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Tenth Anniversary Of The Death Of Stu Ungar

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Registration date : 2007-08-30

PostSubject: Tenth Anniversary Of The Death Of Stu Ungar 20/03/09, 01:41 pm

Tenth Anniversary Of The Death Of Stu Ungar

Ungar started his gambling career by playing Gin Rummy and is still widely recognized as the best player of the game. He won so many Gin tournaments in Las Vegas that several casinos asked him not to participate in Gin Rummy tournaments, because many players didnąt want to participate in tournaments if Ungar was playing.

Ungar decided to switch to playing poker and entered the WSOP in 1980. He went on to beat another poker legend Doyle Brunson in heads-up of his very first texas holdąem tournament and the legend was born. At the time he was the youngest champion in the history of the WSOP, later surpassed by Phil Hellmuth in 1989 and Peter Eastgate in 2008. He successfully defended his title in 1981.

Stu was also a highly skilled blackjack player, because of his genius level IQ and an eidetic memory. In 1977 he was bet $100,000 by Bob Stupak, an owner and designer of casinos, that he could not count down a six deck shoe and determine what the final card in the shoe was. Ungar won the bet. His repuation once again grew and most casinos banned the blakjack for him.

Around mid-eighties Ungar found an unhealthy habit that eventually lead in his early death, cocaine. He had heard that cocaine helped to stay energized when playing poker, resulting in marathon poker sessions. Soon his cocaine use got out of hands and he became totally addicted.

His drug problem escalated during the WSOP Main Event in 1990, when he took a drug overdose and was found during the third day of the tournament lying in his hotel room floor. His chip lead was so big that even though he just blinded out of the tournament, he still managed to finish in 9th place.

In 1997, Ungar made a comeback to the WSOP Main Event, when a friend and fellow poker player Billy Baxter staked him in the tournament. On the first day of the tournament Ungar was so tired that he even fell asleep at the table. He had been up over 24 hours trying to raise money for entering the tournament. Eventually he made it through the day and amassed a huge chip lead on following days and eventually was crowned the champion and a winner of $1 million first prize.

After the comeback to WSOP, Ungar went on to use all of his share of the prize money (half of the money went to Billy Baxter) to drugs and sports betting and after a couple of months he was once again broke. He spent the last year of his life by begging money at poker rooms and used it for drugs. Eventually he was found dead in his motel room on 22th of November, 1998.

The life of Stu Ungar was an up and down struggle. It is estimated that he won over $30 million by playing poker, but lost it all to drugs and sports betting. He was inducted into the Poker Hall of Fame posthumously in 2001.

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