Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fellow WSOP player murdered by wife

I was doing some research for an article I'm writing and came across this story on the Card Player website. Bill Gustafik was one of the chip leaders at my first table during the third day at the main event last summer. I remember him fondly because during a break he gave me encouragement after I had lost a big pot early in the day. Bill asked how many chips I had and told me to "hang in there," patting me on the back in the process. Poker has lost one of its true gentlemen.

Tournament Pro Bill Gustafik Found Murdered

His Wife Is Charged with His Death

Tournament poker player Bill Gustafik was found stabbed to death in his high-rise condominium Friday, and his wife, Jill Rockcastle, is the main suspect.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police say they found Gustafik’s body Friday in the couple’s condo in Panorama Towers located just off the Strip in Las Vegas. Rockcastle was found unconscious in a room at a bed and breakfast in San Luis Obispo Monday.She was hospitalized in San Luis Obispo, but is now is in jail awaiting to be transfered to Nevada to face the charges of murdering her husband.

The knife that police think was used in the crime was found just outside Panorama Tower near an area where garbage is stored.

Gustafik, of San Ramon, Calif., was a chiropractor before going pro after the 2005 World Series of Poker. In an online poker player profile, Gustafik wrote: “Being a chiropractor by profession, I plan to go from cracking backs to cracking the stakes of the best pro. I plan to play all WPT and WSOP events. With my beautiful wife by my side and my 9-year-old daughter giving me tips, nothing can stop me.”

He said if there was one thing he could change about his life, it would be that “my wife would play live and not just online even though she wins.”

Gustafik has won more than $162,000 in live poker events since 2005, including a tenth-place finish at the World Poker Tour’s $10,000 Bay 101 Shooting Star event in 2006 and a 280th finish at the 2006 World Series of Poker’s main event that attracted 8,773 players.

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