Cloutier Top 5 in Monster Stack, Ready to Face All Challengers

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For T.J. Cloutier a big stack comes with a procession.

The 76-year-old finished fourth out of 697 players in yesterday’s $1,500 Monster Stack. Players, fans and fellow pros took notice.

When Cloutier came back from dinner break a bit early, a steady stream of admirers came to pay respects to the six-time bracelet winner.

His rascal scooter acted as a mobile throne as Cloutier shared stories, shook hands and took pictures with his fans.

“I heard you had a stack in this one,” said Team PokerStars pro Barry Greenstein.

“I want to be like you when I grow up,” one fan said.

Many people do. Cloutier has dozens of major tournaments titles and $10 million in live tournament earnings. His resume and age give Cloutier a papal like air.

When Cloutier was being interviewed, fans lingered, listened and laughed from a respectful distance.

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Cloutier won't say no to a fan 

The Worst of Beats

“I put the worst beat anybody ever had put on them and it was only for $465 in a cash game,” Cloutier said.

The hand was against Al Krux at the Bicycle casino. Krux was having a bad day in the cash games and was all-in for his last $465.

A player to Krux’s left picked up his hand, contemplated the call, but threw his hand in the muck.

“Now back to me on the button,” Cloutier said.

“And I had two tens and I was like shit, I gotta call this one.”

The dealer didn’t see Cloutier’s call and dropped the deck. When the dealer realized his mistake, reshuffled the deck and dealt a six-ten-four flop.

The turn brought Cloutier a fourth ten. Krux had pocket kings for a full house.

“But that’s not the story," Cloutier said.

“The guy that was looking like he was going to call had two tens. He threw them away and the dealer had to make a mistake and reshuffle them all back in. Those cards were completely out and came back in for him to lose it.

“I would have to say that's the worst bad beat I ever heard of in my life."

Cloutier's White Whale

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Cloutier and his rascal. 

Cloutier’s had some beats of his own too. The biggest has been decades in the making .

“The one thing I haven't won is the big one here,” Cloutier said, referring to the WSOP Main Event.

“I won 60 major tournaments and that's still the record. But this is the one I never won.

“I came second twice, third and fifth in the Main Event. I'd like to win it before I die.”

The first time Cloutier got heads-up for the Main Event title was in 1985.

“Bill Smith, who beat me in ‘85 was an absolute alcoholic,” Cloutier said.

“But when he was halfway drunk he was as good a player as there is alive. If he got past that point, his money wasn’t worth two cents on the dollar.

“But he was very good. Most of them playing in those days were.”

Vintage Final Tables

Cloutier recalls being at all-star tables all the time back in the day. He was at one final table at the Four Queens with Erik Seidel, Chip Reese and Doyle Brunson.

His $50,000 H.O.R.S.E final table included Andy Bloch, Jim Bechtel, Patrick Antonius, Doyle Brunson, Dewey Tomko and Phil Ivey.

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“Face that lineup sometime,” Cloutier said.

Out of all the players he’s faced in his career, Cloutier instantly recalls his most formidable opponent.

“Chip Reese all around,” Clouter said.

“That’s if you count all the games. All the limit games he was fantastic at, but he was good in [NLHE] too. He was a great player.

“And Johnny Moss was great and Doyle Brunson's great too.

"I don't know about the kids though, I couldn't even tell you their names. But if I face them, I face them.”

He’ll have to face a few of them tomorrow.

Today's Day 1B drew almost double the amount of players as Day 1A, but that doesn’t worry Cloutier. He's ready to take on everyone and anyone.

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