Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in February 2011 and underwent chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, and radiation to fight the disease. But that did not keep him away from the tables.
Brown won the $2k Wynn Classic event just a month later followed by four WSOP cashes and one final table that summer. He continued to play as often as possible and his last cash was in the Borgata Winter Open Main Event less than six months ago.
Brown never won a WSOP title but came close with three runner-up finishes among his 38 career cashes. The WSOP paid tribute to Brown with an honorary WSOP bracelet which he received shortly before passing away.
Brown stayed positive throughout his fight and was satisfied with his life. In February he wrote an update on PokerStarsBlog.com about his condition.
The way that I’ve been handling this and continue to handle this is to view the situation like a poker hand. There are only so many correct plays that you can make, and you can make the best play and still lose. If that winds up being the case, I’ll be okay with it, because I’ll know I did everything I could do to give myself the best shot.
Chad Always Exuded Positive Energy
When asked to describe Brown, most people used many of the same adjectives. Sweet, funny, friendly, professional, positive, gracious.
“He always exuded positive energy. He was always respectful and friendly,” WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel commented.
“He would always talk with people and take pictures. Never complained; when he had an issue, he’d just come and talk about it.”
Respect for Brown in the poker community is universal. His approach to the game was always professional and courteous.
“When he said something, you gave him your attention because you had that respect for him,” Effel said. “Some people you don’t necessarily always have that with.
“I can tell you that Chad Brown was part of the DNA of the poker industry.”
Brown was born the son of a gambler, loved baseball, and turned to acting before coming back to the game he loved. He battled until the end but will be remembered as a positive influence on poker.
“He was very gracious, very sweet, just a really good guy,” Effel finished.
“A table full of Chad Browns would be the ideal, fun poker game to play in.”