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Midwestern Poker Player Eric Thompson Unexpectedly Passes (1969-2018)

Eric Thompson
  • Thompson had a stack in a Tulsa poker event when he passed away at the age of 49 on Sept. 1.

The PokerNews Live Reporting Team is currently covering the WinStar River Poker Series, and it was there the poker world received the sad news that Eric Thompson, a well-known player on the Midwestern mid-major circuit, passed away unexpectedly on September 1 after suffering a heart attack.

At the time of his passing, Thompson, born August 20, 1969, had a stack in the $100K Oklahoma State Championship Kickoff Event at the Hard Rock Tulsa. Instead of removing his stack from play, the decision was made to blind him off. They also honored him with a moment of silence before the start of play on Day 2.

McFarland: "As fiercely competitive as he was on the felt, he was equally caring and conscientious in the real world."

Dating back to 2007, Thompson amassed $545,075 in tournament earnings, which put him 19th on Oklahoma’s all-time money list. His best cash of $103,228 came when he took down the 2014 Choctaw Fall Poker Series Championship, which means his banner still hangs at Choctaw poker events.

Other highlights on his poker résumé include winning the 2010 Hard Rock Tulsa Poker Open $340 NLH for $41,132, finishing second in the 2015 Choctaw Fall Poker Series Monster Stack for $35,976, and winning the 2015 Grand Poker Series $240 Seniors Championship for $20,190.

Eric Thompson
Eric Thompson's banner hangs in Choctaw.

Many players took to social media to express their disbelief and share memories.

“Eric we had so many hours of Poker played together and it was always a battle,” said friend and fellow poker player John Reynolds. “You was also always there willing to share your hotel rooms and talk Poker. We had many a fun time all over, Tulsa, Siloam, Joplin, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Durant. I will cherish all the good memories buddy, you will be missed!”

Cary McFarland offered the following: “The poker community and the world has lost a wonderful soul. Although known best in his hometown of Tulsa, he was well-liked throughout the poker world as well. As fiercely competitive as he was on the felt, he was equally caring and conscientious in the real world. Always seemed to have an encouraging word for us lesser players, or a kind word of celebration and support if we somehow bested him!”

Thompson’s service will be held Friday at 3:00 p.m. at Christ Memorial Episcopal Church in El Reno, Oklahoma. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral costs. Within its first 19 hours, the page had raised $1,700 towards its $5,000 goal.

Lead image courtesy of RunGoodGear.

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