Dewey Tomko: Professional Poker Player Profile
Dewey Tomko is best remembered as the runner-up to Jack Straus in the 1982 World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event, and the runner-up to Carlos Mortensen in the 2001 WSOP. Though Dewey Tomko has not won a major title he is nonetheless respected as a skilled player. His opponents wisely do not underestimate his more than 35 years of poker experience.
Dewey Tomko has also finished runner-up in the 2003 Five Diamond World Poker Classic and placed fourth in the Costa Rica Classic. Both of these events were part of the World Poker Tour (WPT). In the 2005 WSOP he took third place in the Deuce to Seven Draw Lowball event worth $138,160. He now has three gold bracelets to his name, as well as a total of over $2.7 million in tournament winnings.
Tomko was a featured guest in DoylesRoom.com's 2005 October Bounty Poker Tournament. Media Relations executive for DoylesRoom.com, Alejandro Collins, said of Tomko: "His multiple WSOP wins and ample experience in a highly competitive poker playing atmosphere help set the tone for an action packed Bounty Tournament”. Unfortunately, Tomko seems to have lost the upper hand in the tournament. A player codenamed RYANMW21 was able to defeat him, according to the poker website's roster.
Tomko was born in 1946 in Glassport, Pennsylvania. At age 16 he was already making money playing poker at some Pittsburgh pool halls. He was able to see himself through four years of schooling at Salem College with the help of his earnings. Afterwards he went to work as a kindergarten teacher, playing poker at night and going to school to teach in the morning, without having had any sleep. The children he taught fortunately escaped this period of his professional life unscathed.
Eventually Tomko realized that he was making more money in one night of poker than in one entire year of teaching. So he quit teaching to pursue playing poker full-time. He pooled his winnings into some business investments while continuing to play throughout the 70s and 80s.
Dewey Tomko is currently residing in Winterhaven, Florida with his wife and their three children: Derek, David and Drew. Derek was the one who had encouraged his father to go back to playing poker a few years back. Tomko says his son is a better poker player than he was at Derek's age. His new long-term goal in the poker scene is to one day face Derek at a final table.
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