The poker world lost Chad “lilholdem954” Batista on the 20th of August and his untimely death came as a shock to many people but not his family. The 34 year old poker player was very popular on the online poker circuit before the infamous Black Friday. Batista won more than $1 million in live poker tournament prize money but he preferred to stay at home and play online poker.
He won millions playing online poker and built for himself a reputation of being an aggressive poker player who relied on his intuition to get ahead of the competition. He suffered from depression and when online poker was banned in the United States, Batista sank deeper into depression as new regulations prevented him from playing the game he loved and made his living from.
Batista lost his mother early and was then looked after by his aunt Louise Batista who also would go on to handle the financial part of his poker life. Batista lost a lot of money after Black Friday and he trusted Louise to handle all the paper work and legal formalities that was required to recover a percentage of the money from online poker websites like Full Tilt Poker.
There was a lot of mystery surrounding the death of Batista and a number of false rumours which Louise Batista put to rest. She stated that Batista drank a lot and suffered from both live and kidney failure. He did not want to get any medical treatment and instead drank even more to deal with the pain. He fell to the floor and suffered a head injury which caused bleeding in his brain that would eventually lead to his death.
Louise stated that Batista had a very strong personality and preferred to avoid the spotlight which is one of the reasons why he never really liked playing live poker tournaments. After Black Friday he moved to Mexico for a short period of time to play online poker but he was unable to settle down in Mexico and had to move back to the United States.
In a statement, Louise Batista said
Chad lived life on his own terms from the very start. He never played poker to win a bracelet. It was always about the game and the money, the payoff. It was never about titles. In one of his huge scores, he deliberately got second [after they chopped] because he didn’t want more notoriety