Stu Ungar

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Posted on Jan 19th 2007  -  Subject: Stu Ungar
The irony that accompanied Stu Ungar through the world has a propensity for cruelty. Blessed by uncommon ability, a lot of doors were open for him. But it was this unboundedness that became a hang-up for him. Name: Stuart Errol Ungar Nickname: Stuey, The Kid Born: 8.9.1953 († 22.11.1998) WSOP Bracelets: 5 WSOP Money Finishes: 6 Style: Loose-Aggressive (LAG) Stuart Errol Ungar was born 8.9.1953 and grew up the son of Jewish parents in Manhattan. He was a highly intelligent and hyperactive child with a photographic memory, which allowed him to be an unbelievably good gin rummy player. At the age of 10 he won the first tournament he ever took part in, and at 14 he beat the best gin player in New York. After his father, who was a bookie, died of a heart attack, "Stuey" dropped out of school in the 10th grade and became a full time gin rummy player to support his mother and sister. After he won a few more gin tournaments, he gave his mother part of the money and gambled away the rest at the racetrack. His gambling debts brought him to Miami and then to the gambler paradise Las Vegas, where he later married his wife Madelaine. Together they had a daughter, Stefanie. Stu played high stakes gin rummy there too - against every player and for all amounts. His success was indescribable. No matter how good the opponents or whether they cheated, Stu beat them all. Since he was so good, nobody wanted to play against him any more and many casinos barred him from taking part in their tournaments. Ungar had to give up his gin career and so turned to Hold'em poker. In 1980 he took part in the main event of the WSOP for the first time, without really having experience in no limit Hold'em - and he won (he beat poker legend Doyle Brunson in heads-up). The 26 year old Stuey was then the youngest player to ever win the WSOP. Because of this and because he looked very young, the press gave him the nickname "the kid." Stu proved that his first WSOP win was not just a fluke when he successfully defended his title the next year. Stu Ungar had done it: he was the world's best gin and NL Hold'em player. His greatest opponent, however, was his own gambling addiction. He quickly gambled away what he won at gin and poker betting on sports or horse races. At least 4 times he lost his entire fortune and became a millionaire all over a gain. Additionally he had a massive drug problem, for which reason his wife Madelaine divorced him in 1986, taking their daughter with her. Stus addiction to drugs reached a tragic high point in the WSOP 1990, which he had to borrow 10000 dollars from a good friend for to even participate in. On the third day of the tournament he was found unconscious on the floor of his hotel room after overdosing on cocaine. Even though he could no longer finish the tournament, his advantage in chips was enough that he still won 9th place. His friends were unable to convince him to detox. He spent all of his money on gabling and drugs, but in 1997 he was again able to make a comeback. He again had to borrow the $10000 buy-in to take part in the WSOP and won first place, which he dedicated to his daughter Stefanie. Stu Ungar wore blue lensed sunglasses the entire tournament, supposedly to hide the damage cocaine had done to his nose. In the months after his last WSOP victory, Ungar again spent all his prize money betting on sports and buying drugs. At the entreaty of his daughter, he tried to detox multiple times, but he only stayed clean for a short time. Ungar could have borrowed money for the 1998 WSOP again but he was too tired and feeling to unwell to participate. In the following months he asked many of his poker friends for money to make another comeback. But since he spent it all on drugs, soon nobody would loan him anything. Seven months after the 1998 WSOP Ungar was found dead on the floor of his motel room - he died of a heart attack brought on by the long-time consumption of drugs. There are a few books (the most well known: One of a Kind) and a film (High Roller: the Stu Ungar Story) about his life. Together with Johnny Moss, Stu Ungar is the only other poker player to win the WSOP Main Event.
SaGi
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Posted on Jan 22nd 2007
Probably the greatest poker player ever. Too bad he didn't get to play more than he did. His accomplishments could have made him the best forever.
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Posted on Jan 23rd 2007
yes thats right Stu Ungar THE BEST!
SaGi
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Posted on Jan 25th 2007
A shame, but inspiring just the same.
live free love life and play poker
Displaying #1-4 of 4 total posts

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