Chad Brown was born in Manhattan in 1961. His father was a gambler and Brown picked up the game at underground poker games with his father in the Bronx. Brown was a gifted athlete but decided to forego a minor league baseball contract to try his hand at acting. In the 1990’s he moved to Los Angeles and began an acting career and continued to play poker. While he picked up a decent number of television and film roles, Brown achieved true stardom at the poker table.
During his career, “Downtown” Chad Brown recorded over $3.6 million in live tournament winnings. His major tournament career was marked with a string of second place finishes. The finished second in WSOP Seven-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo events, as well as at the NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, where he lost to Paul Wasicka. He made numerous final tables at the WSOP, WSOP Circuit Events and a World Poker Tour event. Brown was also an active online player and a PokerStars Team Pro.
He took the championship in the 2006 World Championship of Online Poker $5000 H.O.R.S.E. event, outlasting 174 other players for a $233,125 payday. His biggest live tournament win was in 2009 Gulf Coast Poker Championship at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi Mississippi, where he earned $225,567.
He was named Bluff Magazine’s Poker Player of the Year for 2006, and said that “winning player of the year is like an actor winning an Oscar.”
Brown was recognized as one of the great ambassadors for poker through his skill and actions both at and away from the poker table. He was a frequent presenter for poker programmes and casino specials. His contributions to the game resulted in his being awarded an honorary WSOP Bracelet during the 2014 event. He passed away in a hospice about a week later.
In 2011, Brown as treated for a rare form of cancer and had a ten-pound tumor removed from his stomach. The disease was treated in the normal manner and Brown tried alternative medicine treatments outside of the United States. He also continued to play poker until the day he was unable to sit at the poker table. His last live cash was at the Borgata Poker Open in January 2014. Brown wrote in his blog at even though he couldn’t play at life games anymore he was a regular at the 1 million/2 million play chip tables at PokerStars.
In his final months Brown said “”If you want to feel like a victim, that’s your choice. I don’t feel like a victim. We all have a choice when it comes to how we want to feel about what’s going on in our lives”
When his honorary bracelet was awarded the poker community once again showed their support and respect for one of the games greats. Twitter posts and messages were sent by virtually every big name pro in the poker world from Doyle Brunson to Liv Boeree.
PokerStars’ Lee Jones said “I never heard Chad tell a bad-beat story. Even when he had suffered the most awful beat of all, he kept his smile and wanted to hear your story, rather than tell you his.”