Libra – October 13, 1939
Thomas James “TJ” Coutier was born on October 13, 1939 in Albany, California. TJ has led a rather interesting life to say the least. As a young man, he played football for U.C Berkeley where he also participated in the 1959 Rose Bowl.
After TJ got out of the army, he played in the Canadian Football League for the Montreal Allouettes and then later for the Toronto Argonauts. He states that playing in the Canadian Football League was very difficult as the players were a bit rough and that was combined with bad weather. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury which forced him to leave the CFL.
His focus then shifted to poker a bit more. And the transition went very well for TJ, as he has earned 6 bracelets with the majority of them in omaha. In fact, he is the only person to have won a bracelet in all forms of omaha including pot limit, pot limit hi, and pot limit hi/lo split.
Even with all the bracelets that TJ has won, he has yet to win a main event. It is not to say he did not try, because he has been at 5 different main event tables and finished in 2nd place 2 of those 5 times. TJ has won over $9 million dollars in tournament earnings and is in 5th place for most WSOP cashes.
Most of his success is a result of his extremely good memory. Cloutier will be the first one to tell you that he may not remember your name the next time he sees you, but he will sure remember your playing style and how you played your hands. He has said that if a gnat’s wings fell off on the other side of the table he would see it. He pays that close of attention to what the other players are doing at the table. He has said, “If you aren’t learning something every time you play poker, you aren’t doing your job.”
Away from the felt, TJ has written a few poker books with fellow poker player Tom McEvoy. Cloutier has also written a strategy book which focuses on final table play and writes for cardplayer.com.
TJ Cloutier is still very active on the poker trail. Both him and his wife travel all over the world to play in tournaments. With his keen reading abilities and attention to detail, it is not only a possibility that TJ will continue to cash in events, but a high probability.