Former World Champ Tom McEvoy Shares his Poker Samadhi Wisdom
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Tom McEvoy, the 1983 world champion, was in attendance during the WSOP Event #76: $1,979 Poker Hall of Fame Bounty where he spoke with PokerNews about the good old days, the Poker Hall of Fame, and a poker-related business he's affiliated with called Poker Samadhi.
In 2013, McEvoy was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame along with another former WSOP Main Event winner, Scotty Nguyen. As such, he was a bounty in Sunday's event, and the player who busted him received $1,983 as a bounty, the year he won poker's world championship event.
McEvoy, a poker coach and long-time pro, has quite the knowledge of the game and life in general. As such, he's one of the Poker Samadhi gurus who shares his wisdom with the poker community.
Danielle Striker, a poker enthusiast and former Broadway performer, started the website over two years ago, but while seeking a poker coach many years ago, she met McEvoy, who at the time was the first ever PokerStars ambassador.
"When we first started talking, the very first thing (McEvoy) said was you need to slow down," Striker told PokerNews. "So this is how it all sort of came together. Throughout my life, everybody had always told me to slow down, so it's funny that he should say that."
Shortly after she began playing poker, she explained, Striker had an out-of-body experience at the poker table "where it was like I could see everybody's cards." She had a similar out-of-body experience in the 1980s following a motorcycle accident that put her into a wheelchair. The author of the book Poker Samadhi: A Divine Collection of Poker Wisdom said she recalls seeing her own body from above.
Striker said "the only place I've ever slowed down is at the poker table." Upon reading hundreds of books on poker over the years, she began to pick up on some wisdom from within the game.
"So I put together the best of poker wisdom, the best of life wisdom, and one of the things that (McEvoy) says is, 'There's more to poker than life," Striker said. "So I said you know what, I'm going to write a book, I wrote the book on Poker Samadhi about my experience, and Tom has a bunch of these sayings, so we put this website together and I have all these quotes from famous players and all this merchandise."
Poker Samadhi's website has a plethora of merchandise available featuring wisdom shared by poker legends such as T.J. Cloutier and McEvoy, both Hall of Famers.
Catching Up with Tom McEvoy
Cloutier couldn't make it to the Hall of Fame Bounty event at the WSOP this past weekend, but McEvoy was in the field along with a number of other Hall of Famers such as Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan, and Barbara Enright.
The poker legend was kind enough to talk a little poker with us on break during the World Series of Poker. He first discussed the feeling he experienced upon winning the Main Event in 1983, which paid $540,000.
"I've never done drugs in my life and I was on a euphoric high for the next five or six days," McEvoy said of how he felt after that career-defining win. "You'd think I had a drug-induced high, but it was better than that. It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I couldn't sleep, I was floating on cloud-nine because I'd come from basically nowhere to win the two biggest tournaments back-to-back."
In 1983, McEvoy, as he explained, wasn't an established pro entering the WSOP, but he earned the respect of his peers when he won a $1,000 limit hold'em event and then the Main Event in the same year. He'd go on to win two additional bracelets — one in 1986 and his most recent in 1993.
"I walked across the street to the Golden Nugget where I was a regular after winning the Main Event, and I didn't say a word. I just went up to the rail, and all of a sudden people just noticed that I was there. The room was full, you couldn't hear a pin drop. Everything stopped. I stood up and I got a standing ovation from everybody, including the floormen, the dealers. It was very touching."
During the Hall of Fame Bounty event, the newest member of the Poker Hall of Fame, the late Layne Flack, was announced in front of the crowd inside Paris Las Vegas. As a living member of the HOF, McEvoy had a say in the matter and he said he used his votes last year on Flack and Michael Mizrachi. This year, he chose someone different.
"(T.J. Cloutier) and I always vote the same way, we always discuss it," McEvoy said of his Poker Hall of Fame vote. "This year, all 10 votes went to Kathy Liebert who I felt totally deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. We don't have enough women in there. I have no objection to Layne Flack but they should put more than one person in. They used to put in two a year."
McEvoy, who has been playing poker for over 40 years, gave PokerNews his list of the best players he's ever faced.
