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T. J. Cloutier

T. J. Cloutier
Nickname(s) T.J.
Born Thomas James Cloutier
October 13, 1939
Albany, California
World Series of Poker
Bracelet(s) 6
Money finish(es) 60
Highest ITM
Main Event finish
World Poker Tour
Title(s) None
Final table(s) 2
Money finish(es) 9
European Poker Tour
Title(s) None
Final table(s) None
Money finish(es) 1
Information accurate as of 23 January 2014.

Thomas James "T.J." Cloutier (born October 13, 1939) is a professional poker player from Richardson, Texas. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2006.

Early years

Cloutier was born in Albany, California, and attended the University of California, Berkeley on an athletic scholarship for American football and baseball and played in the 1959 Rose Bowl. However, he later dropped out because of family financial hardship.

Cloutier was drafted into the United States Army. After the Army, he played football in the Canadian Football League for the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes, but an injury cut his career short.

Cloutier then started a food company, but it was not successful, so following the end of his first marriage, he moved to Texas to work on oil rigs. On his off days he began to play poker, and quit his job after realizing that he was winning more money playing poker than working. He started playing poker when he was a caddy at a golf course and played poker after the rounds.

In addition to poker, Cloutier is well known for his high-stakes craps sessions.

Tournament career

Cloutier specializes in playing tournament poker, especially no-limit and pot limit hold'em. He is the only person in the history of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) to have won events in three types of Omaha played at the World Series - Pot Limit High, Limit High, and Limit 8-or-Better High-low split. Cloutier has won a total of six WSOP bracelets in his career, in addition to many other titles in various kinds of poker games.

He has placed four times in the top five in the main event of the World Series of Poker, including two second-place finishes, in 1985, losing to Bill Smith, and 2000, losing to Chris Ferguson. Cloutier also finished in fifth place in 1988, won by Johnny Chan, and in third place in 1998, won by Scotty Nguyen.

In 2009, he was one of numerous players turned away from the main event, as registration was capped on that particular day. Cloutier is currently second to Phil Hellmuth (45) for the most all-time WSOP final table finishes record, with 39. His 55 WSOP cashes rank him fifth overall.

Cloutier also plays in World Poker Tour (WPT) events, where his highest finish is third in the 2003 Legends of Poker event, won by Mel Judah. He has also been featured in the Ultimate Poker Challenge, the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament and Poker Royale: Battle of the Ages.

As of May 2015, his total live tournament winnings are $10,223,367, of which $4,362,048 have come at the WSOP.

WSOP bracelets

Year Tournament Prize
1987 $1,000 Limit Omaha Hi $72,000
1994 $1,500 Limit Omaha 8 or Better $135,000
1994 $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em $163,000
1998 $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi $136,000
2004 $1,500 Seven Card Razz $90,500
2005 $5,000 No Limit Hold'em $657,100

In January 2010, The Plano Pawn Shop auctioned off Cloutier's 2005 bracelet on It brought $4006.

Poker writings

Cloutier is the co-author (with Tom McEvoy) of four books:

In May 2006, Cloutier released How To Win The Championship: Hold'em Strategies For The Final Table, a book covering tournament strategy with an emphasis on the final few tables.

Cloutier formerly wrote for Card Player magazine.