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Big Stogies and Old Fogies


We can learn a lot from our elders.

When asked his secret for success after becoming the oldest WSOP bracelet winner in history, the 80-year-old Paul "Cigar" McKinney said, “I like moonshine whisky, big cigars, and young women.”


It was the Seniors No Limit event, open to anyone over the age of 50, in which Cigar McKinney made history. With a buy-in of $1000 and 825 AARP-card carrying players, it became the largest senior event ever with a prize pool just passing the ¾ of a million dollars mark.

While it’s common for sports to host senior events, it does seem a bit silly in poker considering you have the 71-year-old Doyle Brunson still reigning supreme over players a third his age in open-field events at the WSOP and WPT. I know personally when I play live tournaments in L.A., London, Tunica or elsewhere, it’s the guys twice my age I generally fear most. As Mike Sexton says week after week, Hold’em takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master, and notwithstanding Phil Ivey, it’s those who are 50 and up, with more years of poker experience than most have in breathing air, who are still dominating the big cash games (didn’t Barry Greenstein turn 50 this year?).

But moving on, here’s how things ended up at the final table.

1. Paul McKinney (Princeton, WV) - $202,725
2. Bob Hume (Orlando, FL) - $106,230
3. Paul Fischman (Sarasota, FL) - $60,060
4. Bob Redman (Liberty, MO) - $52,555
5. Charlie Zeghibe (Las Vegas, NV) - $45,045
6. Louis Barkoutsis (New York, NY) - $37,540
7. Peter Vilandos (Houston, TX) - $30,030
8. Dan Klein (North York, Ontario) - $22,525
9. Carol Bollinger (Mandeville, LA) - $15,015

Although this was McKinney’s first bracelet, this wasn’t his first time at a final table. He’s made it there before in the main event in 1998 and has since appeared at the final table at least 5 times at the WSOP.

Impressive, regardless of age and congrats Cigar McKinney on the win. With a $200K "pension" to your name, you'll be able to celebrate with a truckload of moonshine whisky, cases of big fat cigars and perhaps a bevy of young ladies a quarter your age.

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