"For tournaments, it's got to be Phil Hellmuth," McEvoy answered. "Phil Ivey, right now, is possibly the best all-around player. For 20 years, T.J. Cloutier was the best tournament player on the planet. I have tremendous respect, even now for his game."
McEvoy said that Doyle Brunson, often referred to as the best all-time, was among the greatest, but not quite at the top. He also mentioned Erik Seidel and David "Chip" Reese on his list of the greatest players in history.
On top of being one of the best in the game for many years, McEvoy is also credited with helping to make a push to have smoking banned in poker rooms about 20 years ago.
"It was precisely after the 2002 World Series of Poker, it was the worst 53 days of my life," he said, referring to playing in a room filled with cigarette smoke at Binion's.
That was the last year smoking was permitted at the WSOP, and inside most poker rooms in the United States, thanks in large part to the anti-smoking push by McEvoy.
McEvoy is one of the most knowledgeable poker players in history and he's full of wisdom. Hence, why he's a perfect match for Poker Samadhi.
In this Series
- 1 Officials Offer First Look at 2022 WSOP; Answer Several Lingering Questions
- 2 Bally's & Paris: Your Guide to the New Home of the World Series of Poker (WSOP)
- 3 Negreanu, Deeb (as Expected) Highest Bids in $25k WSOP Fantasy Draft
- 4 WSOP Transportation Guide: Riding the Las Vegas Strip Monorail
- 5 Let the Games Begin: 2022 WSOP is Officially Underway
- 6 Phil Hellmuth Misses 2022 WSOP Opener After Bout of Traveler's Diarrhea
- 7 Kenney, Schindler & Imsirovic Arrive at 2022 WSOP Despite Recent Cheating Allegations
- 8 Phil Ivey is Back! Poker G.O.A.T. Cashes First 2022 WSOP Event
- 9 Baltimore Raven Calais Campbell at WSOP: "We Have Super Bowl Potential"
- 10 2022 WSOP Featured Females: Katie Kopp Becomes Bally's First-Ever Bracelet Winner
- 11 WSOP Player of the Year Race One Week In: Defending Champ Arieh Off and Running
- 12 ClubGG Offers Bubble Protection For Eight 2022 WSOP Events
- 13 Doyle Brunson Skipping 2022 WSOP Due to COVID-19 Concerns
- 14 Retired NBA Star Paul Pierce Allegedly Won't Pay His Poker Debts
- 15 Scott Seiver Pays $43k to Enter $1k WSOP Event, Fails to Cash
- 16 2022 WSOP Featured Females: Lara Eisenberg Talks Poker's Impact on Dementia
- 17 2022 WSOP Hands of the Week: Depaulo vs. Hellmuth, a Pure One Outer & a Royal Flush
- 18 Reigning World Champ Koray Aldemir Quietly Crushing it at 2022 WSOP
- 19 2022 WSOP Player of the Week 2: Jeremy Ausmus Wins Third Bracelet in 9 Months
- 20 Hellmuth Controversy at WSOP: Poker Brat's Chips Swiped on Break
- 21 Security Mistakenly Tries to Kick Out Neymar Jr. After He Cashes First WSOP Event
- 22 Breaking News: Phil Ivey Closing in on Elusive 11th WSOP Bracelet Tonight
- 23 Doyle Brunson Becomes a WPT Ambassador, Might Play WSOP Main Event
- 24 World Series of Daniel's? Zack, Weinman (But Not Negreanu) Lead POY Race
- 25 WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller Kicks Off; Ivey, Negreanu and Kenney All Enter
- 26 Ali Imsirovic Busts WSOP $250K Super High Roller on Brutal Cooler
- 27 Cruising in the $250k, Is 2022 One of Phil Ivey's Best WSOP's Ever?
