Thomas James Cloutier

Thomas James Cloutier better known as T.J. Cloutier is a successful American professional poker who has charmed poker players and critics with his tremendous poker skills and achievements. His poker career is enriched with several victories and his other works. For his amazing achievements, Cloutier was also inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame in 2006.

Personal Life

T.J Cloutier was born on 13th October, 1939 in Albany, California. In his early years, he was inclined towards athletics. He achieved an athletic scholarship for American football and baseball and also participated in the Rose Bowl in 1959. But due to economic constraints of his family he could not pursue his studies and eventually dropped out.

T.J Cloutier was selected for the service of United States Army. But after he quit the Army, he played in the Canadian Football League for Toronto and Montreal. His sports career was not so smooth and was cut short by an injury.

After T.J Cloutier quit playing football he started his own food company. But soon he closed it as it was not successful. And so he decided to move to Texas following the end of his first marriage. In Texas he worked on oil rigs and played poker on his off days. Soon he realised that he is more proficient in poker and earning more than his job so he decided to quit the job and concentrated on poker.

T.J Cloutier is also being admired for his high stakes craps sessions.


In the world of poker, there would hardly be a player or critic who might not know about T.J Cloutier. Many enthusiastic poker players and his ardent fans would love to call him as a legendary poker player. His skills in poker were obvious and he was well known for his poker skill especially for no-limit and pot limit hold’em.

T.J Cloutier hold record by being the only poker player in the history of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) to win three types of Omaha played at the World Series — Pot Limit High, Limit High, and Limit 8-or-Better High-low split.

In his poker career, Cloutier has won a total of six WSOP bracelets. He has also won other titles by participating in various kinds of poker games.

With his skills and efficient poker strategy, Cloutier has been able to make his way four times in the top five in the main event of the WSOP that also includes two 2nd place finishes, in 1985. But eventually, Cloutier lost against Bill Smith.

In 1988, Cloutier finished in 5th place.

In the 2009 World Series of Poker, Cloutier and several players turned away from the main event for the reason that registration was closed on that particular day.

About his ranking, Cloutier is currently positioned in second, just behind to Phil Hellmuth. However, he is ranked 5th overall for his 55 WSOP cashes.

His participation is not only limited to WSOP but also played in the World Poker Tour (WPT) events. In the WTP events, he achieved the 3rd position in the 2003 Legends of Poker event.

T.J has been featured in many tournaments that include the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, Ultimate Poker Challenge, Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament and Poker Royale: Battle of the Ages.

He is also known for his huge amount of winnings making him a highly accomplished poker player in the world of poker. As of 2009, T.J Cloutier’s live tournament winnings have exceeded the amount $9,700,000 among which $4,324,186 was won at the WSOP.

In his career he has won many WSOP bracelets in several tournaments by playing $1,000 Limit Omaha Hi (1994), $1,500 Limit Omaha 8 or Better (1994), $2,500 Pot Limit Hold'em (1994), $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi (1998), $1,500 Seven Card Razz (2004) and $5,000 No Limit Hold'em (2005).

Cloutier has a huge fan base and his memorabilia were in high demand. In the year January 2010, his 2005 bracelet was auctioned by The Plano Pawn Shop on the online shopping site which was sold at a surprising amount of $4006.

He has also associated himself with many writing works. He acted as the co-author with the popular writer Tom McEvoy in publishing a few books on poker that are named as Championship Tournament Practice Hands, Championship Holdem, Championship Omaha, Championship No-Limit and Pot Limit Hold'em.

In the year 2006, T.J. Cloutier published another book ‘How To Win The Championship: Hold'em Strategies For The Final Table’, which drew amazing response from poker lovers. It was a book that dealt with tournament strategy highly focussing on the final few tables.

Cloutier also wrote for Card Player magazine.

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