To Pody Poe, gambling was more than just a game - it was an exciting shot at entrepreneurship where one’s reputation and integrity mean everything.
But Poe, 73, won’t be able to pursue still-recent dreams of becoming a national speaker about poker. His friend, radio personality Danny Williams, confirmed Poe died Wednesday. Williams said services for Poe, of Oklahoma City, were pending. “He was a hell of a guy, you know, regardless of what people say.” Williams said Poe and he became acquainted after the gambler’s last prison sentence, and said he worked with Poe to write his book, titled “From Tinhorn Gambler to Kingpin of Organized Crime.” Williams said he always will remember Poe as a good friend. “He was extremely entertaining. And, after being in the entertainment industry as long as I have, finding someone that is entertaining is really something.” Retired Oklahoma City police Detective Ken “Sugar” Smith said Poe’s passing dims a colorful part of Oklahoma’s history. Smith remembers one instance when he and a partner had gone to a southside city golf course looking for a man accused of rape, and found Poe teeing a ball up.
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Story in The Oklahoman: Jan. 23, 2005:
Pody Poe shows his cards
Pody Poe timeline Nov. 29, 1932: Tracy Coy “Pody” Poe is born. 1934: Poe makes his first front-page headline when he falls out of his family’s car while the vehicle was going 65 mph. June 14, 1967: Poe’s first gambling arrest. 1971: Federal authorities call Poe a kingpin of organized crime as they arrest him under the new Organized Crime Control Act. 1977: The Internal Revenue Service raids Poe’s Nichols Hills home. 1984: Authorities raid Poe’s home. Poe pleads guilty to gambling charges and is sentenced to 18 months. 1985: Poe is released early from prison after attorneys tell U.S. District Judge Lee West that the gambler was “rehabilitated.” Poe promises to move to Texas, where he plans to sell used trucks. U.S. Attorney Bill Price says he’s “very skeptical.” Poe resumes games in his garage. 1997: Poe is sentenced to five years in federal prison after a jury convicts him for running an illegal gambling business and laundering more than $300,000. 2000: Poe is released again from prison. 2003: Poe’s sentence is commuted to time served. Nov. 1, 2006: Poe dies.