James W. Albrecht, the former tournament director of the World Series of Poker, died on Oct. 16. Cause of death was not released. He was 53.
Albrecht studied math and engineering at Florida State University. He moved to Las Vegas in 1971 and attended dealer’s school in order to get a job dealing blackjack at the Carousel Casino. He later worked as a dealer at the Jackpot Casino and at the Golden Nugget, then became poker room manager at the Mint.
In 1988, when the Mint merged with the Horseshoe, Albrecht was named director of the World Series of Poker. He held that position for a decade and helped popularize the game by having the series aired on television.
The founder of Poker Consultants Inc., Albrecht also directed the United States Poker Championship in Atlantic City and Jack Binion’s World Poker Open in Tunica, Miss. He later served as a consultant on the films, “Rounders” and “Maverick,” and for the Discovery Channel show, “High Rollers.”