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Poker Stories Podcast With Tom McEvoy

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Nov 22, 2017

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Poker Stories is a new, long-form audio series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

Age: 73
From: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Turned Pro: 1978
Live Tournament Earnings: $3 million
Best Score: 1st Place – 1983 WSOP Main Event ­— $540,000

The Highlights

On how he approaches the game these days…

“I’ve gotten older… and hopefully wiser. I’m still active as a player, just not as much. Next month I’ll be 73, so I’m certainly not one of the new players. I’ve lived in Las Vegas since 1979… so everything these new young hotshots are doing, I’ve seen it all. There are always a few new wrinkles, but I pride myself on still being able to learn from those new players. I teach poker on the side, and I will go to my grave not knowing everything there is to know about the game. Anybody who thinks they’ve learned it all, has let their ego interfere with good judgement, because that’s just not the case.”

On his start in poker…

“[Poker] was just a fun thing to do. Growing up as a kid, I had two brothers, and we used to clean up on the neighborhood kids, and I could always clean up on my brothers, so… To this day, I feel guilty, because my neighbor across the street worked very hard on his paper route, and then I’d play poker with him heads-up and I’d take his paper route money. But he’s forgiven me [since].”

On his career as a writer…

“When I came back to do another book, [Erik Seidel] heard about it, and he thought revealing all of these secrets would be detrimental to his income. He felt the same way about the hole-card cameras, when it did nothing but explode poker in popularity. He was afraid it was giving away too much information, but he didn’t see the bigger picture that poker didn’t really catch on TV until people could see the strategy. He offered me $25,000 not to publish [the book]. Just to tear it up, forget about it. I didn’t put in seven months of my life [to quit].”

On fitting in with other poker pros…

“They never accepted me, not a chance. Mr. Square from Squaresville? I don’t think so. I wasn’t them. I will not mention any names, but all these legends in the Hall of Fame…. (You are in the Hall of Fame, too.) Well, I didn’t cheat, and they did. That’s the difference. If I did then I’d probably have a lot more money than I do now. (chuckles) Most of them were Texas road gamblers. They had to get the money, keep the money, avoid being robbed, avoid the police. Cheating was considered part of the game, but I never accepted that.”

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