Canadian Celebrity Poker Player René Angélil Dies at 73

Rene Angelil

After a long battle with throat cancer, René Angélil died Thursday morning at his home in Las Vegas, according to a statement on CelineDion.com. Angélil, the famed singer's husband since 1994 and her former manager, was two days short of his 74th birthday.

Angélil was an avid poker player with $750,505 in live tournament cashes at events ranging from $250 tournaments in Las Vegas to $15,400 World Poker Tour stops.

Poker fans who weren't familiar with the Canadian from his career in the music industry were introduced to Angélil when he made some appearances on World Series of Poker broadcasts on ESPN, including the 2005 WSOP tournament of champions that was won by Mike Matusow. Angélil's biggest score was $62,175 for a third-place finish in a $3,120 event at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in 2006.

Poker players and industry notables such as JC Tran and Barry Greenstein have already already expressed their sadness via Twitter.

"It's absurd to use a superlative like 'nicest' guy in poker, but René was exactly that," Greenstein wrote.

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