71-Year-Old Air Force Vet Wins Biggest Omaha-8 Event in History

Herbert Tapscott 2
Herbert Tapscott has been playing poker since his Air Force days in the late '50s.

Herbert Tapscott, a 71-year-old former Airman in the US Air Force, won the biggest Omaha-8 tournament in poker history at the WSOP in Las Vegas Sunday.

967 players entered this event making it the bona fide record holder for the largest tournament of its kind ever.

Tapscott, who earned $264,400 when he defeated Triple Crown winner Gavin Griffin heads-up, says he’s been playing poker since his days in the military.

“I started playing poker back in the barracks. This was in Montana in the late ‘50s,” Tapscott told PokerListings.com after receiving his bracelet.

“And when we started traveling around Montana we noticed that all these little places had casinos and poker games so a few of us started pooling our money and making the rounds playing poker,” he said.

“We didn’t play for big money, two or three dollars was a lot of money to us back then, but a lot of times we’d come back with two or three hundred dollars.

“But a lot of other times we had to steal gas to get back to base because we had gone bust,” he said with a laugh.

The more than a quarter-million dollars he won yesterday in Las Vegas is far and away the biggest prize on Tapscott’s poker résumé.

Even more surprisingly since he’s been coming to the WSOP every year since 2003, it’s his first cash at the World Series of Poker.

First WSOP Cash, First WSOP Bracelet

Tapscott did win a WSOP Circuit ring in Tunica, however, in a $500 No-Limit event in 2010. In fact, Tapscott has been playing poker in Tunica since casinos opened there in the early 90s.

Herbert Tapscott
Herbert Tapscott is a WSOP bracelet winner.

“When I got out of the service I continued playing poker, mostly home games, and then when the casinos opened in Tunica we’d go there to play,” recalled Tapscott.

He began playing tournament poker in 2000, and here in Vegas every summer for almost a decade. At 71 he’s now a WSOP bracelet winner.

“Yeah I expected it to happen but I expected it to happen two or three years ago,” said Tapscott, smiling.

“You expect it to happen every time you sit down at the table,” he said.

A modest, very unassuming man Tapscott was clearly moved by the experience.

“Other than my children being born and my family this is my biggest accomplishment,” he said.

“You dream about it happening for so long that when it actually comes true, it’s hard to grasp.”

A father of four, Herbert Tapscott lives in Hartselle, Alabama with his wife.

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