Tunica Poker Legend & WSOP Bracelet Winner Galen Kester Passes Away

Earlier this week, the poker group discovered the unhappy information that Galen Kester, a well known participant in Tunica, Mississippi, handed away.

“Galen Kester was a legend in Tunica, and performed in huge money video games with an amazing forged of characters,” Johnny Grooms posted on social media.

In 2001, Kester gained a World Collection of Poker gold bracelet when he topped a 145-player area to win Occasion #8: $1,500 Pot-Restrict Omaha for a career-high $167,035. He did so by defeating Poker Corridor of Famer David “Devilfish” Ulliott in heads-up play and besting a ultimate desk that included Freddy Deeb and Jay Heimowitz, in addition to deep runs by Erik Seidel (tenth place) and Johnny Chan (14th place).

In response to the Hendon Mob, Kester amassed simply over $1.2 million in lifetime match earnings relationship again to 2001. That put him fifth on Mississippi’s all-time cash listing on the time of his passing.

Kester additionally gained the 2012 Gold Strike World Poker Open $3,000 Primary Occasion in Tunica for $165,000, took down the Fourth Annual Jack Binion World Poker Open $1,060 Pot-Restrict Omaha match for $152,096 in 2003, and was victorious within the 2006 Gold Strike World Poker Open $2,070 NLH occasion for $101,212. He additionally had a deep run within the 2006 WSOP Primary Occasion ending in 173rd place for $47,006.

The Poker World Remembers

Mates and fellow poker gamers have been fast to supply both a sort phrase or a narrative about Kester.

“I used to be speaking to Galen about operating unhealthy in the future, I mentioned the issue is I depart the poker desk and go to the craps desk as a result of I’m operating unhealthy, nevertheless it’s me operating unhealthy not the playing cards, I lose extra money there,” Kevin O’Harra shared. “Galen mentioned, ‘Inform me about it, I received up from the Omaha sport, went to the craps desk and misplaced $100k, they thought I went to the lavatory.’”

Galen Kester
Galen Kester

Todd Tucker additionally shared a narrative:

“The Horseshoe held a freeroll match in 2003 for gamers who logged a sure variety of hours inside a sure timespan. The winner received a WSOP primary occasion seat and a few journey money. 2nd place received zilch. Galen and I received heads up and he had me out chipped about 3-1. Unhealthy spot for me, being in opposition to a greater participant with an enormous chip benefit, however I made a decision if I used to be taking place, I used to be taking place swinging. I performed quick and Galen was card lifeless and subsequent factor I knew we have been even in chips.

“He limped his button and I appeared down at AA and for some purpose I nonetheless do not perceive, I simply checked. Flop was dry and we each checked. Flip was a brick and I wager a bit of. He shook his head and confirmed me AK earlier than he mucked. He was trapping preflop. All I needed to do was say the phrase “elevate” and all of the chips go in and it is over. I confirmed him the AA and I feel that gave him some momentum as a result of I by no means gained one other pot. He was good sufficient to commerce a small piece once we received heads up, regardless that he should not have. I loved taking part in with Galen and dealing to him.”

Teresa Sommerfeld added: “He was one thing else!! At all times very candy to me however I do know some sellers who might inform a distinct story!! One factor I can say is he Beloved his son, Dex. By no means seen a prouder daddy!! Prayers for his boy and the household!!”

PokerNews provides its condolences to the family and friends of Galen Kester.

Galen Kester’s Prime 5 Match Cashes

Date Match Place Prize
April 2001 WSOP $1,500 Pot-Restrict Omaha 1st $167,035
August 2012 Gold Strike World Poker Open $3,000 Primary Occasion 1st $165,000
January 2003 4th Annual Jack Binion World Poker Open $2,070 NLH 1st $101,212
January 2006 Gold Strike World Poker Open $2,070 NLH 1st $101,212
July 2006 WSOP Primary Occasion 173rd $47,006


  • Galen Kester, a well known participant in Tunica, Mississippi, and a @WSOP bracelet winner handed away.

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Chad Holloway

Government Editor U.S.

Government Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.

Author: Bradley Watson