Tom McEvoy of Las Vegas, the 1983 World Poker champion, won the first-ever Champions Invitational at the World Series of Poker Monday night at the Rio.
McEvoy, 64, who owns four World Series of Poker Championship bracelets, the last earned in 1992, defeated a field of 20 former World Poker champions in a no-limit hold’em free roll event. The field included two-time winners Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth and 1972 champion “Amarillo Slim” Preston. Each player began play on Sunday with 10,000 in tournament chips.
The victory wasn’t worth the millions of dollars previous champions have pocketed, but McEvoy did collect the first-ever Binion Cup, which honors the World Series of Poker’s founding family, and a classic 1970 red Corvette, to commemorate the first year of the tournament.
Jack Binion, the former owner of Binion’s Horseshoe, presented McEvoy with the trophy and keys to the pristine condition Corvette, which had been part of the Imperial Palace Auto Collection. The car has been restored to showroom condition and has zero miles. McEvoy said he would keep the car.
At the final table, McEvoy defeated runner-up Robert Varkonyi, who won the World Series of Poker in 2002.
“I told all my friends that I wanted to win this tournament more than anyone else,” McEvoy said. “I think I have been losing some respect because I have not won in some time, and I wanted this to regain that respect. This is the toughest field I have ever played against.”
Photo by Matt Mathis/IMPDI