The poker community loses another star as Chad ‘lilholdem954’ Batista passes away at the age of 35.
The poker industry grew a little darker, this weekend, after a true star was diminished prematurely.
Chad ‘lilholdem954’ Batista has passed away at the age of 35. His family released a statement on social media, in the wake of rumors that he had been admitted to the ICU in critical condition.
“It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our beloved son, nephew, cousin, brother and friend,” the family’s statement over Twitter read. “Chad died suddenly this beautiful Thursday afternoon with his family surrounding him.”
Batista was one of the games true stars, exchanging blows in a pre-Black Friday game that included the very best players the world had to offer. Reports suggest Batista earned between $5-6m playing online tournaments, mainly on PokerStars, and was ranked the world number one on PocketFives.com 2007/08.
According to reports, the fallen axe of Black Friday hit Batista hard. Yet despite the disruption of living life in a new country he managed to pick up a $264,408 score after finishing third in a $2,100 World Championships of Online Poker (WCOOP) event on PokerStars.
Despite preferring the realm of online poker, Batista managed to win close to $1m in live tournament earnings. His best performances include a 2006 World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) victory for $262,002, a fifth place finish in a 2007 WSOP $1k event for $129,064 and a third place finish in the 2008 Bellagio Cup IV Main Event for $122,570. His most recent victory was a runner-up finish in the 2014 Mega Millions Series VIII where he earned $165,845.
The Sun Sentinel stated that Batista was also a gifted poker coach, counting the greatest Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, as one of his students circa 2008.
The cause of death has not been released to the general public.