The World Series of Poker is winding down, but poker celebrities and enthusiasts came together today for one more important event.
Today was Chad Brown’s memorial and charity poker tournament. Many of the world’s best poker players were in attendance to show their respect and share their memories about Brown.
Chad Brown was born on August 13, 1961. In February 2011, Brown was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called iposarcoma. On July 2, 2014, he lost his battle with cancer and died at age 52.
Rousso, Hellmuth, Dalla Speak About Brown
After Brown’s death, a funeral took place in New York, but many of Brown’s friends were in Las Vegas playing the WSOP.
Vanessa Rousso, Brown’s ex-wife and close friend, organized the memorial and charity poker as a way to bring his friends together to say goodbye and honor his memory.
“When a candle burns at both ends it burns faster, but oh how bright that light is, and how bright Chad Brown’s life was,” Nolan Dalla remarked.
Brown is known by many as the nicest guy in poker. Many remember him for his good nature and affable personality.
“He wasn’t just a nice guy in poker. He was THE nicest guy in poker,” Phil Hellmuth said.
Not only was Brown an all-around pleasant person, he was also successful in anything he set his mind to.
He was a successful poker player, model, actor, commentator, and baseball player. For the first time in poker history, Brown was given an honorary WSOP bracelet for his deep finishes in WSOP events and for being a great ambassador for poker.
Brown’s ability to carry himself and talents as a poker player were respected by many.
“What I remember most about Chad is not his pro poker skills. What I remember most about him was his reasonableness, his calmness, and his patience at the table,” Phil Hellmuth stated.
“There was no one that held their composure better,” said Todd Brunson. “Chad never got upset at the poker table. He never got upset about a bad beat.”
Charity Tournament Raises Over $70,000
The memorial featured Brown’s friends inside and outside of poker. The underlying theme—what an amazing person Chad Brown was.
He had a profound affect on those around him. Even when he was battling cancer, he would listen to other people’s problems and do what he could to help.
“I don’t think he really realized the impact that he had on everyone,” Vanessa Rousso said.
The charity tournament was a $200 + 25 buy-in with unlimited rebuys for the first six levels. Some of the pros that attended were Phil Hellmuth, Greg Mueller, Vannessa Rousso, Todd Brunson, Robert Mizrachi, and Victor Ramdin.
With pros like that playing a $200 buy-in tournament, it came as no surprise that the rebuys started within minutes of the tournament starting. Shawn Buchanan had over 17 rebuys and Greg Mueller had over 16. The tournament staff was prepared and even took credit card payments.
The tournament ended up raising over $35,000 for charity with PokerStars matching 100%.
Doyal Brunson couldn’t be at the memorial, but Phil Hellmuth delivered a quote from him: “Don’t cry for yesterday, celebrate the life that happened.”
The charity poker tournament was a fantastic way to celebrate the life of a man that gave so much back to the poker world.