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Poker Loses Another: WSOP Star Mickey Craft Passes Away

Mickey Craft was the talk of the town during the 2017 WSOP Main Event.
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  • Another beloved poker player has died. The poker world mourned the loss of Mickey Craft.

Mickey Craft, who lit up the poker world during a 2017 World Series of Poker Main Event run, reportedly died on Sunday.

"It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to a good friend," read a tweet from Craft's sponsor, Suited Poker Gear. "Your positive, upbeat attitude will be missed."

"All we know is he passed in his sleep last night," a subsequent tweet read.

A relative named Scott posting under the handle "Roachman68" joined in the 2+2 thread about Craft's passing to confirm.

"I just wanted to let you know that this news is sadly true. He is my 1st cousin and we were very close growing up. I received the news on Monday and it seems surreal. He loved his WSOP family and fans. I am passing the posts along to the family and they are appreciative of the outpouring of love and support. He will be missed dearly."

Rise to Poker Stardom

Craft, who had about $135,000 in live cashes, made no bones about the fact that he was at the poker table to have a good time, regardless of whether he ended up collecting his opponents' chips or vice versa.

He captured the hearts of poker players and fans everywhere during the 2017 WSOP Main Event with his antics, including but not limited to some highly aggressive play, round after round of drinks, and highly quotable lines.

Craft would parlay the popularity he gained with that run into a couple of appearances on "Poker After Dark." He played in cash games in episodes "Talk the Talk" and "Masters of the Main," highlighted by booking a sizable win in one of the former episodes while playing with the likes of Antonio Esfandiari and Danielle Anderson.

His fun-loving nature endeared him to both his tablemates and observers around the industry, who understandably reacted with great sadness to the reports of his death.

Remembering Craft's 2017 Main Event

With just one significant tournament cash on his ledger — a third-place finish in an event earlier in the summer — Craft burst onto the scene almost out of nowhere on Day 2ab of the Main Event in 2017 Main Event.

He bagged the second-biggest stack that day, running hot on his first time playing poker's biggest event.

"This is my first Main Event and I got hit in the face by the deck," he said afterward.

The good times would continue on Day 3, with Craft bagging the seventh-biggest stack. His star really began to rise with a turn on a featured table opposite the likes of Liv Boeree, where he displayed his trademark fearlessness and afterward delivered more quotable, self-effacing material.

Mickey Craft
Mickey Craft loved to have a beer and exchange banter at the poker table.

"Of course, there's way better players than me," he said. "There's no doubt. If I get to the final table and there's Daniel Negreanu over here, Jesus Ferguson over here, and whats-her-face over there... I'm going to be the one with the beer in my hand.

"I like to have fun when I play poker, and I feel like I do better when I'm having fun. The money does mean something. Anyone who says it doesn't is crazy. But, the fun in poker means more than anything money can ever buy."

"The fun in poker means more than anything money can ever buy."

Craft would remain the life of the party, advancing through Day 4 and onto Day 5. There, he finally busted in 146th in memorable fashion when he shoved with seven-deuce after flopping a pair and failed to overcome Michael Ruane's overpair.

But, Craft wasn't done. He left the area and returned for one final gift for his tablemates, one that fit how he'd done things the whole way through: a tray full of tequila shots.

"I just want to say thank you to everyone for everything," he said. "I just wanted to make a little fun of poker. Whether you go out with king-queen or seven-deuce, it's all for fun."

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