The mid-stakes poker scene lost a well-known figure on September 1 when Eric Thompson passed away. Thompson was participating in the Oklahoma State Championship’s inaugural event being held at the Hard Rock Tulsa when he had a heart attack during a tournament hiatus. The 39-year-old had just celebrated his birthday last August 20.
Thompson has been a regular mid-stakes grinder around the Midwest U.S. since 2007. He won the 2010 Hard Rock Tulsa Poker Open $340 NLHE, taking home $41,132 and followed that up with another first-place win at the 2014 Choctaw Fall Poker Series Championship (CFPSC) for $103,228. Three years ago, he took first in the 2015 Grand Poker Series $240 Championship and second in the Choctaw Fall Poker Series Monster Stack. Combined, he had accumulated a total of $545,075 in live-action winnings.
The Oklahoma native was having a successful run at the tournament when the medical emergency happened. To honor their fallen friend, players allowed his hand to be blinded out, instead of removed. He was also honored with a moment of silence prior to the beginning of Day 2.
Fellow poker grinder and friend John Reynolds stated, “Eric we had so many hours of Poker played together and it was always a battle. You was also always there willing to share your hotel rooms and talk Poker. We had many a fun time all over, Tulsa, Siloam, Joplin, St. Louis, Las Vegas, Durant. I will cherish all the good memories buddy, you will be missed!”
Another friend of Thompson, Cary McFarland, said, “The poker community and the world has lost a wonderful soul. Although known best in his hometown of Tulsa, he was well-liked throughout the poker world as well. As fiercely competitive as he was on the felt, he was equally caring and conscientious in the real world. Always seemed to have an encouraging word for us lesser players, or a kind word of celebration and support if we somehow bested him!”
The tournament series got underway last August 30 and will wrap up this coming Sunday following the completion of the Championship event and a $100 buy-in NLHE tournament. The Championship tournament offers a $100,000 guarantee.