100-year-old Gene Calden to play in WSOP Main Event

Gene Calden
Haley Hintze Author Photo
Haley Hintze
Posted on: May 27, 2023 16:45 PDT

Fresh off a win in one of the preliminary events at the Moneymaker Poker Tour's debut series, 100-year-old Gene Calden, of Boynton Beach, Florida, is planning on playing the World Series of Poker Main Event in early July. Calden will be sponsored into the WSOP's Main Event, also known as the $10,000 No-Limit World Championship, by the Moneymaker Tour and its namesake founder, Chris Moneymaker.

When Calden takes his Main Event seat and the first hand is dealt, he will set the standard for being the oldest-ever participant in the WSOP. The current mark for the oldest WSOP Main Event participant is held by the late Jack Ury. Ury, of Indiana. played in the Main Event in four consecutive years while in his mid-90's, the last time in 2010 at age 97.

News of Calden's planned participation arrived via a feature televised on Sunday on Florida's WPTV Channel 5, which serves the Palm Beach region:

WPTV-5 interviews Chris Moneymaker and Gene Calden (source: YouTube)

The two-minute feature includes brief interviews of Calden and Moneymaker, who busted to Calden in another of the Moneymaker Tour's events. Calden cashed four times at the inaugural series, held at West Palm Beach, Florida's Palm Beach Kennel Club card room.

"He plays the 'I'm lost' card well," Moneymaker told WPTV during the interview. He then joked about how Calden set a trap for him which cost Moneymaker his stack in the early event. Calden took up playing tournament poker two decades ago after his wife's passing, and he has become a well-known regular at PBKC and other card rooms in the region. Calden has amassed an impressive 171 recorded cashes in poker tourneys.