Tj Cloutier

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 21:56

T.J. Cloutier

A poker biography of T.J. Cloutier.


Quick Information

Name - T.J. Cloutier

Born - Oct 13th 1939, Albany, California, United States

Poker Room - Not Available

Biography

Poker is a sport that has a tendency to let people, players or not, leave their mark in the slang of the game. There's the combination of an ace and a king, which is sometimes referred to as an "Anna Kournikova," as well as the jack and nine of clubs combination, which is nicknamed after a poker player who had more than one infamous hand involving the aforementioned combination. Of course, no look into the story behind the anecdote would be complete without taking a look into the character and career of the actual T.J. Cloutier, a man who has achieved more than anyone could have asked for in his decades-long poker career. Easily ranked among the finest players of the game, Cloutier is also an authority on many aspects of the game itself.

The army, interestingly enough, was where he picked up poker, despite the heavy regulations against soldiers even having a deck of playing cards back then. After his tenure in the armed forces, he had a short career as a football player in Canada's equivalent to the American NFL, though injuries forced him out of the sport and prompted him to attempt a food business venture. However, his business sense didn't pan out very well for him and he relocated to Texas. He began playing poker for cash during his rest days while holding a job working at a crude oil rig, though he quickly turned to competitions when he noticed that he earned more money with the cards than working the oil.

Many consider him a competition specialist, as he's not often heard of as being a feared player outside of the competitive circuit. So far, he has failed to achieve top billing in the World Poker Tour but he's managed to finish first in a number of the high profile competitions that he's participated in. Most players report he's determined to eventually finish first in the WPT, however. He has shown a particular talent for all the variations of Omaha, being able to do clean sweeps of all Omaha events in the competitive environments he's thrown himself into.

Apart from poker, Cloutier is also an avid fan of other games of chance, particularly craps. Interestingly, as Rob Sherwood notes on his website, Cloutier possesses a tendency to snap and go into a berserk tilt over the dice, particularly whenever he's losing. Despite that, Cloutier is considered among the five biggest winners, in terms of total amount won, in history, as well as being among the top five players alive today. He was named "Poker Player of the Year" in 1998 and, once again, in 2000. Aside from his other achievements, he is also co-author of a few poker books.

An interesting character of a poker player, Cloutier has openly admitted to enjoying Barbara Streisand -- a contrast to most men who would never admit to such a preference for fear of mockery. He also has a distinct dislike of having bad actors playing poker with him, though he hasn't fully elaborated on his reason. He has admitted before that his aim is to become as skilled at what he does as he possibly can, so he constantly tries to find way to improve his game. Beyond craps and poker, Cloutier is also a man with a potent wanderlust and one who enjoys the occasional 18 holes of golf.