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As most have likely heard by now, Chad Batista, referred to by many who knew him as an online poker legend, passed away on Thursday at the tender age of 35.

A native of Florida, Batista had quite a large online following prior to Black Friday. Facebook and 2 + 2 are filled with posts from fellow players who claim to have watched and marveled at his play as either ‘lilholdem954’ or ‘M8kingmoves.’

A number of posters admit to taking a liking to poker due to the online prowess of Batista, with several stating that his instincts for the game far excelled any knowledge that he may have possessed with regard to pot odds or mathematical strategy.

Won Millions

Most accounts put Batista’s online earnings in the neighborhood of $5 million or so. Almost another $1 million landed in the pockets of his baggy pants compliments of live tournament play.

Several news accounts reported that Batista’s death was somewhat sudden following “a brief period of declining health.” Those who claim to have known him best stated on social media that he drank himself to death.

“After Black Friday, Chad was suicidal because he said he had nothing to live for and he had no good way to get other employment because of his past mistakes,” posted ‘barryg1’ on 2 + 2. “After we talked, he convinced me he wouldn’t hurt himself, but after seeing how it turned out, I realize he inadvertently killed himself anyway as many of us will do as we disregard our health in this lifestyle.”

Those past mistakes included several run-ins with the law. Batista wasn’t immune from doing some stupid things during his youth that he would later come to regret, as are most of us. His skills and talents revolved around online poker, a game that was taken away from him in April 2011.

He tried to make a go of it in Mexico, as many online pros have done. But for whatever reason, Batista apparently didn’t take a shine to being away from home.

Not The Same

An aunt who looked after Batista when his mother passed away in the mid-90s confirmed that the shutdown of PokerStars, Full Tilt and UltimateBet four years ago took a toll on the online poker star.

“After Black Friday, things weren’t quite the same,” said Louise Batista. “He didn’t like live poker because it was too slow-paced, and he didn’t like the crowds.”

According to numerous accounts, what Batista did like were his dogs, the platinum grillwork on his teeth, pimped rides, and online poker. He liked to play a brash, in-your-face style that both awed and angered his tablemates. But even those who he angered at the tables respected his play.

And now those same players are paying their respects to Batista in death, a life cut short perhaps due to the effects of Black Friday?

“Its disgusting how black friday ruined so many people, literally put them in the GROUND,” posted ‘WateryBoil’ on 2 + 2. “Perhaps if BF didnt happen he wouldnt have drank himself to death.”

Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.

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