Jim Petzing, a well-known poker player in the Las Vegas scene, passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was a respected figure in the community and especially with those who were known to him.
Hailing from Naugatuck, Connecticut, Petzing followed his dream of becoming a pro poker player and relocated to the city of Las Vegas. However, this was not the first time that Petzing battled cancer as he battled neck cancer in 2015. After three years of recovery, he was then diagnosed with Stage 3B non-small cell lung cancer. During his struggle with the sickness, Petzing authored the book ‘Breathe: Living My Best Life With Chronic Lung Cancer.’
Chris Fleszar, his partner, took to Facebook to announce the sad news. “Jim lived life to the fullest, he battled this horrible disease like no one else. Positive. Strong. He was a fighter. He almost seemed superhuman. Simply put, he was an incredible man. To all his friends, I want you to know you were everything to him. He cherished the time he spent with you. Many of you in Las Vegas were like his family. Your love and support did so much to help him battle through the tough times,” reads the post.
With a lifetime earning of $9,69,116 in lifetime earnings according to the HendonMob, Petzing’s skills in poker were undeniable. He was a regular in many live poker events like the Wynn, WSOP, etc. It was in the 2019 WSOP Circuit Planet Hollywood Main Event where he earned a career best of $1,33,462 after finishing second behind Michael Trivett.
The last cash of his career was during the Wynn $300 NLHE on 15 May, 2021 where he finished at the seventh spot for $1,174. He was also crowned a RIU Reno champion in April 2019 after shipping the $235 Pro Bounty event.
After hearing the news of his demise, many in the poker community responded with heartfelt posts on social media. Some folks shared stories of their encounters with the poker pro.
“When I first met Jim in 2019, he was already two years into his battle against stage four Lung Cancer, a disease that usually runs its course within six months. But Jim refused to surrender. And unless you already knew, you would never have guessed that he was sick. He was a ray of sunshine in an empty room.
Whenever he walked in, the energy was so incredibly positive. I can’t think of a single person who had that sort of impact on me or on others as deeply as Jim did,” wrote Steve Roselius.
Vanessa Kade said, “Very sad to hear about the passing of James Petzing after a long battle with cancer, who I had the pleasure of playing with a couple times at Run It Up and was always a shining example of positivity and perseverance.”
“Yesterday an angel got his wings and a new star will shine bright…I lost a best friend and a brother, but gained a guardian angel of that I am certain. We lost an incredible human being, a fighter, a loyal person to those he loved dearly. James Petzing you will be missed, and your life celebrated,” wrote Louise Francoeur.
Donna Amo is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She is a graduate from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai with a degree in English Literature. When this October born foodie is not writing content or poetry, she spends her time laughing at memes or watching series. Based out of Mizoram, she is drawn to all things nature and has a soft spot for puppies.
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