RIP Chad "lilholdem954" Batista: 1980 To 2015August 21, 2015 12:13 pm
This week, the poker community heard the sad news that Chad “lilholdem954” Batista had passed away, aged just 35. The US pro was one of the most successful players of the 2000’s, and between August 2007 and July 2008 was ranked as the number 1 tournament player by PocketFives.com. Following his sad demise, his family wrote:
“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.”
Throughout his career, Chad Batista was a prolific online tournament pro, winning event after event, while attracting a legion of fans with his fearless style of play. Batista’s career was then put on hold after Black Friday (2011), but after moving to Mexico in 2013 he returned to his winning ways, and soon picked up his largest score to date of $264,408, following a 3rd place finish at the $2,100 PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) event.
Chad Batista was equally as adapt on the live circuit, too, and between 2006 and 2014 amassed $952,496 in winnings, including taking down the 2006 WSOPC $5,150 Caesars Indiana for $262,002. More recently, he finished runner-up at the 2014 Mega Millions Series VIII for $165,845.
Speaking to PokerNews after Batista’s death, his friend Mike Murray said:
“What I loved about Chad is although it was clear he had his demons, he was 100% real. You always got him for face value and the last few months were no different. When I saw him this summer it was clear he needed some help, but he was the same person I will always remember. He loved his dogs, and being with friends. It’s always sad when someone dies young, but especially harder when that person had so much potential.”
RIP Chad Batista. People like you are what makes the game of poker truly special.