| 18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
Expired
header-bg
  • PokerListings
  • »
  • News
  • »
  • Watch: The Tragic Rise and Fall of World’s Greatest Card Player

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.

Mike Sexton3
Mike Sexton was one of Ungar's closest friends.

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.

Related Articles

PokerListings Awards 2022
PokerListings Operator Awards – Winners 2022

Since 2020, we have been awarding the best poker operators and innovators in the poker business with our PokerListings Operator Awards. Every year the operators are nominated and awarded in…

January 11, 2023 | Bjorne Lindberg
Oliver Hutchins Wins the Trophy in the €500K GTD PPC Malta Main Event (€71,000)

Oliver Hutchins Wins 2022 PPC Malta Main Event United Kingdom's Oliver Hutchins won the trophy in the €500,000 guaranteed PPC Malta €550 Main Event for €71,000 after a back and…

April 7, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Final Table Payouts

PlacePrize1Oliver HutchinsUnited Kingdom€74,000*2Damir SavioCroatia€58,000*3Jingchun YuChina€31,0004Massimo RossiItaly€21,0005Wouter SchuurbiersBelgium€16,0006Federico CirilloItaly€13,0007Federico PetruzzelliItaly€10,0008Bradley GudgeonUnted Kingdom€8,0009Guiseppe DiBellaItaly€6,400 *Reflects heads-up deal.

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Damir Savio Eliminated in 2nd Place (€58,000)

Level 41: 400K/800K (800K) Damir Savio It's all over and Oliver Hutchins is the PPC Malta Main Event champion for €71,000 and the coveted trophy. Two hands after Hutchins doubled,…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Hutchins Doubles with Ladies to Take a Massive Lead

Level 41: 400K/800K (800K) Damir Savio jammed for 15 million from the button with 7 6 and Oliver Hutchins quickly made the easy call with Q Q from the big…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Stacks are Thin

Blinds have gone up to 400K/800K with a big blind ante of 800K. The lead swapped twice with small pots and Damir Savio currently is the table captain with 15…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Tides Change Again as Hutchins Doubles Into the Lead

Level 40: 300K/600K (600K) Oliver Hutchins limped from the button with K J and Damir Savio checked back with 10 7 . The 2 7 2 flop generated tons of…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
Bottom Two Pair for Savio

Level 39: 250K/500K Oliver Hutchins completed from the small blind with K 10 and Damir Savio checked back with 4 2 . Savio check-raised the 10 2 4 from 750,000…

April 4, 2022 | Jason Glatzer
All Poker News

Comment on that

Your message is awaiting approval