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Watch: The Tragic Rise and Fall of World's Greatest Card Player
In a new short poker documentary, PokerListings.com tells the story of the greatest card player who ever lived, and the greatest comeback in poker history.
Stu Ungar is the only person to have won three poker world championships. He did it in consecutive years in 1980 and '81 and a third time in 1997.
What Ungar went through in the 16 intervening years is what makes his '97 comeback so amazing.
This summer PokerListings.com interviewed the people who knew Stu Ungar best and dug deeper into one of the great legends of poker history.
Featuring Mike Sexton, Billy Baxter, Phil Hellmuth, Nolan Dalla, TJ Cloutier, Andy Black and Scotty Nguyen, Last Chance Gone Wrong is a look at a brilliant yet tragically-flawed character who got one last chance at redemption.
Watch Stu Ungar's Last Chance Gone Wrong
Greatest Poker Comeback Ever
His friends say that Ungar's career was marked by a repeating pattern.
Ungar would win vast amounts of money playing cards and then lose it betting sports and horses.
During the 1980s Ungar was the biggest action gambler in Las Vegas but as the decade came to an end, Ungar's life began unraveling.
He had gotten married following his back-to-back Main Event wins and became close with his new stepson Richie.
In 1989 Richie committed suicide and Ungar's friends point to that tragedy as the moment Ungar lost control completely.
In 1990 Ungar was backed in the WSOP Main Event by Billy Baxter. Ungar made it to the final day but was found unconscious on the floor of his hotel room from a drug overdose when the final table began.
He was blinded out in ninth place.
From there Ungar's health and lifestyle steadily deteriorated which made it all the more amazing when he was backed once again by Baxter in the '97 Main Event which he went on to win.
Ungar and Baxter split the $1 million prize 50/50 and Ungar's friends and family hoped it might five him one last chance to turn things around.
This short documentary looks more closely at Stu Ungar's incredible story to try to understand one of the most complicated and compelling characters in poker history.