Chad Brown: Friends remember a fierce, fair fighter

July 02, 2014

There are many ways to mark Chad Brown’s life. He packed enough into 52 years to fill the lives of three people. Along the way, he made friends as easily as most people breathe. His ability to be a friend may have been the greatest of his many talents.

In the days leading up to Chad’s death, friends rallied behind him, visited him in the hospital, and hoped against hope for a miracle. While that miracle never arrived, Chad’s friends still stood in wonder of the miracle their friend represented.

Below you’ll find just how much Chad’s friendship meant to some of those people.


John Caldwell (Former Team Pro manager)

When Tony Gwynn passed recently, it made me think of Chad. Both had a deep passion for what they did, and both were consummate professionals. Both were inspirations in the way they handled their illnesses.

My final conversation with Chad was the kind of conversation you can only have with someone when you both have accepted the end. Lucid and final – but somehow not as full of sadness as you might think.

My last words to him were “whatever game is next – save me a seat.” If I ever have to go through anything like Chad went through, I can only hope I handle it one-fourth as well as he did. I learned a lot from Chad Brown, and I thank him for that. Rest in Peace, buddy. No bad days.

Nolan Dalla (WSOP Media Director)

Chad Brown was one of the finest people I’ve ever met. He had the extraordinary quality of being instantly likable to everyone. The more you got to know Chad, the more you not only liked and ultimately loved him, but the greater respect you developed for him.

That respect for Chad goes as a player, and more importantly — as a person. He was always fiercely competitive whatever he chose to do in life — whether it was playing baseball, acting, or poker. Yet, Chad always behaved fairly and cared deeply for others. In twenty years at the tables or away, I never once saw him raise his voice or get out of line. Ever.

Chad leaves us with a human void impossible to fill, but an obligation to try. For those who knew him, his voice shall not fall silent. For those who remember him, his image shall never disappear from our memory. What he stood for and who he was will not be forgotten. Rather, that spirit of life should be celebrated. Indeed, Chad gave every one of us a precious gift, and that was himself.

Lee Jones (PokerStars Head of Poker Communications)

Here’s what I remember about Chad Brown: he always had time for you. You can’t say that about everybody in this business (or anywhere), but you could say it about Chad. He was unfailingly polite to people, willing to offer advice to anybody who asked. Because he was a mixed games specialist, he was rarely in the poker spotlight recently, but he was a fixture among people who wanted to play something besides no-limit hold’em.

Furthermore, he was a great ambassador for those games, encouraging newcomers, offering them pointers on how to get started, and generally holding the door of the non-NLH tent open to anybody who peeked in.

The other thing about Chad, he took care of himself. In a world where it’s easy to get sloppy about eating and exercise, Chad ate well and exercised regularly, making his all-too-early departure from us ironic, as well as painful. He was always eager to talk about foods that were and weren’t good for you, and exercise regimens that he favoured. Chad Brown, he lived well.

Finally, and please take this on board, I never heard Chad tell a bad-beat story. Even when he had suffered the most awful beat of all, he kept his smile and wanted to hear your story, rather than tell you his.

I hate most poker clichés and I particularly hate those associated with somebody passing away, so I will not stoop to one here. Quite simply, Chad Brown is gone and it hurts to even type those words. A light has gone out in the poker community, a larger-than-life smile has left us.

From all of us at PokerStars to Chad’s friends and family, please accept our sincere condolences. He was a wonderful colleague, but more importantly, he was a friend. We will miss him terribly.


is the PokerStars Head of Blogging. Martin Harris contributed to this story.


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