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Player unexpectedly passes during poker tournament

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Player unexpectedly passes during poker tournament

Eric Thompson had just celebrated his birthday on August 20 and was participating in the $100,000 Oklahoma State Championship Kickoff Event, one of many the midwestern grinder has played this year. The 49-year-old was doing well on September 1 when he unexpectedly suffered a heart attack, bringing a somber mood to the tournament that resonated throughout the community.

Thompson has been a regular on the circuit since 2007. He is an Oklahoman native who has amassed over $545,000 in live tournament action thanks to several big finishes. he won the 2014 Choctaw Fall Poker Series Championship, the 2010 Hard Rock Tulsa Poker Open $340 NLH event and the 2015 Grand Poker Series $240 Seniors Championship.

He has been described as a “fiercely competitive but caring” individual. John Reynolds, a friend and regular on the mid-states circuit, said, “Eric we had so many hours of Poker played together and it was always a battle. You was [sic] also always there willing to share your hotel rooms and talk Poker. We had many a fun time all over, Tulsa, Siloam, Joplin, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Durant. I will cherish all the good memories buddy, you will be missed!”

Cary McFarland also praised the man with the soft smile and friendly face. He said, “The poker community and the world has lost a wonderful soul. Although known best in his hometown of Tulsa, he was well-liked throughout the poker world as well. As fiercely competitive as he was on the felt, he was equally caring and conscientious in the real world. Always seemed to have an encouraging word for us lesser players, or a kind word of celebration and support if we somehow bested him!”

RIP, Eric.


Hailing from Wisconsin but arriving in Las Vegas in 1995, I'm better known at various US online poker rooms under the pen name "OreoBob" and "SoyFlush". I'm an avid poker player and editor-at-large who has contributed as a freelance writer for diverse national and international iGaming publications since 2004.

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