T. J. Cloutier of Richardson, Texas, is a former pro football player who literally wrote the book on poker.
Cloutier has won 51 major tournaments and is the leading all-time money winner at the World Series. Cloutier has played his way to two WORLD POKER TOUR™ Final Tables, and finished in eighth place at Season Two’s WPT Championship, outlasting more than 335 players. His appearances have included a third in Season Two’s Legends of Poker ($146,775), a sixth in Season’s One Reno Hilton Tournament ($18,934).
Cloutier is widely respected by his fellow poker players, both seasoned veterans and emerging newcomers alike. He describes himself as “very observant” and as having a photographic memory of how people play their hands in various situations.
A star high school athlete originally from Daly City, California, Cloutier attended the University of California at Berkeley on a football and baseball scholarship, and played in the Rose Bowl in 1959. He left college to go to work and help pay his family’s bills.
Cloutier was then drafted into the army, where he started honing his poker skills. After his military service, he played tight end in the Canadian Football League, first for the Montreal Alouettes and then for the Toronto Argonauts. When a knee injury put an end to his career, he went into business with his father, playing poker on the side, but eventually becoming a pro.
Cloutier’s books, co-authored with Tom McEvoy, include Championship No Limit and Pot Limit Hold’Em; Championship Omaha Pot Limit, Limit, 8 or Better; Championship Hold’em Limit; and Championship Practice Hands.
He’d says he’d like to “bar all bad actors at the table.”
Cloutier is married with children – six of them. His wife Joy accompanies him to all of his tournaments.