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God's Favor

"I'm not good enough to be a champion, yet I win tournaments all the time. It's real simple. When God favors me, I can't be stopped. When he favors someone else, there is no way I can beat them. I enjoy the ride."

A History of Poker

Jim got his start playing poker in sleazy, smokey, backroom games while in high school. Jim was the high school chess champ and enjoyed playing five challengers at the same time. Poker was a natural fit for his skills. The games he enjoyed the most were 7 Card Stud and 3 Card Guts. "The guys running the game were always cheating. They would constantly switch the decks. It actually made me a better player, because I had to keep an eye on the dealer."

While in college, Jim continued playing poker and making nice money on the side. However, an event took place that caused him to give up poker for 30 years. "I was playing in a friendly home game and I had just wiped out a husband and his wife. I didn't think anything about because it wasn't a lot of money. However, I went to the rest room and saw them embracing each other and crying in the adjacent room. I felt so guilty, that I took all the money I had won, tossed it on the kitchen table and left." That was the end of Jim's poker days.

Thirty-two years later, Jim had just undergone simultaneous shoulder and knee surgery. It was his fourth shoulder surgery, but this time they added a second knee surgery. As a competitor Jim had always pushed his body hard to compete, but this time he decided he needed a different way to fulfill his competitive nature.

Jim mobility was limited so he began playing online poker. The thrill was back. Shortly thereafter, Jim began driving to Oklahoma to play at the Winstar. He didn’t care much for the cash games and rarely plays them today, but he fell in love with the Friday tournaments.

$700,000 Win at the Winstar

In 2008 Jim entered the Winstar River Poker Tournament. Jim beat out 1494 other players to win the grand prize of $700,000.00. Poker Player Newspaper describes Jim this way, "throughout the final table, Jim Carroll had been the comedian in the group. He chatted and joked with the announcer, pulled a few pranks, and brushed off the final table intensity with lighthearted jokes and comments while portraying the image of a passive, conservative player. When heads-up play began, Jim flawlessly switched gears and became the aggressor, retaining his affable facade all the while."

Jim believes that God is with him at every poker table. Just like he believe God is with him at all walks at life. While Jim was going through his divorce, he won the $700,000.00. Half of the money went to his Ex, but Jim didn't mind. "I feel like God favored me during the poker tournament allowed me to win." Jim shares his experiences playing poker from a Christian perspective. "Poker can be one of the greatest learning experiences in life. It's a great place for hard life lessons."

Jim's Poker Articles

Poker Winnings


  1. 2008
    Winstar - Oklahoma "River Tournament"
    2008
    $700,000.00 1st place win.
  2. WinStar "October Last Sunday"
    11th place win.
  3. Scotty Nguyen Poker Challenge V
    11th place win.
  4. Venetian Deep Stack
    40th place.
  5. Bellagio Daily
    11th place.
  6. 2009
    Winstar Friday Special
    2009
    1st place!
  7. Bellagio Cup V
    4th place - $13,000.00
  8. Ultimate Bet Aruba Classic
    1st Place, $53,400.00
  9. Festa al Lago 52nd
    2009
  10. Winstar Friday Tournament
    1st Place - $4,900.00
  11. 2011
    Choctaw WSOP Oklahoma
    2011
    No Limit - Holdem
    3rd place - ring event
    $24,901.00
  12. Winstar - Oklahoma
    No Limit - Holdem
    3rd place - ring event
    $28,612.00
  13. Winstar - Oklahoma
    No Limit - Holdem
    3rd place - ring event
    $1,812.00
  14. Wynn Classic - Las Vegas
    No Limit - Holdem
    12th place place - ring event
    $2,892.00
  15. Winstar Friday Tournament
    1st Place - $4,680.00
  16. Winstar - Good Friday
    No-Limit Hold'em Tournament 4-22-2011
    2nd Place - $2,700.00
  17. World Poker Championship
    No-Limit Hold'em Tournament
    5K Event- $139,570.00
  18. Choctaw WSOP Oklahoma
    23rd place
    $1,245.00
  19. 2012
    Winstar Friday Tournament
    2012
    2nd Place - $2900.00
  20. Choctaw WSOP
    77th Place - $435.00
  21. Horseshoe - LA
    WSOP Event
    18th Place - $550.00
  22. Winstar River - 5k Event
    1st Place - $90,505
  23. Winstar Event
    $1580.00
  24. 2013
    WSOP Choctaw - Main Event
    37th place out of 1140 players
    $5780.00
  25. Winstar - Mini River
    Main Event - 409 players - No Limit - Holdem
    4rd place - $17,000
  26. Card Players - Choctaw Main Event
    2013 No Limit Holdem
    14rd place - $13,503
  27. 2013 To Dang Busy to Play
    Retired until 2014
    Not enough time to play competitive poker.