Paul Kitsos Dies On the Way to World Series of Poker in Las Vegas
Paul Kitsos Died on His Way to Competing in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas
Paul Kitsos started playing professional poker five years ago and had earned about $387,764 on the circuit at 18 different events. In 2009 he finished fifth in the Borgota Summer Open and was ranked 320th in the world of Poker in 2008.
He boarded United Airlines Flight 863 on Monday June 7 at 5:25pm from New York to San Francisco and 20 minutes after the flight took off he pressed the 'help' button on his seat.
A flight attendant said Kitsos was "sweating profusely and breathing heavily,"
Ken Pace, the flight attendant said that soon after he was unable to detect a pulse and a doctor on board the flight pronounced Paul Kitsos dead at 6:23pm according to the New York Post. The plane then returned to JFK and four cops had to be brought on board to remove Kitsos from his seat.
He was not a small man, standing at about 5 feet 11 inches and weighing 350 pounds. It is thought he died of a heart attack but exact cause of death has not been released. He was found with a prescription for heart and ulcer medications on him.
He leaves behind his wife of 20 years Stella Spanakos and their 18-year-old autistic son Nicholas. According to the Post, just before Kitsos boarded the flight he sent a text to Nicholas who cannot speak, saying 'Daddy misses you already'.
Her son responded, Spanakos said, by texting back his dad, "Good luck, you’re the best."