Sam Petrillo

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 21:54

Sam Petrillo

A poker biography of Sam Petrillo.

Quick Information

Name - Sam Petrillo

Born - Not Available

Poker Room - Not Available


There is a strong message that one should learn from the life of Sam Petrillo, a well-respected player of card games. Sam knew that this life is all about taking risks, but that reality did not stop him from having aspirations and fulfilling them. He also learned that attaining one's goal is not easy because it requires hard work, perseverance, and patience. This was why Sam did everything just to become a known professional card player.

Sam Petrillo started playing cards in his early 20's by joining competitions with his friends in Chicago and Sears. He worked as a timekeeper and had to transfer to Milwaukee Road to attend to his day job. It was in the later years of the 60s when he left his family in Chicago in search of his destiny in Las Vegas. From the very beginning, it was already Sam’s dream to play cards and become a professional gambling figure.

In Las Vegas, Sam did not immediately become a big name in the poker industry. Just like any other beginner, he had to begin in the bottom and gradually progress to the top of the ladder. Thus, he started as a blackjack dealer in the Fremont, Sands and Stardust hotel. When not working, Petrillo spent his time playing poker. Upon building a sufficient bankroll, Sam quit his blackjack dealing stint to follow his lifelong dream – to become a professional poker player.

Nicknamed Chicago Sam because of his place of origin, Petrillo played poker 12 hours every day to hone his skills and develop his strategies. He did everything he could to master what he considered to be his craft. In 1979, Sam decided to make a big leap for his gambling career when he joined the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Championship in 1979. Lady Luck was on Sam’s side during that year as he managed to land the sixth place in the prestigious poker event.

From that point, Sam had already established himself a serious poker player. However, his dreams did not stop with the World Series of Poker win. Between the years 1979 to 1981, Sam continuously participated in one of the major poker tournaments in the world. The year 1981 proved to be another lucky year as Sam once again gained a place in the WSOP tournament, earning him $15,000 in cash. He also participated in the 14th Annual World Series of Poker in 1983, where he came in 9th place.

Even though the peak of his career was during the late 70s to the early 80s, Sam was still an active figure in the poker scene. As a matter of fact, his most recent win was in 2003, when he landed the 1st place in the Oasis Open Poker Tournament.

In the later part of his career, Sam's health started to deteriorate. In June 2005, Sam eventually died at the age of 68. One of the veterans and biggest influences in the poker industry, Sam will always be remembered by all his colleagues and fans.