Six-Time WSOP Champion Layne Flack Dies Aged 52

Professional poker player Layne Flack who passed away aged 52

The poker community is in mourning after the passing of six-time WSOP bracelet winner Layne Flack. News of Flack’s death circulated on July 19, with reports police found Flack dead in his home. The cause of death is not yet known.

Flack hailed from Rapid City, South Dakota, and found work as a poker dealer in Montana clubs. He made his way to Nevada, where poker greats Johnny Chan and Ted Forrest took Flack under their wing. Chan and Forrest’s guidance worked wonders because Flack became an exceptional poker player. Renowned tournament director, Matt Savage, claims Flack was the best in the world in the early 2000s.

August 1997 saw Flack win a $1,570 Hall of Fame Poker Classic at Binion’s, Las Vegas. The victory came with a $67,800 payout and put the South Dakota man’s name on the poker map. Another $64,970 came his way five months later after taking down a $540 buy-in event at the Rio.

His trip to the 1998 World Series of Poker saw him cash only once. However, it was a second-place finish in a $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event. Flack won $133,000 that day and getting close to winning a bracelet inspired him for more success.

Flack’s fellow professionals nicknamed him “Back to Back” after winning consecutive Legends of Poker events in August 1999. He accomplished the feat again at the 2002 and 2003 WSOP.

Flack Wins The First of Six Bracelets

Flack did not have long to wait to win a coveted WSOP bracelet because he managed the feat in 1999. He won the $3,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em event for $224,000. Another bracelet almost came Flack’s way a year later, but his $5,100 Omaha Hi/Lo run ended in a third-place finish.

More deep runs followed before Flack won bracelets #2 and #3 in 2002. He triumphed in the $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event for $303,880 and the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for $268,020.

Two more bracelets came his way at the 2003 WSOP. Victory in the $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo event came with $119,260. His takedown of the $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout awarded $120,000.

Flack knocked on the door of more bracelets over the next five years but could not quite seem to get the job done. That changed in 2008 with victory in the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha event. This win came with $577,725 in prize money, which was his largest-ever score.

Tributes Flood In

Dozens of prominent members of the poker community flooded Twitter with tributes to the late poker. Matt Savage tweeted, “Hearing that back2backflack has passed away, Layne, please respond because I am completely flattened by this news. Layne was the best in the world in the early 2000’s and it’s not close.”

Chip Jett echoed those sentiments. “Just gutted. We were so close in the early 2000s. He was the best NL hold’em player in the world back then and just had a brilliant poker mind. I will miss him making me laugh and all the trouble we got into and out of. RIP Layno.”

It is clear Flack touched the hearts of so many people, not only from the poker world. He had bags of ability and always played poker with a beaming smile, making everyone welcome at the table. Of course, the smile was a ploy to relieve opponents of their chips, but still.

The nominees for induction into the 2021 Poker Hall of Fame are not public right now. However, it would be a crying shame if Flack’s name is not on that list. He fits the criteria and more so.

  • A player must have played poker against acknowledged top competition
  • Be a minimum of 40-years-old at time of nomination
  • Played for high stakes
  • Played consistently well, gaining the respect of peers
  • Stood the test of time

It would not be the first time the POF has inducted someone posthumously. David “Devilfish” Ulliott was inducted in 2017, for example. Let us make it happen when the public voting begins.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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