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Thomas James Cloutier (born October 13, 1939) is a professional poker player from Albany, Californiamarker. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2006.

Early years

Cloutier attended the University of California, Berkeleymarker on an athletic scholarship for American football and baseball and played in the Rose Bowlmarker in 1959. However, he later dropped out because of family financial hardship.

Cloutier was drafted into the United States Army. After the Army, he played football in the Canadian Football League for Toronto and Montreal, but an injury cut his career short.

Cloutier then started a food company, but it was not successful, so he moved to Texasmarker to work on oil rig. On his off days he began to play poker, and quit his job after realizing that he was winning more money playing poker than working. He started playing poker when he was a caddy at a golf course and played poker after the rounds.

Tournament career

Cloutier specializes in playing tournament poker, especially No Limit and Pot Limit Hold'em. He is the only person in the history of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) to have won events in three types of Omaha played at the World Series — Pot Limit High, Limit High, and Limit 8-or-Better High-low split. He has placed four times in the top five in the main event of the World Series of Poker, including two 2nd place finishes, in 1985 and 2000. In 2009, he was one of several players turned away from the main event, as registration was capped. Cloutier is currently second to Phil Hellmuth (41) for the most all-time WSOP final table finishes record, with 39. His 55 WSOP cashes rank him 5th overall.

Cloutier also plays in World Poker Tour (WPT) events, where his highest finish is 3rd in the 2003 Legends of Poker event won by Mel Judah. He has also been featured in the Ultimate Poker Challenge, the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament and Poker Royale: Battle of the Ages.

As of 2009, his total live tournament winnings exceed $9,700,000. $4,324,186 of his tournament winnings have come at the WSOP.

WSOP bracelets

Year Tournament Prize
1987 $1,000 Limit Omaha Hi $72,000
1994 $1,500 Limit Omaha 8 or Better $135,000
1994 $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em $163,000
1998 $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi $136,000
2004 $1,500 Seven Card Razz $90,500
2005 $5,000 No Limit Hold'em $657,100


Poker writings

Cloutier is the co-author (together with Tom McEvoy) of four books:
  • Championship Tournament Practice Hands
  • Championship Holdem
  • Championship Omaha
  • Championship No-Limit and Pot Limit Hold'em.


In May 2006 Cloutier released How To Win The Championship: Hold'em Strategies For The Final Table, a book covering tournament strategy with an emphasis on the final few tables.

He also used to write for Card Player magazine.

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