Never Slowing Down: 85-Year-Old Bob Mantin is Deep in Five Diamond After Satellite Mishap

Dec 14, 2018

By Sean Chaffin

Bob Mantin

Just a few days ago, Bob Mantin (pictured) was trying to negotiate a way out of a satellite seat into the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Instead of taking home one of 12 guaranteed seats, the 85-year-old hoped to reach a deal with the other remaining players so that he could instead just take the 13th-place money of $7,800.

“I actually wanted the money rather than the seat, so I tried to make a deal with people so everybody else would be in the money and win a seat,” he says. “One guy just said no and he said no for no reason. You can’t do better than win and everybody would’ve won.”

Finally, Mantin decided to just play it out, take the seat, and give it a shot here at Bellagio. The decision worked out well as he started the day top-10 in chip counts and now has a shot at being the oldest player ever to win a WPT title. That distinction is currently held by Doyle Brunson, who won the Legends of Poker at the Bicycle Casino in Season III for $1.2 million.

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Mantin divides his time among New York, Las Vegas, and Florida. He owns a company in Las Vegas that works in factoring (a process in which a business can sell its account receivables), commercial credit reporting, and collections. One thing Mantin is adamant about is that he’s not retired – and still works every day.

A trained mechanical engineer, Mantin owned a heating and ventilation company for several years and sold it at age 36. He thought his days in the work world would be behind him.

“I sold my company to a public company,” he says. “I thought the objective in life was to earn enough money to retire, so I retired. I’d get up in the morning and my wife and I would go have lunch, and we’d go have dinner. We did that for about a week, and then swore I’d never retire again in my life. And I never did retire. I’m going to keep working as long as I can go to the office and work. I love working.”

Mantin begins his routine each morning with a workout and a three or four-mile run. He then heads to the office until about noon, and then he’s off to his “office” at Bellagio for some poker. He can often be found in the Bellagio poker room’s $20/$40 cash games.

“I’ve been playing poker since I was in the Air Force when I was 20 years old,” he says. “I was in the Korean War.”

Robert Mantin WPT Five Diamond

The Mantins have now been married 61 years and have three children and three grandchildren. She doesn’t usually accompany him when he spends some of his year in Sin City.

“My wife does not like Las Vegas,” he notes.

The couple own an apartment in New York City and a house in Florida, where she spends most of her time. However, they find plenty of time to be together when he heads back to New York or Florida and says they have “a wonderful relationship.”

Beyond being a businessman, poker player, and veteran, Mantin is even more of a renaissance man. He owns a plane and been a pilot for 35 years, flying all over the country. When not flying, workin, or playing poker, Mantin also likes riding his motorcycle, hiking, and generally staying active.

Admittedly, tournament poker is not Mantin’s forté and he faces some of the best players in the world. While he didn’t originally want a seat here in the Five Diamond, the octogenarian is certainly making the most of it and hoping to carry it on to the final table.

“I don’t play that many tournaments,” he says. “But I’m going to try like hell.”

Sean Chaffin is a freelance writer in Crandall, Texas. His work appears in numerous websites and publications. Follow him on Twitter @PokerTraditions.

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