted successful the 1976 WSOP Predominant Occasion (22 entries) and having to take care of Hufnagle throughout three-handed play.

“Together with his youth, expertise, and flashy type, Hufnagle had earned his nickname of ‘Quick Eddie’ from the film ‘Hustler’ starring Paul Newman and had already put in a formidable efficiency. I might have favored his probabilities if I hadn’t been on the desk.”

Brunson ultimately busted Hufnagle with pocket jacks holding in opposition to eights, after which he bested Jesse Alto in heads-up play to win his first Predominant Occasion title. Again then, it was winner take all, so neither Alto nor Hufnagle obtained any cash whereas Brunson banked $220,000.

Hufnagle’s final match money got here within the 2016 Wynn Summer time Traditional $600 Seniors Occasion when he completed in forty fifth place in a 347-entry area.

PokerNews affords condolences to the household and mates of a real poker legend.

Lead picture courtesy of John Holley. Different photographs courtesy of Hufnagle’s daughter, Lesley Erica.

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