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Poker Pro Chad Batista Passed Away Thursday, Surrounded by Family

Long-time poker professional Chad Batista passed away unexpectedly yesterday at the age of 34.

Little is known about the circumstances of Batista's death but his family released the following statement:

"It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved son, nephew, cousin, brother and friend, Chad 'lilholdem954' Batista.

"Chad died suddenly this beautiful Thursday afternoon with his family surrounding him. We ask that our privacy be respected at this difficult time and we thank you for your prayers."

Chad Batista

Batista Was #1 Online Poker Player in World

Reports surfaced on Twitter Thursday that Batista was in the hospital suffering from bleeding in the brain and that he would be taken off life support.

Batista was a legendary online poker player in the game's boom days, winning an unbelievable number of tournaments under the screen names “lilholdem954” and “M8kingmoves”.

He was the #1 ranked player in the world, according to PocketFives.com, for almost an entire year spanning August 22, 2007 to July 2, 2008.

Early in his career he won the Party Poker Million twice in less than a month and took down countless other majors.

Following Black Friday Batista moved to Mexico where he had the biggest online score of his career, finishing third in the WCOOP main event for $264,408.

In the live tournament world Batista racked up almost $1 million in earnings, including a WSOP Circuit title in 2006.

Click here to read the interview PokerListings.com did with Batista at that event.

Chad Batista

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