Poker Legend Amarillo Slim dies at 83

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A couple of weeks after being admitted to hospice care, poker legend Amarillo "Slim" Preston died at the age of 83. And although April 29th, 2012 will now mark a sad occasion for the poker world, it also gives people an opportunity to celebrate one of the game's biggest legends of all-time.

In Before the Boom

Long before poker experienced its peak amid the Poker Boom of 2003, Amarillo Slim was helping lay the foundation decades earlier. The 6'2" Texan, who earned his nickname for never weighing more than 175 pounds, was busy playing in dusty Western American towns with Doyle Brunson and Sailor Roberts. These weren't always the safest games since there was no regulation, and Slim was even robbed while playing.

During the 1960's, Slim moved on from these dangerous card games and went to Las Vegas, where he began playing various tournaments and cash games. He was also one of the original WSOP participants, and competed at a time where only a dozen or so people played the Main Event. Speaking of which, Slim would go on to win the 1972 WSOP Main Event along with $60,000 ($329,270 with inflation).

Mainstream Fame

Amarillo Slim was one of the first poker players to transcend the felt and earn some mainstream fame in the process. Following his 1972 Main Event victory, Preston would appear on ABC's "Good Morning America" and NBC's "The Tonight Show," along with game shows like "To Tell the Truth" and "What's My Line."

Aside from his TV appearances, Slim was also well-known for his love of prop betting. One story had him betting $1 million that he could hit a golf ball one mile, which was accomplished by hitting the ball and watching it slide across a frozen lake. Slim also had a bet with stunt devil Evil Knievel where he used a hammer to play golf.

With stories like these, it's no wonder why Amarillo "Slim" Preston will always be a huge legend within the poker world.