Noel Furlong, the 1999 WSOP Main Event champion, left an estate worth €56,343,755 when he passed away in 2021, the fortune a combination of poker and betting winnings, and business wealth.
Furlong was 83-years-old when he died peacefully at home in June 2021, having become a legend in various fields, including horseracing where he was the bane of the bookmakers with several £million+ wins.
Furlong the Businessman
Never more than a keen amateur poker player, although much more serious about his horse training and betting, the vast majority of Furlong’s wealth came from his business, Furlong Flooring.
His last will and testament, written some 3 months before his death, reveals that his family home in County Kildare goes to his daughter Tara and granddaughter Halle.
His other daughters, Karen and Christine, were each left 23.34% shares in his company, Furlong Investments Limited, with Tara receiving a 3.32% share.
Further 10% shares were left to granddaughters Alexandra and Sophie (daughters of Christine), and Natalia, another of Tara’s daughters.
In his last will and testament, written three months before his death, he gave his family home in the Curragh, Co Kildare, to his daughter Tara and her daughter Halle. He also left equal shares of 23.34pc in Furlong Investments Limited to his daughters Karen and Christine.
Furlong left an additional 3.32pc share to his daughter Tara and a further 10pc share each to his granddaughters Alexandra Moloney, daughter of Christine, and her sister Sophie, and 10pc share to his grand-daughter Natalia, daughter of Tara.
The remaining 20% was split equally between Tara’s daughters, Halle and Kaiya, to be held in trust until they turn 18.
Furlong’s sister, Helen, receives €200,000 from the estate, with other property split between his daughters.
Noel Furlong the Poker Player
The poker world will remember Noel for his stunning 1999 victory in Vegas, toppling not only two of his Irish compatriots at the Main Event final table, Padraig Parkinson and George McKeever, but also the likes of Erik Seidel, Huck Seed, and runner-up Alan Goehring.
Phil Hellmuth recalled that gripping finale for PokerNews in 2021:
“In the 1999 WSOP Main Event, I was watching closely as my best friend at the time, Huck Seed, was making an epic run. The great Erik Seidel was also at that WSOP Main Event final table as well.
On Day 4, with six players remaining, I somehow still remember that Seed was sick of this pesky Irishman bombing pots (raising and reraising what seemed like every hand)! We have all been there, frustrated by someone running us all over!”
“So, Seed made a stand when he moved all in (four-bet, I believe) with J♦ 8♦ for a mountain of chips (500,000)! But Noel sensed his opportunity and pounced! He SNAP called 500,000 with A♥ 3♥. I couldn’t believe it! All those chips with, and SNAP call, with A♥ 3♥?!
Somehow, someway, Noel made an incredible call. I thought that Seed would outdraw him for sure. But, the flop was Ax Qx 3x, turn like a 6x. In a flash, Noel had dispatched one of the best players in the world in sixth place: the great Huck Seed! Noel went on to win the 1999 WSOP Main.”
The story of how Furlong came to poker is legendary, Padraig Parkinson explaining that he became hooked on the game purely buy chance.
While out walking his dogs, Furlong ran into Irish poke legend, Terry Rogers, who revealed that several rich Americans were in town to take on Ireland’s finest poker pros.
It turned out that these were no ordinary Americans, but Doyle Brunson, Puggy Pearson, Chip Reese, and Stu Ungar – but Furlong nevertheless ended $6k up and in love with the game
“He brought his dogs home … and a couple of hours later he was playing heads up with Puggy Pearson and he’s winning $6,000. It was the funniest thing. So that was Noel hooked,” recalled Padraig Parkinson.
Furlong had a keen interest in racehorses and betting, scooping a cool £1million in January 1991 when The Illiad won the Ladbroke Hurdle at Leopardstown. This allegedly allowed him to pay a £500k tax bill which allowed him to attend the Cheltenham festival in England. There, he backed Destriero for £300,000 at odds of 6-1, the 5-year-old romping home to net Furlong £1.8million.
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