T.J. Cloutier is an old Texas road gambler who has never read any poker books except the ones he himself has written. He learnt to play poker the hard way; through years and years of trial and error. He has stood the test of time and has once again proven that he is a force to be reckoned with. Let's take a brief look at some of T.J. Cloutier's amazing poker tournament statistics:
- Has won over $100,000 more than 13 times;
- Has finished at 2nd place twice and at 5th once in the WSOP $10,000 Main Event;
- Has won 7 WSOP bracelets;
- Has made 2 WPT final tables; and,
- Has 38 WSOP "in the money" finishes under his belt.
There is no doubt in my mind that when it comes to tournaments with a buy-in of more than $5,000, players like T.J. Cloutier have an advantage that they don't usually have in the smaller buy-in events. The money simply doesn't matter as much when you have played so many big tournaments and won so many of them, but when the buy-in gets bigger these types of players pick it up a notch.
T.J. Cloutier has been very close to winning the WSOP Main Event, he has finished second twice, and is somewhat famous for having been unlucky in a couple of heads-up matches for major titles. In the 2000 WSOP Main Event, the year Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson won it, T.J. held the A♦ Q♣ and lost to Ferguson's A♠ 9♣ when Ferguson spiked the 9♥ on the river to make the winning hand.
But this year it was T.J.'s turn. Heads-up against Steve Zoine, T.J. held the A♦ 5♥ vs. Zoine's A♥ K♠. The board came 9♥ 8♠ 6♣ giving T.J. an inside straight draw (any 7) and also any 5 for a pair to make the winning hand, 7 outs in total. The J♠ came on the turn and was no help for T.J., but the river brought the 7♦ and thus gave T.J. a winning straight. Immediately after the hand was over, Cloutier stood up to call his wife on his cell phone. While they spoke, I heard T.J. say: 'You wouldn't believe it, I actually sucked out on somebody to win!'
I guess it was T.J. Cloutier's time to get lucky.