The poker world lately misplaced certainly one of its most interesting gents in Robert (Lee) Mougous. Two of Lee’s longtime pals, Lee Markholt and Mark Gregorich, replicate on their experiences with him.
I’m proud to say that Lee was my dearest good friend within the poker neighborhood. Although we each resided within the state of Washington, I first met Lee within the early ‘90s in Lake Tahoe at the Superstars of Poker event. Our first encounter wasn’t precisely pleasant, nonetheless. On the money sport listing, we each glided by ‘Lee M.’ Naturally, we received into an argument about which of us was greater on the board. Following this disagreement, we shortly developed a friendship, however from that time on he insisted I am going by ‘Lee MM’ on the board.
If you had been lucky sufficient to be Lee’s good friend, you additionally know that he was beneficiant to a fault. He was at all times there to assist with phrases of encouragement, or a mortgage when you had been in a hunch. Lee was additionally recognized for his memorable catchphrases on the tables. “UNBELIEVEABLE,” he would fortunately exclaim, each time one thing even barely out of the abnormal occurred. And he liked playfully referring to myself and others as “dummy,” whereas ensuring to name himself “big dummy.”
Lee was not a full-time skilled poker participant, however I can’t consider anybody with better ardour for the sport. He had an excellent day job, however probably earned practically as a lot from his critical part-time poker enjoying. Although he most well-liked the money video games and infrequently entered tournaments, he did have an excellent document on the World Series of Poker, primarily in Omaha, his sport of selection. He had a number of cashes, most notably a third-place end in a $1,500 restrict Omaha occasion.
Over the years, Lee made common journeys to Las Vegas throughout his day without work. He usually did nicely, however when issues went poorly, he typically wouldn’t sleep for the complete three-or-four-day journey. He wouldn’t even take breaks to eat, for that matter. Lee HATED to stop caught, and one way or the other, he normally discovered a technique to flip it round.
But in the end, Lee was a household man, and his face would mild up when he spoke so endearingly and sometimes of them. Lee is survived by his loving spouse Carol, his daughter Linda, and sons Robert Lee Jr. and Joseph, in addition to his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and numerous pals. As for me, and I’m certain many others, the poker neighborhood won’t be the identical with out Lee. Rest in peace my dearest good friend.
– Lee Markholt
Lee was my first mentor in poker. I met him after I was 18 years outdated and simply getting began within the public cardrooms in Olympia, Washington. He took a liking to me straight away, and regardless of my inexperience I shortly realized that he was the cream of the crop within the video games.
He was at all times beneficiant to a fault, which meant he allowed me to choose his mind on all issues poker or life. He successfully taught me find out how to play Omaha eight-or-better. When we performed collectively, anytime I made a poor play he would give me the “big dummy” expression after which later clarify what I had accomplished mistaken.
Over the years, we performed one million arms collectively, first in Washington, after which in Las Vegas. In the ‘90s in Vegas, we performed $20-$40 restrict holdem on the Mirage. I nonetheless keep in mind him chastising me for an excessively sloppy misplayed hand prefer it was yesterday.
Lee at all times went out of his technique to look out for me and assist me succeed. We performed poker collectively for 4 a long time, and it probably would’ve been 5 had there been a WSOP in 2020, as we had been each followers of the $75-$150 Omaha/8 sport on the Rio each summer time.
Lee was a big-hearted particular person who was really certainly one of a sort. I can’t consider anybody who influenced my success and profession in poker greater than him. Rest in peace.
– Mark Gregorich
*Photos courtesy of PokerInformation and the Mougous household