Thomas Austin Preston, Jr. known as Amarillo Slim, is a professional gambler, famous for his poker skills and proposition bets. Amarillo Slim Preston wasborn December 31, 1928 in Johnson, Arkansas.
Amarillo Slim Preston won the main event at the 1972 World Series of Poker. Amarillo Slim has been a member of the Poker Hall of Fame since 1992.
In 1973, Amarillo Slim Preston and Bill G. Cox authored Play Poker to Win, published by Grosset and Dunlap. a revised edition was published by HarperCollins in 2005 as Amarillo Slim's Play Poker to Win.
In May 2003, Amarillo Slim Preston published his autobiography Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People, where he revealed tales of playing poker with Larry Flynt, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon, among others. The book is the basis for a biopic under development by Nicolas Cage since 2004; Cage will reportedly play Preston, and Miloš Forman is scheduled to direct.
In April 2007, Amarillo Slim Preston opened a website and released an E-Book All In: An E-guide To No Limit Texas Hold'em, by Amarillo Slim.
Amarillo Slim Preston is divorced, has three children, and currently resides in Amarillo, Texas. Preston was the best friend of casino owner Benny Binion; when Binion died in 1989, he left his horse to Preston.
Since 2003, Amarillo Slim Prestonhas had several encounters with the law, both as convicted misdemeanor and as robbery victim.
In August 2003, Amarillo Slim Preston was indicted on three charges of indecency with a 12-year-old family member. The charges were reduced to misdemeanor assault in a plea bargain and on February 10, 2004, he pled guilty to the reduced charges, receiving a $4,000 fine and two years deferred adjudication.
Early on the morning of October 4, 2006, Preston was approached on a street by a would-be robber. He sped away, but not before the gunman fired three bullets at his car. Preston was not injured. On January 28, 2007, Preston was robbed at gunpoint in his own home.
Before becoming a well-known tournament player, Amarillo Slim Preston was a rounder, touring the United States looking for gambling action along with Doyle Brunson and Sailor Roberts.
Following his WSOP victory he appeared on several talk shows, including The Tonight Show, and had a bit part in the 1974 Robert Altman movie California Split. Amarillo Slim Preston appeared on I've Got a Secret, where his secret involved losing $190,000 in one night of poker.
As of 2008, Amarillo Slim Preston has a total of four WSOP bracelets, including two in Omaha, with his most recent WSOP win in 1990. He has won over $590,000 in tournament play.
In January/February 1980 Amarillo Slim hosted the Second Annual Poker Classic which became the second most prestigious poker tournament during its time. This series would eventually be called the Super Bowl of Poker and would continue until 1990. Gabe Kaplan became the first tournament winner of this series and Stu Ungar won the title three times.
World Series of Poker bracelets
Year Tournament Prize (US$)
1972 $10,000 No Limit Hold'em World Championship $60,000
1974 $1,000 No Limit Hold'em $11,100
1985 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha $85,000
1990 $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha $142,000