Jack Ury has passed away. At age 97, he was the oldest participant ever to play in a World Series of Poker event.
Jack Julian Ury was born in Terre Haute, IN on March 22, 1913. He remembered playing his first hand of poker at age 10, when Warren G. Harding was president. Ury enlisted in the United States Navy following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and served in World War II. He lived most of his life in his beloved hometown of Terre Haute where he spent many years working for the U.S. Postal Service. He retired in 1978. But retirement didn't slow down the strong-willed recreational poker player who would ultimately become one of the game's most celebrated senior citizens.
Ury caused quite a sensation at the 2007 World Series of Poker, when he played in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event for the first time, at the spry age of 94. He survived the first day, but was eliminated on Day Two. Ury returned to Las Vegas the following year and entered the Main Event again, surviving until the second day as well. At the 2010 WSOP held earlier this year, Ury made it all the way to Day Three and finished in the top 30 percent of the field. He eclipsed his own record once again, becoming the oldest participant in WSOP history -- at age 97 years and 3 months.
By attending the WSOP four straight years and competing among thousands of other players, many of them young enough to be his great grandchildren, Ury reminded us all that it’s never too late to do something special during our lives. He embodied the spirit of the WSOP as an open door and a golden opportunity for men and women of all ages. No doubt, Ury's determination will inspire many others to pursue their own dreams and goals, whatever they might be. All poker players everywhere can only hope to be the man Ury was -- doing what he loved to do well into the sunset of his life.
Ury passed away on February 1st. His survivors include four daughters, 11 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren in addition to countless other family members and good friends. He also leaves behind many adoring poker fans in many nations who watched him and cheered for him on television. Ury was featured multiple times on ESPN's WSOP coverage.
A short film clip of Ury playing at the 2009 WSOP where he raked in a nice-sized pot with a full house can be seen HERE. Pay close attention to Ury's comment when he realizes he has his opponent crushed on the hand. "You're in trouble," he snaps.
Everyone at the World Series of Poker extends their condolences to the Ury Family. He will be fondly remembered and sincerely missed by everyone at this year’s upcoming event.