JJ 'Noel' Furlong, World Series of Poker Main Event Champion, died on Sunday aged 67 of natural causes.
Nicknamed "Noel" because he was born on Christmas Day, Furlong was a part-time poker player, dividing his time between tables and a successful carpet company in his native Dublin, Ireland.
Furlong started playing poker in 1984 and won Irish Poken Open in 1984 and again in 1989. The die-hard horse trainer made his first trip to Las Vegas on WSOP in the same year and made an immediate impression, finishing sixth in the Main Event, ultimately won by young Phil Hellmuth.
Ten years later, the then 61-year-old once again made the final table, this time beating the likes of Huck Seed, Padraig Parkinson, Alan Goehring and Erik Seidel for a bracelet and a $ 1 million first place prize.
WSOP issued a statement to PokerNews after his death, saying Furlong "helped put the 'world' into history World Series of Poker"And that he was" a memorable champion, businessman and gentleman who was also a world-class player. "
Victory was successful Furlong, the second-oldest Main Event winner in history, behind Johnny Moss. Moss won the inaugural Main Event in 1970 (vote) at age 64 and repeated as champion the following year at age 64, and again a few years later at 67.
* WSOP Photo Credit