Poker writer George Epstein passes at the age of 95

Jon Pill
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Posted on April 5, 2022 11:59 pm EDT

George Epstein passed away on March 29, at the age of 95.

Born November 9, 1929, Epstein was a prolific poker writer in his later life. His books included The Greatest Book of Poker for Winners, Hold’em or Fold’em?: An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision, and The Art of Bluffing and Other Forms of Deception in Poker.

However, the majority of the ink he spilled was as a columnist for Cardplayer Magazine, Gaming Today, and Cardplayer Lifestyle.

He continued writing for Cardplayer Lifestyle right up until the week of his death. His last column went up on the site on March 22, 2022, and dealt with the idea that poker, like chess, can stave off Alzheimer’s.

Before Epstein joined the world of poker letters, he was first a boy at Boston Latin School (Mass.). Then he was a young man at MIT where he studied chemistry. From thence to the U.S. Navy under the flag of which he served during the second world war.

Once he left the navy, he went into aerospace engineering. In 1951, he married Irene. It was only after retiring that he began to write about poker.

During this period, as well as playing and writing, Epstein also taught poker lessons. Much of his work was teaching poker to seniors, with a focus on how poker could help players away from the table too.

Robbie Strazinski who published Epstein’s work on his site, Cardplayer Lifestyle, wrote a touching obituary.

“Knowing that someone elderly is about to leave this world doesn’t make it any easier or less sad when the news becomes official,” Strazinski wrote after the death of his friend and colleague. “This morning I woke up to read the sad news about the passing of Cardplayer Lifestyle’s Senior Contributor George Epstein. […] it hurts to lose a friend, even if that friend passes away at 95 years old. But after the tears dry, you’ll be able to smile because you know that just by listening and paying attention, you’ve given them the gift of life; and in turn, they will have enriched yours in ways you could never have envisioned. That’s the best hand anyone could ever hope to be dealt.”

He was remembered at a funeral service held at noon on April 1, 2022. He is survived by his daughter Sue and grandchildren Dani and Esther.