Old Guard Poker Legend Tommy Hufnagle Dies
One of Poker’s few true old-school legends, Tommy Hufnagle, has passed away. After suffering an incapacitating heart attack on Feb. 15 this year, Hufnagle died on Friday. He was 77.
Originally from Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, the legendary high-stakes player first made his way to Las Vegas in the early 1970’s after completing time served in Vietnam. Once in Vegas, it didn’t take very long for Hufnagle to establish himself as one of the very best Limit Hold’em players in Sin City – not to mention an all-rounder to contend with.
Described by Doyle Brunson as one of the true “old guard” Poker legends, he was widely known as a player with an incredible work ethic hardly ever reached by most other players.
Fond Memories About Hufnagle
Hufnagle, a WSOP bracelet winner, over the course of a long and illustrious career spanning more than three decades managed to amass around $866,372 in live tournament winnings. He earned his WSOP bracelet colours in 1998 when he won the tournament of his career playing Seven-Card Stud. He walked away from his tournament win with a career-high $139,305 payday.
The Poker great won several prestigious events, including the Gold Coast Open, Hall of Fame Poker Classic, and Amarillo Slim’s Super Bowl of Poker.
Nicknamed “Fast Eddie”, Hufnagle earned his nickname from the movie “Hustler”, starring Paul Newman. In his book and autobiography, “The Godfather of Poker”, fellow-legend and Hall of Famer Doyle Brunson tells the story of how he had come up against Hufnagle in the 1976 World Series of Poker Main Event during three-handed play.
Brunson would eventually go on to win the event, but not before Hufnagle had given him a serious run for his money.
Respected By All
Back in 2017, David Kopp recalled how he had met Hufnagle when he himself had been a young 23-year-old just starting out.
During Kopp’s two years spent in Vegas, he crossed ways with several of the game’s biggest legends, including Hufnagle. He reminisced about how Stud-8 Poker was completely new at the time and how there had been only two guys who actually played it well. They were Ken Flaton and Tommy Hufnagle.
Flaton and Hufnagle had spent time serving together in the Army, and according to Kopp, used to swap 10% with one another in every tournament they competed in. He remembered it to have been a massive boost to his ego when they offered to include him in their arrangement.
He was respected and admired by all who knew him, said Kopp of the legendary player.