Bob Ciaffone, longtime poker writer and card writer, has died

Bob Ciaffone, perhaps best known as the author of Robert’s Rules of Pokerdied Friday at the age of 81.

Nicknamed “The Coach” because he was one of poker’s first teachers, Ciaffone was a longtime columnist for card player and has written several books on the game, including Omaha Poker: The Action, Mid Limit Poker, Pot-Limit and No-Limit Pokerand Improve your poker.

He worked with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission to establish rules for poker rooms and his rulebook was used as a guideline by Florida officials for their laws.

Ciaffone was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1940. He spent many years traveling the world playing games before settling in Saginaw, Michigan.

He became an expert on the status of home poker games and even presented a paper on his findings at the London International Gaming Conference. He later establishes FIASCOalso known as Fair Laws on Poker, to push for more poker-friendly state laws.

As a poker player, Ciaffone almost won a WSOP gold bracelet a few times, and even finished third in the 1987 main event which was ultimately won by Johnny Chan.

Ciaffone was also an outstanding chess, backgammon and bridge player. Not only was he the past president of the Michigan Chess Association, but he was also awarded the title of Life Master by the US Chess Federation. It was an honor he would also receive from the American Contract Bridge League.

His death was reported by Ben Finegold, a chess grandmaster with whom he co-wrote the Smith-Morra Gambit, Finegold Defense.

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