On Monday night, word spread throughout the poker world that six-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Layne Flack, 52, was found dead at his home. A cause of death is not known at this time.
Born May 18, 1969, Flack hailed from Rapid City, South Dakota before working as a poker dealer in small card clubs in Montana. Eventually, he found his way to Nevada and learned under poker greats like Johnny Chan and Ted Forrest.
“At 24, he and his girlfriend moved to Reno, Nevada and by 1995, when his daughter Hailey was born, Layne was a full-time professional poker player,” Al Moe previously wrote in this PokerNews profile.
The piece continued: “His first big score came at the Horseshoe, where he won a Hall of Fame $1500 no-limit hold’em event, and pocketed $68,000. Other tournament wins followed, and so did some high-limit live action. Layne’s ability didn’t go unnoticed by poker’s best players, and when he went through a few bad sessions, Johnny Chan was more than willing to back his play.”
Becoming “Back-to-Back” Flack
In May 1999, Flack won his first gold bracelet in the WSOP $3,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em event for $224,400. In August of that same year, he won the Legends of Poker $330 7-Card Stud tournament for $15,600 and the following day took down the $330 Limit Hold’em Shootout for $19,320. The back-to-back victories earned him the nickname “Back-to-Back” Flack, which would be reinforced when he won two gold bracelets in both 2002 and 2003.
According to The Hendon Mob, Flack had just over $5 million in lifetime earnings dating back to 1994 including a career-best $577,725 for his last bracelet victory, which came at the 2008 WSOP in Event #34: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha.
Other highlights on his poker résumé include $500,000 for finishing runner-up to Eric Brenes in the 2004 WPT Aruba, $225,190 for placing fourth in the 2016 WinStar River Poker Series Main Event, and $186,900 for finishing second to Howard Lederer in the 2002 WPT World Poker Finals.
Flack’s last reported tournament cashes came last summer when he finished in the money nine times during the 2020 WSOP Online bracelet events.
Flack’s WSOP Bracelets
|1999||Event #12: $3,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em||$224,000|
|2002||Event #4: $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em||$303,880|
|2002||Event #19: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em||$268,020|
|2003||Event #18: $2,500 Limit Omaha Hi-Lo||$119,260|
|2003||Event #25: $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout||$120,000|
|2008||Event #34: $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha||$577,725|
Reactions from Poker Community
The news of Flack’s passing took the poker community by surprise with many expressing shock and disbelief on social media. Others, like 15-time bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, remembered their longtime friend and fellow player.
Daniel Negreanu also tweeted: “RIP Layne Flack… We go way, way back and I’ll cherish all the crazy memories. Knowing Layne, I imagine he would want us all to celebrate his life and share laughs about the good old days.”
Mike Matusow said: “I’m so gutted as I just got news [Flack passed] away in his sleep last night! I talked with him 2 hrs on phone a week ago and he was telling me how he had turned his life around.”
Matusow then revealed that he will do a live broadcast podcast remembering Flack later this week.
Patrick O’Malley added: “Sad news today. My buddy Layne Flack has passed away. I’m sad. Just spent those days in Vegas with him and stayed at his house. Golfed. Poker. Hung out. Talked for hours. Loved on his dogs Bree and Piper. I’m thankful for the last quality time I had with him.”
Chip Jett also shared his thoughts: “Just gutted about [Layne Flack]. We were so close in the early 2000s. He was the best NL hold’em player in the world back then and just had a brilliant poker mind. I will miss him making me laugh and all the trouble we got into and out of. RIP Layno.”
PokerNews joins those offering condolences to Flack’s friends and family.