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Former WSOP Champ Amarillo Slim Robbed

Weekend's Crime Is Slim's Second Brush With Criminals Within Year


Amarillo Slim is not going into the twilight of his life quietly.

The poker player and gambler with the God-given name of Thomas Austin Preston found his way back into the headlines this week after he returned to his Amarillo home Sunday to find two armed men robbing it.

According to a local television station, Preston returned home to find the two men armed with two of his own shotguns. They tied him up, robbed him of an undisclosed amount, and fled with the weapons. No arrests have been made.

This is the 78-year-old Slim's second brush with the Texas criminal element within the year. In October, a man tried to rob Preston while he was in his car in Amarillo. Slim sped away, but the robber fired several shots into his vehicle. Preston wasn't hurt in the crime.

Preston, who arguably became the first real poker superstar after winning the 1972 World Series of Poker championship, has had his name connected to criminal acts more than feats at the poker table in recent years.

In 2003, Preston was indicted on indecency charges in connection with his 12-year-old granddaughter. The charges were eventually reduced to misdemeanor assault, and Slim pled guilty to the reduced charges in 2004, receiving a $4,000 fine and two years deferred sentence. Slim still denies he did anything wrong in this case.

After his WSOP win in 1972, Slim became more famous than perhaps any poker player who preceded him. He appeared on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and 60 Minutes, among many others. He even had a cameo role in Robert Altman's movie California Split.

A movie based on Preston's life is in pre-production.