Amarillo Slim Preston
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Amarillo Slim at the 1974 WSOP.
Nickname(s) Amarillo Slim
Hometown Amarillo, Texas
World Series of Poker
Bracelet(s) 4
Money finishes 10
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
Winner, 1972

Thomas Austin Preston, Jr. (born December 31, 1928 in Johnson, Arkansas), known as Amarillo Slim, is a professional gambler, famous for his poker skills and proposition bets. He won the main event at the 1972 World Series of Poker. He has been a member of the Poker Hall of Fame since 1992.

Poker career[edit | edit source]

Before becoming a well-known tournament player, Preston was a rounder, touring the United States looking for gambling action along with Doyle Brunson and Sailor Roberts.[1]

Following his WSOP victory he appeared on several talk shows, including The Tonight Show, and had a bit part in the 1974 Robert Altman movie California Split.[2] He appeared on I've Got a Secret, where his secret involved losing $190,000 in one night of poker.

As of 2008, Preston has a total of four WSOP bracelets, including two in Omaha, with his most recent WSOP win in 1990. He has won over $590,000 in tournament play.[3]

Super Bowl of Poker[edit | edit source]

In January/February 1980 Amarillo Slim hosted the Second Annual Poker Classic which became the second most prestigious poker tournament during its time. This series would eventually be called the Super Bowl of Poker and would continue until 1990. Gabe Kaplan became the first tournament winner of this series.[4], and Stu Ungar won the title three times.[5]

World Series of Poker bracelets[edit | edit source]

Year Tournament Prize (US$)
1972 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship $60,000
1974 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em $11,100
1985 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha $85,000
1990 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha $142,000

Career as author[edit | edit source]

In 1973, Preston and Bill G. Cox authored Play Poker to Win, published by Grosset and Dunlap. a revised edition was published by HarperCollins in 2005 as Amarillo Slim's Play Poker to Win (ISBN 0060817550),

In May 2003, Preston published his autobiography Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People, where he revealed tales of playing poker with Larry Flynt, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon, among others. In addition to his poker exploits, in the book Preston gives vivid descriptions of his exploits in proposition betting.

In April 2007, Preston opened a website and released an E-Book All In: An E-guide To No Limit Texas Hold'em, by Amarillo Slim Preston with Brent Riley.

Movie Starring Nicholas Cage[edit | edit source]

Preston's autobiography is the basis for a biopic under development by Nicolas Cage since 2004; Cage will reportedly play Preston.[6]. Though stalled for several years it was reported on January 3rd, 2009 by ThePlayr.com that the movie will be released in 2009. [7]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Preston is divorced, has three children, and currently resides in Amarillo, Texas. Preston was the best friend of casino owner Benny Binion; when Binion died in 1989, he left his horse to Preston.

Encounters with the law[edit | edit source]

Since 2003 Preston has had several encounters with the law, both as a convicted misdemeanant and as a robbery victim.

In August 2003, Preston was indicted on three charges of indecency with a 12-year-old family member. The charges were reduced to misdemeanor assault in a plea bargain and on February 10, 2004, he pled guilty to the reduced charges, receiving a $4,000 fine and two years deferred adjudication.[8]

Early on the morning of October 4, 2006, Preston was approached on a street by a would-be robber. He sped away, but not before the gunman fired three bullets at his car. Preston was not injured.[9]

On January 28, 2007, Preston was robbed at gunpoint in his own home.[10]

On January 22, 2009, Preston was beaten and robbed in a field near the intersection of Interstate 40 and Soncy Road while attempting to collect a gambling debt.[11]

Notes[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:World Series of Poker Winners


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