On Monday evening, word spread around the poker world that WSOP stalwart Layne Flack passed away on Sunday, July 18, at the age of 52.
In a career spanning nearly 30 years, Flack amassed over $5 million in lifetime tournament earnings which included six WSOP bracelets and a WPT title. He is survived by his 26-year-old daughter Hailey.
From Rapid City to Las Vegas
Flack was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, on May 18, 1969. Flack worked as a dealer in Montana before he moved to Reno, Nevada, where his daughter Hailey was born in 1995.
Flack’s first major score would occur in 1997 when he won the Hall of Fame Poker Classic for $67,800. Around this time, Flack would officially relocate to Las Vegas as his next few years as a professional poker player would be filled with victories and big scores.
At the start of 1998, Flack won the $540 No-Limit Hold’em at the Carnivale of Poker for $64,970 before nearly tasting WSOP gold a few months later when he finished runner-up in the $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $133,000. The 1999 WSOP is where Flack would finally break through when he won the $3,000 Pot-Limit Hold’em for $224,400.
Back-to-Back Flack is Born
With a WSOP bracelet to his name, Flack entered the Legends of Poker series at the Bicycle Casino and won the $370 7-Card Stud event and then the $330 Limit Hold’em Shootout the following day to earn the nickname of “Back-to-Back”.
After a few close calls at the WSOP over the following years, the 2002 WSOP would see Flack win two WSOP bracelets. He won the $2,000 No-Limit Hold’em for $303,880 and followed that by winning the $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em for $268,020.
The 2003 WSOP would be another great one for Flack as he picked up two more WSOP bracelets within the span of a week. He won the $2,500 Omaha Hi-Lo for $119,260, and a week later won the $1,500 Limit Hold’em Shootout for $120,000.
Flack’s final WSOP bracelet came at the 2008 WSOP where he won the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha for $577,725. His final WSOP stats would see Flack amass nearly $2.9 million in lifetime WSOP earnings, six WSOP bracelets, and 74 total cashes that included 58 at the WSOP and 10 Online.
Flack Adds a WPT Title
The inaugural World Poker Tour season kicked off in May of 2002 with 13 events. At the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Flack would finish runner-up to Howard Lederer for $186,900. The WPT would find its way to Commerce Casino for the WPT Celebrity Invitational. Flack would reach the final table of the 104-player field and topped a final table that included Tony Ma (5th), Men Nguyen (4th), and David Chiu (3rd), before defeating Jerry Buss heads-up to with the $125,300 first-place prize to become a WPT Champion.
Flack’s WPT career would see him amass over $1 million in lifetime WPT earnings which included 10 cashes, three final tables, and the one WPT title.
Poker Community Reacts
I lost a friend and poker world lost a friend: RIP Layne Flack. @themouthmatusow will do a LIVE show remembering Layne. Sean Chaffin will have an article out about the legendary—6-time @WSOP winner—w tributes from some of us. Mikey, Matt Savage and I on 3-way w tears in our eyes pic.twitter.com/CAn1D3x0Kl
— phil_hellmuth (@phil_hellmuth) July 20, 2021
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 some laughs about the good old days. pic.twitter.com/Y80ZOxiNdM
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) July 20, 2021
@back2backflack just can’t believe we lost you baby. you not just one of the greatest in poker you were always there for anyone always kind always fun always a great friend and amazing father miss you baby pic.twitter.com/LYMqE2dQAd
— Scotty Nguyen (@TheScottyNguyen) July 20, 2021
I’m so gutted as I just got news @back2backflack past away in his sleep last night! I talked with him 2 hrs in phone a week ago and he was telling me how he had turned his life around! #riplayneflack
I’ll be doing a live broadcast podcast remembering his life this week!
— Mike Matusow (@themouthmatusow) July 20, 2021
Condolences to Flack’s family and friends, and to everyone in the poker world that he shared a laugh with.