- 28 Runner-Runner Bad Beat Tilts Negreanu; Poker Star Out of WSOP $250k
- 29 Navy Vet Reps Military Charity During WSOP Salute to Warriors Event
- 30 2022 WSOP Featured Females: Meet Wendeen Eolis, 1st Woman to Ever Cash Main Event
- 31 Dan Zack Still Leads WSOP POY Race; Ivey, Deeb within Striking Distance
- 32 888poker Pro Ian Simpson Gears Up for 2022 WSOP Main Event
- 33 Poker Players Who Have Defended Their WSOP Bracelet
- 34 How to Make Day 2 of the Million Dollar Bounty
- 35 Poker Player Wins WSOP Main Event Satty in His Sleep...Literally
- 36 Josh Arieh Flushed Out of WSOP Main Event Early; Four Past Champs in Day 1a
- 37 2022 WSOP Hands of the Week: Yuvee Loses $50K to Pair of Deuces; Ivey Hits Ace from Space
- 38 BREAKING: Phil Hellmuth at 2022 WSOP $3,000 NLH Final Table, Chasing 17th Bracelet
- 39 Will the 2022 WSOP Main Event Smash the Attendance Record?
- 40 Barstool Sports' Cracking Aces Podcast Hosts Crush it on Main Event Day 1
- 41 WSOP Main Event Railbird Pays Back Daniel Negreanu Four-Year "Debt"
- 42 Matt Glantz Finds the $1 Million WSOP Bounty
- 43 BREAKING: WSOP Main Event Day 2 Schedule Altered
- 44 Aces Bust Kings 15 Minutes into Day 1b of WSOP Main Event
- 45 The Muck: Ike Haxton Takes on Barstool Sports' Poker Invasion
- 46 2022 WSOP Player of the Week 5: Jessica Teusl Wins First Bracelet at First WSOP
- 47 2022 WSOP Main Event Draws Massive Field, Almost Breaks All-Time Record
- 48 Phil Hellmuth's World Series of Poker Entrance Met w/ a Chorus of Boos
- 49 Robert Lipkin is the 2022 WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 50 SO SICK! Kings vs. Kings Cooler Busts 888poker's Sam Abernathy from the WSOP Main Event
- 51 Koray Aldemir: Back-to-Back WSOP Main Event Runs "A Privilege"
- 52 Brutal River! Aces, Queens, & Jacks All In Preflop in WSOP Main Event
- 53 Former World Champ Tom McEvoy Shares his Poker Samadhi Wisdom
- 54 Did Alejandro Lococo Pull Off Best WSOP Main Event Bluff Since Moneymaker?
- 55 The Muck: Did Mike Matusow Really Have a Blow Up in the WSOP Main Event?
- 56 Dan Zack Claims 2022 WSOP Player of the Year Honors
- 57 How Much Money Players at 2022 WSOP Main Event Final Table Really Made
- 58 Espen Jorstad Wins 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event for $10,000,000
- 59 Las Vegas Active Shooter Rumors Spark Panic; WSOP Impacted, Negreanu Injured
- 60 Quads Dooms Asher Conniff at WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 61 Aces Cracked! Souki Busts from WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 62 Espen Jorstad Holds Commanding Lead in Pursuit of WSOP Main Event Title
- 63 Not Su's Day: From Chip Leader to Out in 9th Place
- 64 A Look at All the 2022 WSOP Online Michigan Bracelet Winners
- 65 Five Memorable Hands from the 2021 WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 66 Where Are They Now: Ron “The Carolina Express” Stanley Battled Stu Ungar at 1997 WSOP
- 67 WATCH: One of the Best Folds in WSOP Main Event History?
- 68 Adrian Attenborough Just Made Two of the Gutsiest Plays of the 2022 WSOP
- 69 Can Karim Rebei Click his Way to a WSOP Main Event Title?
- 70 Cool, Calm & Collected Efthymia Litsou is WSOP Main Event's Last Woman Standing
- 71 2022 WSOP Hands of the Week: Quads, Quads, Quads, Quads!
- 72 Brutal River! Aces, Queens, & Jacks All In Preflop in WSOP Main Event
- 73 Daniel Negreanu Wraps 2022 World Series of Poker Down $1.1 Million
- 74 How the 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Will Be Remembered
- 75 PN Podcast: 2022 WSOP Main Event Final Thoughts; Interviews w/ Main Event Final Three