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I met T.J. Cloutier when he was seated at my
Omaha High Low tournament table at the L.A. Poker Classic. He was a congenial guy with a talent for seeing all of the action on the table. I mentioned in my
poker journal that when I turned one of my hands up for
only a brief moment, he was able to see what I had on each betting street. I found this remarkable considering most people would have barely been
able to look at my cards in the short time they were turned up, let alone remember everything else about the hand. He was not even involved in the
hand! It made me realize how important it is to improve my weakness of not paying enough attention at the table.
If I am faced with opponents like T.J., I stand no chance if I cannot pay attention. I remember when I saw the
Party Poker Million event on television, T.J. did a short interview where
he stated that he might not remember your name, but if he has ever played with you, he will remember your style of game. I believe this to be absolutely true.
T.J. is considered one of the best tournament players of all time. He has won over fifty major events with buy-ins of $500
or more. For years, he has been the leading or in the top five of money winners at the World Series of Poker. Speaking of
the World Series, T.J. has placed four times in the top five of the $10,000 Main Event including two second place finishes to
Chris Ferguson in 2000 and Bill Smith in 1985.
He has six bracelets for his wins in Omaha in 1987, Pot Limit Hold'em and Omaha 8 or Better in 1994, Omaha Pot Limit in 1998,
Razz in 2004, and $5k buy-in No Limit event in 2005. He has also placed on
the World Poker Tour, at the Reno Hilton and
the Bicycle Casino.
Windows - Mac
Cloutier has been a participant on numerous poker television shows including Ultimate Poker Challenge, Poker Superstars Invitational,
Poker Royale: Battle of the Ages, NBC's National Heads-up Poker Championship and Poker After Dark.
T.J. graduated from Jefferson High School in Daly City, California where he played basketball, football and baseball. He went on to the University
of California at Berkeley on a baseball and football athletic scholarship. He dropped out of college to work and help his father with some of his
mother's medical bills when she became ill. When he was drafted into the army he started honing his poker skills. When he left the army, he played
for the Montreal Allouettes of the Canadian Football League before being traded to the Toronto Argonauts.
After a knee injury ended his career, he again played poker until he started Bets Quality Foods with his father and his brother-in-law.
After that business went bad and he and his first wife split up, TJ went to Texas. He worked a regular job and was playing poker on his
days off. After a while, he was making more money playing poker and decided to play poker full-time. He traveled the road to find the best
poker games to play in. He was introduced to his second wife, Joy and they married in 1984.
He has written four poker books with Tom McEvoy: Championship Tournament Practice Hands, Championship Holdem, Championship Omaha,
and Championship No-Limit and Pot Limit Hold'em.