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Tip of the hat to Cowboy Wolford

May 20, 2003 3:08 AM

The poker world is saddened, especially Carol and I, because of the unhappy news that Byron "Cowboy" Wolford, one of the original 10 members of The Seniors Poker Players Hall of Fame, had cashed in his chips and put his name on the list to play in the big game in the sky.

All of us poker players send our prayers and kind words to Evelyn, Cowboy’s wife: Evelyn, we love you and understand your sorrow.

Cowboy was loved by so many poker players. The game will not be the same without him.

Cowboy will now be playing with other members of The Seniors Hall of Fame: Benny Binion, Johnny Moss, Bill Boyd, Jesse Alto, Hugo Meith, "Oklahoma Bob" Ensley, Johnny Wheller, and a lot of other great poker players who have gathered to play a little poker in the really big game.

I could tell many, many stories about Cowboy. But I will save them for another day because a lot of them are fun stories and games that seem of very little importance when I sadly think of the passing of a great player of the game of poker.

I will say this about Cowboy, though. He was as colorful a person as there is in poker. Besides a love for poker, Cowboy cut his teeth at an early age with the rodeo, and won more than 30 belt buckles while competing with rodeo legends like Casey Tibbs, Dean Oliver and hundreds more.

Besides winning a gold bracelet at the World Series of Poker, Cowboy had wonderful adventures as a road gambler and poker player.

Cowboy, save me a seat on your left side. You have check raised me the last time here in this game, so when I get up there, I want to have you on my right so that I can raise you!

Remember this, "Old poker players never die, they just move up to a higher game."