With the new year upon us, many publications tend to reflect on the year past and pay homage to those who have passed on and have left a lasting impression on others. It was nice to see Sports Illustrated pay such respect to Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston.
SI included Preston in an article about sports figures who died in 2012. Though his memory may always be blemished by questionable charges of indecency with a child, Preston’s contributions to the game of poker are without question. The winner of the WSOP Main Event in 1972, Amarillo Slim was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame 20 years later.
Considered by many to be responsible for bringing the game of poker into the mainstream by appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson following his 1972 WSOP victory, Preston’s effervescent personality and exploits made him a poker legend. Teaming up with fellow Hall of Famers Brian “Sailor” Roberts and Doyle Brunson, Slim and his pals made gambling on the road an art form.
The game of poker may always have its colorful characters, but Amarillo Slim Preston was one such figure who contributed to poker being the game it is today. RIP Slim.