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The 2024 Card Player Poker Tour Venetian $1,600 buy-in no-limit hold’em main event attracted a field of 458 entries, blowing away the $400,00 guarantee to create a final prize pool of $650,360. After three starting ...


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Poker's Paul 'Eskimo' Clark Passes Away

Long-Time Grinder Leaves Game At 67


Three-time WSOP bracelet winner Paul “Eskimo” Clark passed away in April, according to an online posting that has been circulating through the poker community this week.

Clark was born on June 2, 1947 in Stockton, Missouri, grew up in Louisiana and died on April 15, 2015 in Las Vegas. He is survived by three sisters and several nieces and nephews.

Clark was a dominant player in the 1990s, finishing in the top 10 on poker’s money list nine of the 10 years during that decade. Unfortunately, his career slowed considerably in the mid-2000s.

Clark’s last cash at the WSOP was in 2007 when he finished fourth in a $1,500 razz event. Clark is believed to have suffered a stroke during play, but refused to stop playing and somehow managed to return to action and nearly win the event. He won his bracelets in 1992, 1999 and 2002.

Clark was the first to win bracelets in seven-card stud, razz and stud high-low, a record that was not matched until Jeffrey Lisandro in 2009, according to a 2012 Card Player Magazine piece by veteran poker writer Max Shapiro.

In 2010, one of Clark’s bracelets was auctioned for $4,050 on eBay.

He had total lifetime tournament earnings of $2,734,782.

A 2003 tournament at the Bellagio won by Clark had a final table that included British poker legend Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott, who passed away just days before Clark, but whose death was made known almost instantly to the poker community.

Clark was a veteran of the Vietnam War, where he worked as a medic. According to a 2013 Card Player Magazine article by poker pro Bryan Devonshire, it may have been Clark’s stint in Vietnam that helped introduce a variant of poker to the Sin City card-playing community.

Several [sources] mention that Paul “Eskimo” Clark brought [badugi] to Vegas and consequently North America in the early early 2000s. One site claims that Eskimo invented the game while in Vietnam, whence it spread to South Korea and gained popularity thereafter. That leaves a decade plus gap when Eskimo was in Vegas and nobody played badugi, but regardless of how the game got here, it is here to stay, being spread regularly in mixed games, online, and at the World Series of Poker.

Despite not shining at the WSOP like he once did, Clark was still as tough as ever late in his life. In 2010, Clark was asked in a short interview to talk about a bad beat, to which he replied: “There’s no such thing as a bad beat. I mean, if a guy pays for a card and gets the card, that’s it.”