Bull Poker player seriously hurt going for joker

Austin Bottcher underwent 4 hours of surgery

Austin Bottcher was seriously hurt playing Bull Poker, Jan. 1, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
Austin Bottcher was seriously hurt playing Bull Poker, Jan. 1, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN  6) — Austin Bottcher began his New Year’s Eve night at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany. He ended it in Legacy Emmanuel Hospital in Portland.

Bottcher was hurt playing Bull Poker, also known as Cowboy Poker. Basically, it’s a hand of poker played in the middle of a bull fighting ring and whoever stays seated at the table the longest wins the money.

But there was a twist to this one. The bull had a joker on his horns, and the first one to get the joker got the cash. Bottcher went for it and got seriously hurt.

When the rodeo clowns tried to help, he got attacked again.

He was rushed to Legacy Emmanuel and underwent four hours of surgery to reconnect his femur to his hip.

It’s a dangerous tradition many rodeos quit doing, and a member of the International Professional Rodeo Association told KOIN 6 News they discourage the event because the risk of injury is so high.

Those who do participate, like Bottcher, must sign waivers to keep the liability from the rodeo.

“I probably won’t do it again,” Bottcher said. “I don’t regret doing it, but, yeah, I probably won’t be out there playing Bull Poker to tell you the truth.”

His family set up a GoFundMe account:  http://www.gofundme.com/jk5rf8

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