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1999 World Series Of Poker Main Event Champion Noel Furlong Passes Away

Irish Businessman And Poker Player Died Sunday At Age 83

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Furlong Wins 1999 WSOP Main EventJ.J. ‘Noel’ Furlong, the 1999 World Series of Poker main event champion, died Sunday at the age of 83 from natural causes.

Nicknamed ‘Noel’ because he was born on Christmas Day, Furlong was a part-time poker player, splitting his time between the tables and a successful carpet manufacturing business based out of his hometown of Dublin, Ireland.

Furlong started playing poker in 1984, and won the Irish Poken Open in 1987, and again in 1989.

The avid horse trainer first made the trip to Las Vegas for the WSOP that same year and made an immediate impression, finishing sixth in the main event eventually won by a young Phil Hellmuth.

Ten years later, the then 61-year-old once again found himself at the final table, this time topping the likes of Huck Seed, Padraig Parkinson, Alan Goehring, and Erik Seidel for the bracelet and the $1 million first-place prize.

The WSOP released a statement to PokerNews following his passing, stating that Furlong “helped put the ‘world’ in the history of the World Series of Poker,” and that he was a “worthy champion to be remembered, a businessman & gentleman who was also a world-class player.”

The victory made Furlong the second oldest main event winner ever, behind just Johnny Moss. Moss won the inaugural main event in 1970 (by vote) at the age of 63, and repeated as champion the next year at age 64, and again a few years later at 67.

*Photo credit WSOP