Old School Poker Legend Sam Grizzle Dies Aged 67

One of poker’s original bad boys, Sam Grizzle, has passed away at the age of 67 following a stroke and subsequent brain aneurysm.

Sam Grizzle

Old school poker icon Sam Grizzle has passed away at the age of 67 after a stroke. (Image: WSOP)

Grizzle may not have reached the heights fellow old school grinders like Doyle Brunson have, but he became a cult figure during poker’s boom period.

Along with a sharp tongue and penchant for conflict, the Las Vegas native was always ready to tussle with Phil Hellmuth. In fact, one of the things he’ll be most remembered for is punching the Poker Brat.

Another Poker Icon Passes Away

News of Grizzle’s passing was posted on Twitter by his daughter Lexie, but his condition was first made public late last week. Reports surfaced online that he’d suffered stroke which caused a brain aneurysm and left the veteran poker pro in a coma.

The odds of a recovery were slim-to-none and the decision was made to turn off his life-support. Lexie Grizzle paid tribute to her dad and vowed to use the lessons he taught her in life, the lessons he used to become one of poker’s most colorful characters.

The poker community has since paid tribute to Grizzle, with Nick Shulman recounting one of his many famous quotes.

“Woke up shivering in cold sweats, having a nightmare. Wanna know what it was? I was playing myself heads-up,” Grizzle once proclaimed.

A look through his record shows ten first-place finishes in mid-stakes tournaments and just over $1.3 million in career earnings. However, Grizzle was every bit the road gambler. When he wasn’t taking shots on his own dime, he was looking for a backer.

Sam Grizzle Had Fighting Spirit

Todd Brunson recalls a time when Grizzle only had $2 in his pocket but found his way into a high stakes cash game. He made money but got into an argument with his backer over the split.

Despite the disagreement, he took his profit, entered one of the casino’s daily tournaments and won $100,00. He promptly bought back into the high stakes game with his own money.

Grizzle’s ups and downs are the stuff of legend, but he’ll be forever linked to Phil Hellmuth. The pair had what looked to be a love/hate relationship. However, things came to a head one time when they took their argument outside.

Hellmuth returned with a black eye and bloody nose but insisted he got a few licks on Grizzle before he got busted up. Despite the incident, Hellmuth and Grizzle remained frenemies.

2020 has been a rough year all round. COVID-19 has disrupted life as we know it and poker has lost two icons. Mike Sexton passed away in September and, now, Sam Grizzle has joined him on the great poker table in the sky.

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