Poker Player Gets ‘Lucky’ Twice After Suffering Cardiac Arrest During Pot Win

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 Author:Juan Blanco
John Grace


  • A poker player who went into cardiac arrest was saved by a medical professional sitting at a nearby table.
  • John Grace had just won the JACK Casino cash game when we went into cardiac arrest and lost consciousness.
  • Dr. Benjamin Kramer began CPR and helped save his life, along with a casino security manager trained in emergency response.

In February, longtime poker player John Grace won a pot at a JACK Casino cash poker game but didn’t have much time to celebrate as he immediately went into cardiac arrest. 

While the odds of his survival were very low since the medical emergency had occurred far from a hospital, a very fortunate turn of events helped him survive. 

Fellow Poker Player Saved His Life 

Cleveland’s FOX 8 spoke to the player regarding his near-death incident and the way he managed to miraculously beat the odds thanks to a fellow player sitting at a nearby table who also happened to be a medical professional. 

Dr. Benjamin Kramer, a future surgeon who is currently a resident physician at the Cleveland Clinic, was also engaged in a game of poker at the time of the incident.

Dr. Kramer witnessed Grace losing consciousness and immediately began the CPR procedure. He explained that “by all technical terms, (Grace) was dead“. 

The resident did everything in his power to keep Grace’s heart beating, but, according to the Cleveland Clinic, only 11% of individuals going into sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital manage to survive

The survival rate depends on the speed at which a defibrillator is administered to the patient’s heart. 

Casino Security Manager Trained in Emergency Response Intervened

Luckily for Grace, a casino security manager who also happened to be trained in emergency response arrived just a few moments later carrying an automated external defibrillator device (AED).

He immediately activated the AED and started giving Grace six jolts to the heart every two minutes, assisted by Dr. Kramer. 

However, 15 minutes into the procedure, Grace still had no pulse. While the life-saving efforts continued, EMS arrived at the scene and that was also the time when the patient started showing a pulse.

The odds of a patient surviving are less than 50% provided an AED is not used within the first three minutes.

While JACK Casino claimed the surveillance footage showed the first AED shock was administered to Grace two minutes after his heart stopped beating, Dr. Kramer said it took one or two minutes longer.

Nevertheless, the medical response was fast and could have been even faster had Dr. Kramer known there was an AED in the poker room. 

The conjoined efforts of the casino staff and Dr. Kramer proved to be essential for saving the New York Poker Players life.

Juan Blanco

Juan Blanco


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Juan es uno de nuestros redactores principales de Póker de nuestra página en español para usuarios tanto de España como de Latinoamérica. De la misma manera, colabora con nuestra web en inglés, redactando diferentes noticias relacionadas con el sector del póker para lectores de Estados Unidos, Reino Unido, Canadá o Australia.

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