One of the most respected players in the mid-major poker scene, especially on the RunGood Poker Series (RGPS), and a competitor in the famed Kansas City Monday Night Poker Game passed away last week.
The unfortunate news was shared by Strohm’s three sons – Scott, Nick, and Brian – in a social media post to his Facebook account:
“We are devastated to have to let you know that last Thursday Paul passed away peacefully in his sleep with us by his side. He had been privately battling cancer and was focused on living his best life. I think we can all agree he succeeded. We encourage you all to please share any story/picture/video you have of him on this post or his page. Thank you so much for being a part of his life- his family and friends meant more to him than anything. Our father was a hero to each of us and we loved him deeply. He will be greatly missed by us and countless other friends and family.”
Strohm lived a rich and full life off the felt, and the impression he made amongst fellow poker players was a strong one.
“I was lucky to get to see Paul one last time at Horseshoe Iowa for his last tour stop back in November,” RGPS President Tana Karn told PokerNews. “We caught up on each other’s lives and spoke about his cancer diagnosis. As devastating as the news was you could tell that he wasn’t going to let it bring him down. I’ve seen him take some crazy bad beats over the years and each time he would somehow manage to fall in love with the game more. He loved life and enjoying as much as he could out of every moment.”
Karn added: “I’ll miss his texts about family dinner, I’ll miss his unsinkable positivity, and I’ll miss his excitement of getting to play poker. To the tour he was family. And you never forget family.”
According to The Hendon Mob, Strohm had $117,322 in lifetime career earnings dating back to 2017 including a career-high $26,058 for finishing 10th in the RGPS Council Bluffs Main Event back in June 2021. He had two other five-figure scores on his poker résumé – $11,634 for taking ninth in the 2019 World Series of Poker Circuit Ameristar St. Charles $1,700 Main Event and $10,512 for finishing 36th in the 2020 World Poker Tour (WPT) Fallsview.
“Even when things were hard for him he was thinking about others, even strangers,” Ryan Davis shared. “I know of Paul’s faith and he tried to give glory to God often. But he also gave glory to people who needed a helping hand. That’s just the man he IS. I’m devastated I lost my friend. But I’m more devastated the world lost a good one.”
Tom Hudson, another RGPS regular, said: “Paul wasn’t just a friend, he was a welcomed part of our family! I’ve spent time with Paul in so many cities across this country, in our home, and at countless poker events. Paul was someone everyone enjoyed being around! Paul was one of the great ones. “
Mark Slatcher, the longtime live reporter of RGPS events, remembered a player he covered many times:
“I saw Paul at many, many events and although we didn’t know each other well, he was one of my favorite players to watch. He was always in the friendliest of moods, loved to talk poker (and fill me in on any action I missed), and often ran deep in events. He min-cashed a ton–and while that may sound to some like a slight to some players, believe me when I say that I mean it with every ounce of respect I possess. And if he busted, well, he’d still be around to cheer on the rest of his friends who were still in. We’ve all lost a good friend, one of the best we’ll know, or could have known. I’m glad I was able to know him even a little and my heart goes out to those of you who know how great his loss truly is.”
Paul Strohm in poker action.
Dozens of others shared stories and remembered Strohm on social media, and it became apparent that, while he may not have captured a gold bracelet, he captured the hearts and respect of seemingly everybody in the poker world who had the honor of knowing him.
A celebration of Strohm’s life will be held this Saturday, January 29 from 1-3 p.m. at Porter Funeral Homes in Lenexa, Kansas.
Check out photos of Paul Strohm on PokerNews here.