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Hartselle Enquirer

All-in to win

Herb Tapscott | Photo by Neil Stoddart

Tapscott finishes on top to win World Series of Poker gold bracelet, $264,000

Poker might be just a hobby for Herb Tapscott, but it’s paid off for him.

The lifelong Hartselle resident is now at the pinnacle of the poker world after winning the World Series of Poker gold bracelet and a $264,000 payday.

Tapscott said he is one of the few, if any, Alabama players to own a WSOP bracelet.

Hartselle resident Herbert Tapscott overcame a field of 967 international competitors to win $264,000 and the World Series of Poker gold bracelet, one of the most coveted prizes for poker players. | Special to the Enquirer: Neil Stoddart (WSOP.com)

“Winning the WSOP bracelet is a big deal in the Poker World,” Tapscott said. “It is a big deal to me as it is my hobby achievement.”

Prior to this win, Tapscott had only won one other tournament, which a No-Limit Hold-em Tournament on the WSOP circuit held at Harrah’s in Tunica, Miss. However, that payday was just $25,369.

Tapscott, 71, is a lifelong resident of Hartselle, graduating from Morgan County High School in 1958. He is married and has four children and four grandchildren.

He joined the U.S. Air Force at age 17 and was a radar operator in Miles City, Mont. He was later stationed in Opheim, Mont., and in Sweetwater, Texas. Upon receiving his honorable discharge in June 1962, he moved back to Hartselle and now is a co-owner of Aero Financial Services in Decatur.

He began playing poker in the barracks and lounges in Montana during 1958. He continued the hobby after being discharge from the military at home games. He later began playing in tournaments in 1998.

Tapscott said he doesn’t play as a professional, just as a hobby. He added that he only uses his winnings to play in tournaments.

“I don’t necessarily play for the money, but for the competition,” he said. “The money is nice, but I have been blessed all my life. I don’t use family money to play poker. The money will just go in my poker playing account – what’s left after Uncle Sam grabs his share.”

Tapscott plays mainly tournaments at the Mississippi casinos three or four times a year. He has also played in the WSOP Vegas since 2003.

“Poker is kind of like other sports – 70 percent skill, 30 percent luck,” Tapscott said. “You have to know how to read your opponents, have discipline, table position and chip count before acting at a poker table.”

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