Rod Pardey Sr., a two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner in his specialty of seven-card stud, died Saturday in Reno. He was 75.
The cause was complications from a stroke, his son, Rod Pardey Jr., said in an email.
The elder Pardey won the $2,500 buy-in seven-card stud events at the WSOP in 1991 and 1994 at Binion’s Horseshoe. He finished second in a seven-card stud event in 2009 and the super seniors No-limit Hold’em event in 2015, and he made several other stud final tables.
He amassed more than $700,000 in live tournament earnings over his career, according to the Hendon Mob Poker Database.
Pardey focused on cash games and only started playing tournaments more frequently later in his career, his son said. Reflecting his general indifference to tournaments, Pardey lost his two bracelets over the years, his son said.
Pardey spoke about the life of a professional poker player in a 1979 article in Sports Illustrated.
“Poker is just another sport like golf or baseball,” he said. “It pays well if you work hard at it.”
Pardey was born in Indiana and raised in Lakewood, a suburb of Tacoma, Washington, his son said. He was on the professional bowling tour before going to Las Vegas to play poker in 1969, his son said.
There, he played against some of poker’s all-time greats, including Doyle Brunson, Johnny Moss, Puggy Pearson, David “Chip” Reese and Stu Ungar. A 1978 Gambling Times article ranked Pardey as the top seven-card stud player in the world, saying he has reportedly “won a half-million dollars in five years.”
Pardey is survived by his sons Rod Jr. and Ryan, daughter Lucy and grandson Jack.
The Sports Illustrated article contrasted younger players such as Pardey with the old-school, hardened Texas gamblers who were entrenched in the Las Vegas poker scene.
“Most older players are just fluctuating up and down.” Pardey said. “They’ve been gambling for 30 or 40 years, and all they’ve got is maybe $50,000, which they can lose tomorrow. Then they borrow and start over. They’re not going anywhere.
“But I’m playing poker as a profession, and I try to build my money up and invest it. Once it’s invested and away from the gambling action, it’s hard for them to get it out of me.”