Gambling legend Amarillo Slim dies at 83 - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Gambling legend Amarillo Slim dies at 83

Amarillo, TX - Poker legend 'Amarillo Slim' passed away at the age of 83.

He was known by many as the world's greatest gambler.

NewsChannel 10 interviewed "Amarillo Slim" back in 2009, we give you a glimpse of his life story.

I own the term Super Bowl of Poker, it's a hot commodity and everybody wants it," says "Amarillo Slim," World's Greatest Gambler. 

Thomas Preston Jr. is an icon in the Lone Star State, known for bringing Texas Hold 'Em to Las Vegas, where he won his first World Series of Poker in 1972.

He grew up in the panhandle and graduated from Amarillo High School.

At a young age, Slim knew how to make a good bet.

"I had a helicopter take me and show me the river. The boy that went with me, I had him insured for a million dollars. That was the only bet I've ever taken that I risked my life on," says "Amarillo Slim," World's Greatest Gambler.  

The very first time Slim went on a gambling trip, he walked out with one thousand dollars.

From that moment, he knew that's where the money was.

"I don't believe in luck. I think everyone gets an equal share of it, so you need to capitalize on it when it's good and discard when it's bad," says "Amarillo Slim," World's Greatest Gambler. 

He got his name, "Amarillo Slim " when he met another gambler named "Minnesota Fats

It was in the 60's when Slim and his Texas road gamblers took Texas Hold 'Em to Las Vegas.

"We needed a game they could play to gamble and take a chance, after all, it's a game of chance. We introduced them to Hold 'Em and gosh almighty it caught on like wildfire," says "Amarillo Slim," World's Greatest Gambler. 

A lot has changed since then and online poker has added to the success.

When Slim arrived, there were just six competitors in the World Series of Poker.

"You couldn't write a script with what's happened, we've got about 30 new millionaires that couldn't rub two nickels together," says "Amarillo Slim," World's Greatest Gambler. 

He played the game all through his older years, nothing could slow down the Texas pistol packing poker player

"I think you make your own luck in life whatever your endeavor is. It's like the illustration of a farmer, he will be a lot luckier if he will stay in his tractor then hanging out at the golf course," says "Amarillo Slim," World's Greatest Gambler.

That's how "Amarillo Slim" will be remembered.

A graveside service is scheduled for Thursday 10am at LlanoCemetery.

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