The poker world lost a great player, ambassador and friend early Wednesday morning. At approximately 1:15 a.m., Chad Brown passed away at Calvary Hospital Hospice in the Bronx, New York after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 52 years old.
Chad Brown (born Martin Brown) was born August 13, 1961 in Manhattan and spent his early years in the Bronx. Before becoming one of poker's most respected players, Brown played minor league baseball and followed that with a career as a model and actor.
Brown started his professional poker career in 1993 and found success competing at the highest levels. He cashed 38 times at the World Series of Poker, including a pair of runner-up finishes. He also racked up numerous cashes on the World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour, along with various other tournament destinations around the globe.
Brown's lifetime earnings totaled more than $3.6 million according to the Hendon Mob poker database. Arguably his most prized achievement in poker, however, was winning the 2006 Bluff Magazine Poker Player of the Year award, saying at the time that “winning Player of the Year is like an actor winning an Oscar.”
In February 2011 Brown was diagnosed with liposarcoma, a very rare form of cancer. Since the diagnosis he had five surgeries, multiple radiation treatments and various chemotherapies, but maintained his positive outlook on life with dignity and grace.
While his body was fading, his mind and spirit were still strong over the past three years. In January he had a runner-up finish in a WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open side event and another deep run in the Main Event, proving his competitive nature was still in top form.
While he never won a coveted WSOP bracelet on the felt, Brown's accomplishments at the WSOP were recognized at the Rio this past weekend. Brown was awarded an honorary bracelet in a ceremony that captured the hearts of the community around the world.
Jack Effel, Director of the World Series of Poker, said during the ceremony, "with a third and two second-place finishes on the resume, we know it was just going to be a matter of time before we were handing you this."
Brown passed away early Wednesday morning surrounded by family members and friends, according to a family spokesperson.
The poker world mourns the loss of a great player and great man. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.