Thayer Rasmussen

Thayer Rasmussen, a veteran online poker player from Florida who helped a whole new generation of players get into the game from pre-Black Friday and onward, has passed away, according to his family.

Shaun Deeb, who called Rasmussen his “1st poker friend,” posted a statement from Rassmussen’s family on Twitter on April 2 that they asked him to share with the poker community.

“Anyone who knew Thayer knows he was never one to wear his heart on his sleeve, but make no mistake, Thayer had the biggest heart and leaves behind love worthy of it,” the statement read. “The six of us knew every second how much he cared for us, but perhaps many of you did not know how much you meant to him. It wasn’t just stories we never thought we would hear, it was the way he tackled world issues or debated sports topics. Thayer’s been intelligent, almost to a frustrating degree, since he was a baby, but y’all helped mold him into the man he became.”

“All you want for someone you love is happiness, and we can confirm he brought that while we were lucky enough to have him with us. To anyone who was a part of that, thank you.”

A Grinder & Contributor

Rasmussen played under the screen name “THAY3R” on PokerStars and other online poker sites beginning in the mid-2000s and through the 2010s. Among the Floridian’s online accomplishments was winning a World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) title in 2015 by taking down a $530 buy-in 6-Max Shootout event $69,825.

“I had a lot of friends and family watching/following and they were all very excited to see me win, which was very cool!” Rasmussen told PokerStars after the victory.

Rasmussen also had success in the live realm and racked up $1.7 million in Hendon Mob earnings, including a career-best $356,620 score from a fifth-place finish in the 2014 World Series of Poker (WSOP) $1,500 Monster Stack.

Thayer Rasmussen
Thayer Rasmussen

But Rasmussen didn’t just win money off of his opponents, he also helped them become better players. He was a well-known contributor on the Two Plus Two forum and was part of the MTT stable “Waffle Crush” which included five-time bracelet winner Deeb, who noted that he “wouldn’t have been as successful in poker without his guidance, his supersystem and our prop bets to motivate each other.”

“He was the waffle to my crush,” Deeb tweeted.

Deeb also noted that he “was lucky in 2021 to drive to Jersey and grind the online event at his house.”

“It was like no time passed,” he said.

“He Was a Real One”

Rasmussen made many friends in the poker community, which was made apparent by the outpour of comments at the news of his passing.

“Well this is depressing,” tweeted longtime online grinder Bryan Paris. “I’ve been battling Thayer at the tables since 2007 or so and we became friends in later years.”

“His name was buzzing in Orlando at UCF when I started playing poker,” tweeted Tristan Wade. “Met him in some local home games and became friendly from there. Super nice, relaxed, smart guy.”

World Poker Tour (WPT) Host Tony Dunst called Rasmussen “one of the OG’s of online poker and an always welcome presence on the table, while high-stakes pro Sam Greenwood called him “strong willed and a man of integrity.”

Even Matt Berkey broke his social media silence amid a heated high-stakes heads-up battle to “pay respects to the man.”

“He was an absolute beast pre black Friday & always a pleasant presence to be around,” said Berkey. “Saddened to hear of his passing & I wish his friends and family the best moving forward.”

Other players who paid tribute to Rasmussen include Steve O’Dwyer, Mike McDonald, Jason Strasser, Cliff Josephy, Scott Seiver, Max Silver, Matt Savage and Bryan Micon.

“He was a real one,” said Micon. “Loved running into him in Vegas & trading the old & new war stories.”

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Online Poker “OG” Thayer Rasmussen Passes Away