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It’s been almost six months since Chad “lilholdem954” Batista passed away at the too young age of 35.

While time marches on and memories begin to fade, those memories have not yet faded from the minds of those who watched Batista play and admired his skills on the poker table. His friends and fans continue to lament his passing, often remembering his aggressive style of play and a number of his victories.

It’s that forceful style and those championships that have caused more than a few observers to throw around terms like “prodigy” and “legend” when describing Batista. It has also resulted in the printing of t-shirts bearing the message “Legends Never Die” below a royal flush in hearts and underlined with the words “Lilholdem954” and “1980-2015.”

FTOPS Title Redo

Admirers of Batista, led by P5er “Wiscomurray,” are gearing up to re-live one of the titles captured by the deceased poker star. The year was 2010 and the poker site was Full Tilt. It was an FTOPS XV event with a $322 buy-in.

Playing under the screen name of “jse81” at FTP, Batista topped a field of more than 4,680 entrants on his way to grabbing the FTOPS title and $225,000. He and runner-up “Lilly79” made a deal that allowed the 2nd place finisher to score a payday of $210,000.

lil holdem short full tilt

Wiscomurray came up with the idea to honor Batista by replaying the event over Twitch – a hand history viewing party – for all the world to see.

“I think it would be a lot of fun to replay the tournament win from start to finish, while being able to view his hole cards the entire time, and gain some insight into just how good he really was,” Wiscomurray posted on a PocketFives forum. “At the same time it will be fun for the whole online community to come together and tell their stories and memories about their experiences with Chad at the tables.”

Date Dilemma

The date proposed for the viewing party is March 20. That’s the 7-month anniversary of Batista’s passing. Unfortunately, it is also the date that PokerStars will hold their 10th Anniversary Sunday Million that features a $10 million guaranteed prize pool. Perhaps a new date to replay lilholdem954’s FTOPS win can be arranged.

Three years prior to the FTOPS title, Batista took down a $1 Million GTD event at Full Tilt for $212,000. His career was punctuated by the ability to win a number of big tournaments.

Most will agree that Chad did have a tendency to rub some people the wrong way. But the haters were often those who opposed him on the felt and ran into his aggressive maneuvers.

“You either loved Chad or hated Chad, but either way you couldn’t deny the savant-like talent he possessed,” Wiscomurray added.

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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