Chad Batista: Depression, Alcoholism And Black Friday

Chad Batista: Depression, Alcoholism And Black FridayOn August 20th, Chad “lilholdem954” Batista passed away aged just 34. The US pro was one of poker’s most successful online players of the last decade, and had amassed millions of dollars playing under the screen name “lilholdem954”, as well as a further $952,496 from live tournaments. This week, Card Player had the opportunity to interview his aunt, Louise Batista, whose sister, Chad’s mother, had struggled with drugs and alcohol throughout her life. Louise’s story then paints a tragic picture of a player suffering from alcoholism and depression, and deeply affected by Black-Friday in the US.
According to his aunt, Chad Batista was never quite the same after Black-Friday, and with no profession to fall back upon, Chad moved to Mexico to play online, rather than pursuing the time-consuming live poker scene which he hated so much. The experience doesn’t seem to have been a positive one, though, and according to Louise Batista “Mexico was hell.” Elaborating further, she explained:
“Mexico was not a good place at all. He got stripped down I don’t know how many times. It is a corrupt country, and it’s not a safe place for a guy weighing 110 pounds soaking wet with two little doggies. You know, he basically walked around with a target on his back. After 10 months, he had over-stayed his welcome. He got the heck out of there. He did have his biggest score when he was in Mexico.”
Chad Batista subsequently moved to a few different locations, including California, and Nevada, but his transitory existence just added further to his depression, as did the ups and downs associated with playing poker, which he also found difficult to handle. As Louise explains:
“You really need to be a stable person, in order to accept the losses.. Live poker games were not Chad’s thing. He didn’t like the crowd, and he never played poker for the celebrity status.”
Also weighing heavily on Chad’s mind was the money he had stuck on various poker sites post-Black Friday, including Full Tilt, from which he only ever received a fraction of what was owed due to a lack of documentation. Ending the moving interview, Louise Batista then helped clear up the circumstances of Chad’s death by explaining:
“What he actually passed away from was liver and kidney failure. Chad fell and passed out and had bleeding in the brain. It was from an over-consumption of alcohol.. He struggled and alcohol was his escape. In the end, the alcohol won.”

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