Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gambler Keeps His Poker Face despite Losses Beaches Man Was World Series Champ in '97, Breaks Even in '98

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Gambler Keeps His Poker Face despite Losses Beaches Man Was World Series Champ in '97, Breaks Even in '98

Article excerpt

With the odds at a whopping 10,000 to 1, Deane Stonier hit

the poker jackpot twice last year.

He won two major tournaments in Las Vegas, both times playing a

game known as Omaha High-Low. And it wasn't even one of his

better games.

"It's a very odd coincidence," the Jacksonville Beach resident

said. "It just shows that anybody can get lucky on any given

day."

Stonier's "luck" brought him a gold watch, a gold bracelet and

a combined jackpot of $216,200.

This year, his luck ran out. He merely broke even. But such is

the life of a semi-professional poker player.

Stonier's knack for putting together good hands has brought him

respect and renown on the highstakes poker-playing circuit. In

the next month or so, he'll even be profiled in Card Player

magazine.

"I'll go now to a tournament, and they'll recognize my face,"

said the 60-year-old Stonier, who runs a trucking company with a

couple of partners. "It's good for your ego."

Stonier reached the upper echelon last May, when he won a World

Series of Poker event at Binion's Horseshoe casino in Las Vegas.

Competing against 120 other players, he paid $3,000 to enter

Omaha, one of 10 different divisions within the world series. To

take the whole pot, a player must form two poker hands -- one

high and one low.

"You have to be good to win here because you've got the best

competition in the world," said Rudy Lotief, an assistant

tournament director. "It's the ultimate. Deane's a diligent

player and a gentleman who always keeps his composure. I've

never seen him out of line. I'd love to have 10,000 like him."

Stonier didn't make any extravagant purchases with the $145,200

pot he won. He paid off his bills, invested in stocks and

stashed some in the bank.

"I live well, but not extravagantly," he said. …

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