RIP Paul "Eskimo" Clark: 1947 To 2015

RIP Paul "Eskimo" Clark: 1947 To 2015Paul “Eskimo” Clark passed away in Las Vegas on April 15, 2015, although news of his demise did not reach the wider poker community until the beginning of June. As in life, Clark kept his cards close to his chest and his death only became public knowledge after fellow pro Matt Salsberg made an ‘Eskimo Clark’ joke at the 2015 WSOP, only to be informed of the 67 year-old’s passing. As an apologetic Salsberg later tweeted:
“0 for 2 in wsop events. 1 for 1 in inadvertently being the conduit to the poker community re: Eskimo Clarks’s death.”
Paul Clark was one of poker’s most colorful characters and had a nickname to match, even though he was actually born in New Orleans and was given the moniker “Eskimo” because he looked liked the logo face used by Alaska Airlines. After learning to play poker whilst a medic during the Vietnam War, Clark subsequently recorded his first tournament cash back in 1988, but would soon grow to become one of the game’s most dominant players in the 1990’s.
In 1992, he then earned his first WSOP bracelets in the $5,000 Seven Card Stud event for $122,000, before going on to complete a hat-trick of victories by winning the 1999 WSOP $1,500 Razz event for $80,000, and the 2002 WSOP $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo event for $125,000. Together with his other results, Paul “Eskimo” Clark would amass $2,734,782 in live tournament winnings during his career, despite the fact he considered himself primarily a high-stakes cash game player.
In 2007, reports of Clark’s failing health began to circulate after he was said to have passed out three times during the WSOP $1,500 Razz event, with medics believing he had suffered a series of “mini-strokes”. Regardless, Eskimo refused to quit the tournament as he was the chip leader and eventually finished 4th for $31,186. Paul Clark was also a man that didn’t believe in complaining about bad beats, and once said:
“There’s no such thing as a bad beat. I mean, if a guy pays for a card and gets the card, that’s it.”

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