World Poker Tour Champion Manuel ‘Noli’ Francisco Passes Away
Well-known poker player Manuel “Noli” Francisco passed away in February at the age of 75 due to kidney failure, Card Player has learned. Francisco was born in the Philippines but was living in New Jersey when he died.
Francisco had success at the World Series of Poker. In 1992, he finished second in a $2,500 pot-limit hold’em event. The following year he again recorded a runner-up finish, this time in a $2,500 no-limit hold’em event, losing to Phil Hellmuth. He notched another second place in a 1996 $1,500 limit Omaha event.
During his poker career, Francisco had 14 WSOP cashes collectively worth more than $380,000. Eight of those scores were final tables.
In September 2003, Noli won the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open for $470,000. He had to beat out the likes of Carlos Mortensen and David Oppenheim at the final table.
When it was all said and done, he had $1.3 million in lifetime tournament earnings.
Though he stopped playing tournaments later in his life, Francisco was still a regular mixed games player in the northeast region. He had many friends in the poker community.
Francisco held jobs as an architect and real estate entrepreneur, but poker was his lifelong passion. “One of the most beloved, iconic poker players has passed,” four-time bracelet winner Mickey Appleman said of Francisco. “Besides his WPT title, numerous high cashes in WSOP and Hall of Fame Classic, his dynamite action inspired poker rooms across the nation.”