It was 3 a.m. in Las Vegas in May 1972.
Thomas Austin Preston Jr., better known as Amarillo Slim, had won the main event at the World Series of Poker less than two hours earlier, and there he was looking for a game — any game.
"As long as it's for real money," the tall and lanky professional gambler in the anteater-hide cowboy boots told a Times reporter, pushing his pearl-gray Stetson toward the back of his head.
"Seems like a feller ought to be able to get a game like that — something interesting, you know — in a town like this here," he said. "But I swear to goodness I just can't hardly find a thing to occupy my time!"
Amarillo Slim, who was long known as a living legend on the worldwide poker circuit, died of colon cancer Sunday in hospice care in Amarillo, Texas, said his son, Bunky Preston. He was 83.
A 1992 inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame, Slim was a colorful character who became known as poker's first celebrity. In the wake of his 1972 World Series of Poker win, he began promoting poker — and himself — on"The Tonight Show"and other TV shows.
He also wrote a number of books, including "Amarillo Slim's Play Poker to Win" and "Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People: The Memoirs of the Greatest Gambler Who Ever Lived."
CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL NEWS STORY