BY TOM SOMACH
Poker legend-turned-child molester Thomas “Amarillo Slim” Preston Jr. ended up in 96th place in the just-completed World Series of Poker (WSOP) seniors tournament, finishing in the money in a WSOP tourney for the first time since legal problems almost derailed his career four years ago.
WSOP Event #41 was a $1,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas hold ‘em tournament open only to poker players age 50 or older.
The tourney had 1,882 entrants ranging in age from 51 to 78 and a total prize pool of $1,882,000.
The competition was won by Ernest Bennet, 55, of Encino, Calif., USA, who earned $348,423 for the victory.
Coming in second was Tony Korfman of Boulder City, Nev., USA, who copped $217,503.
Preston, 78, of Amarillo, Tex., USA, took home $2,655 for his 96th-place finish.
It was his first cash-in in a WSOP tournament since 2002.
In 2003, Preston was indicted in Texas on three felony counts of indecency with a child by contact, for sexually assaulting his then 12-year-old granddaughter.
He copped a plea and pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts of assault, avoiding prison and getting off with just two years probation and a $4,000 fine.
He won the WSOP main event in 1972, earning $80,000.
As for this year’s WSOP seniors tournament, although it is discriminatory in that those under 50 can’t enter, it hasn’t sparked any of the controversy spawned by the WSOP’s women’s tournament.
That’s probably because while men will never be allowed to play in the women’s tourney, everyone eventually will be allowed to play in the seniors tourney.
(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])