One of poker’s most unique personalities, Sam Grizzle, has passed away, according to multiple sources on social media. Monday afternoon, high-stakes poker pros Todd Brunson and Len Ashby both tweeted that Grizzle had passed.
Poker reporter Chad Holloway tweeted later in the evening that Grizzle suffered a “massive stroke and brain aneurysm.” Grizzle reportedly slipped into a coma and was placed on life support with no chance of recovery.
— Todd Brunson (@ToddBrunson) October 19, 2020
Heard Sam Grizzle passed. Playing 25 50 PLO game at Rio, pot like 1200 in all green chips, it was checked to river. Board was AK3QJ. Sam walked up to the table. I turned over 10368 and said “I got the 3!” 2 players mucked. Sam looked at me, said “And I’m on the fucking rail” RIP
— Len Ashby (@ZENofLEN) October 19, 2020
When poker went mainstream in the early 2000s, Grizzle had already established himself as a high-stakes gambler that was willing to do whatever it took to get under someone’s skin and put them on tilt.
He was arguably most known for his rivalry both on and off the felt with 15-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. The two allegedly were involved in a fist fight in the years prior to poker’s boom.
When the news broke, several other players began sharing their Grizzle stories with the world. One poster said that he was at a table with Grizzle and Shannon Shorr. After Shorr three-bet Grizzle three hands in a row, Grizzle said “What is this? Revenge of the nerds?”
That story prompted Shorr to share another one.
Was down the stretch of the ‘11 $2500 6max LHE event. Shortly b4 comment in 3way pot a guy bets flop, and I have close decision w/ Sam still to act. Watch as Sam moves cards toward muck outta turn. I call, Sam raises!
All time great comic. All time great angler. gg Sam.
— Shannon Shorr (@ShannonShorr) October 20, 2020
Plenty of others shared their encounters with him as well.
My favorite little quirk about Sam was that back in the days when cash was allowed on the table, he would ALWAYS keep his bills in one of his hands. I never once saw him put them down.
— Randy Ohel (@randyohel) October 19, 2020
In bathroom @ the GoldStrike on break of a plo tourney ~’08. Eskimo at the sink & Grizz walks in. E says “Grizz u want to swap 20%?” “you got it.” Eskimo leaves and young guy says “Sam, I was at his table and he busted last hand before the break. “That’s ok, I’m not even playin”.
— Brant Hale (@branthale4) October 20, 2020
We were sitting next to each other a few days ago in a live 400 at venetian. We’ve been chatting, he wins a massive flip off me. Then he asks if ill take a pic of his stack and text to him because his phone is shit. lololololol. RIP
— Spicoli (@DannySepiol) October 19, 2020
Grizzle earned $1.35 million in live tournaments over the course of his career, with wins at the Diamond Jim Brady, World Poker Open, L.A. Poker Classic, Four Queens Poker Classic, and World Poker Finals, along with five WSOP final table appearances. After the poker boom, Grizzle struggled to stay on top, but enjoyed a solid online WSOP this past summer. Grizzle cashed seven times, including a third-place finish in the $600 no-limit hold’em monster stack for $77,725.