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Warren “Grumpa” Griffith, double amputee who lived the WSOP dream, dies at 73

Grumpa and Kenny Tilden

Warren “Grumpa” Griffitha double amputee who survived multiple strokes and heart attacks and dreamed of playing in the World Series of Poker (WSOP), has died aged 73.

A Massachusetts native and poker enthusiast, Grumpa’s story touched the hearts of poker players from Daniel Negreanu for Maria Ho when he made the trip west for the 2015 WSOP. Beloved Grumpa passed away peacefully May 12 after a long battle with heart disease, according to his obituary.

Chasing WSOP Greatness

Grumpa, who was affectionately nicknamed by his five granddaughters for his grumpy temper, was a huge poker fan who always wanted to travel to Las Vegas for a chance to win a life-changing bracelet and cash. Despite myriad health issues, Grumpa achieved his goal in 2015 and played in the inaugural WSOP. “The Colossus” event as part of a Blaycation group.

It was at the WSOP that Grumpa, who sailed onto ESPN’s main stage with two prosthetic legs, caught the attention of the poker media.

“I was here to see the World Series, to see the stage and the venues, but I couldn’t afford to play,” Grumpa said. PokerNews at the 2015 WSOP. “Playing has been on my to-do list for many, many years.”

WSOP Thunderdome
WSOP Thunderdome

Luck was rarely on Grumpa’s side. When he made it to the 2015 WSOP, he had been living with diabetes for 50 years and had suffered a series of strokes and heart attacks.

“Everything that happened, and a lot of things happened to me, that’s why it’s a bucket list for me,” Grumpa said of playing in the World Series. “I feel so good being here to do this that I told my wife if I made money I would send her. She was the one who let me come here.”

It wasn’t just PokerNews which Grumpa has drawn attention to. ESPN, one of the biggest outlets in all of sports, profile the Massachusetts poker enthusiast in 2017 about his trip to the WSOP two years prior.

“Although I suffer from many health issues, I live every day right now for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Grumpa told ESPN. “Every day is very difficult to live, but poker makes my life so much better,” Griffith said. “My mind is constantly moving, the people I look forward to seeing and the competition drives me to improve and work harder.”

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Leave an impression on the poker community

Grumpa didn’t end up winning or making a deep run in the 2015 Colossus, which drew a record 22,374 entrants and generated $11.2 million in prize money, but it made a lasting impression on poker players. who met him.

When he couldn’t make it to the 2016 WSOP due to health issues, a handful of pros sent their best wishes to Grumpa in the form of a video produced by Bernard Lee and PokerNewsincluding Daniel Negreanu, Maria Ho and Main Event champions Jonathan Duhamel, ryan ries and Greg Raymer.

“Hey Grumpa, hope you get better soon,” Negreanu said in the video. “We’ll see you at the World Series final table next year.”

High Stakes Veteran Jason Merciermeanwhile, dedicated one of his two 2016 WSOP bracelets to Grumpa.

Lee, who featured a tearful Grumpa with the video of top poker players wishing him luck, took to social media when he learned of Grumpa’s passing.

“Another dear friend in the poker world passed away this afternoon,” Lee wrote on Twitter.

Lee also did a tribute show for Grumpa, who is survived by his wife. Ann Carlson Griffith, as well as his daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Several members of the poker world have remembered Grumpa by sharing some of their favorite stories.