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Poker News | People in Poker | Poker Superstars

Where Are They Now – Chad Brown

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Where are They Now is a series of an in depth look at all poker players - not just the pros - as they travel through one long game. Some of the players profiled are deceased but not forgotten.

If you are fairly new to poker you may have only heard of Chad Brown as “being that guy that’s married to Vanessa Rousso.”  As you will soon see, Brown has built his own poker resume that not only matches that of his famous wife, but that of any of the top tournament players in the world today.  Very recently, as you will learn, he added yet another title to his list, showing he has no plans of slowing down.  Brown once had dreams of being a big time actor, but has settled into his role of a big time poker player.  The dreams of Oscars and other acting awards now come in the form of poker awards and big tournament prizes and pots being shoved his way.

Chad Brown was born in Manhattan, New York in 1961.  At an early age Brown started to play poker with friends and family.  When he was a young teenager he started meeting his friends at Italian cafes around the city; in these games they played a ton of different games, and he has attributed playing mixed games early in his life to success in the mixed games he’s had in the professional ranks.  Brown has said in interviews that he won most of these games with his friends, but it was never enough money to make him think that he could have a future in the game.
In the early 1990’s Chad Brown moved to Los Angeles, California in order to pursue a career in acting.  As a young adult he had sought after acting jobs in New York City, but without much success and decided to move to be closer to Hollywood.  The move out west turned out to be a good move as he was able to find some success. He earned a role in the movie Basket Case 2 in 1990, the sequel to the cult classic Horror/Comedy Basket Case, which hit the theaters in 1982.  Brown also appeared in the 1996 television series Miami Hustle alongside supermodel Kathy Ireland.
During this time the closest thing Brown did to gambling for a living was working as an assistant on the television show Caesars Challenge which was hosted by Ahmad Rashad and ran for one season in 1993.  The game, played at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, was a puzzle themed game show, where the contestants received money for getting the right answers.  While Brown was getting some work, there was still a lot of downtime between gigs, and he started wondering what he could do with his free time.

When Brown first got to California he was both too busy and also didn’t realize that in the city of Las Angeles, in which he was living, he could literally walk out his front door and get to a legal casino in minutes.  The few times he played in New York he had to played in underground casinos, and had the assumption that the only place you can play legally in the United States was Vegas and Atlantic City.  With his free time he started playing in the area card rooms, and much like his early days in the Italian cafes, he found himself winning again, only this time winning a little more money.  Slowly he started pulling away from the acting scene and began playing poker full-time.

Brown played his first World Series of Poker in 1993, finishing 11th in the $1500 Limit Hold’em event, a sign of things to come.  Of course in 1993 he was still acting, so he didn’t have a lot of time, but over the next few years he honed his cash game, making a name for himself in the area.  Over the next few years, while concentrating on his cash game, he cashed in a handful of tournaments over the next decade, but it wasn’t until the turn of the century that he took his tournament game to the next level.

In April of 2002 he made his first WSOP final table, finishing third in the $1,500 Limit Omaha Hi/Lo event, winning $45,400.  He closed the year with a victory in the $1,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo event at the Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic in December.  His first major tournament win netted him $36,084.  In 2003 he cashed in six more tournaments around the country, including three at the WSOP.  In both 2004 and 2005 Brown narrowly missed winning his first WSOP Bracelet, finishing second in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event in 2004 and the $2,000 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo event in 2005.  Unexpectedly the 2004 runner-up showing helped him get a job in Hollywood, when he wasn’t even really looking for one.  He finished second to Ted Forrest that year, after a four and a half hour battle, but little did he know producers of a show called The Ultimate Poker Challenge were watching.  They were impressed with both Brown’s personality and skills for the game, and thought he would be the perfect host for the show.  Brown accepted the job, which turned out to be a very popular show.

Going back to Hollywood was only a temporary move, as the year 2006 turned out to be both the best of his poker career, and one of the best for any tournament player in history.  Brown placed in five World Poker Tour Events, two of those final tables. The 6th and 9th final table finishes alone earned him over $400,000.  He also made a final table at the $10,000 WSOP Circuit Event, finishing ninth.  After cashing in two more WSOP events, he followed that with another final table, this time on the European Poker Tour, finishing 5th for $110,345 at the European Poker Championships in London.  He was awarded an honor to which he could imagine what winning an Oscar would be like – he won the 2006 Bluff Magazine Player of the Year.

A WSOP bracelet has thus far eluded Brown, but it isn’t for a lack of effort.  Following his player of the year award he has finished in the money of a WSOP event 16 times, including an amazing eight cashes in the 2007 series.  He also finished second in the NBC’s National Heads-Up Championship in 2007.  Very recently he’s enjoyed some of his best success.  This past week (Sept 10-Sept 17) he won two tournaments at the Gulf Coast Championships in Biloxi.  The first victory came in the $500 Pot Limit Omaha event, in which he earned $32,301, but he followed that with a championship victory in the Gulf Coast $5,000 Main Event, winning $225,567.  For his career, Brown has won nearly 3 million dollars in tournament poker, including over one million of that from the WSOP, not bad for a would-be actor.

Brown, a PokerStars Pro, has also found success online.  He won the 2006 $5,200 HORSE event during the World Championships of Online Poker, netting him $223,125.  Brown plays at PokerStars under the name “ChadBrownPro.”
*Read Billy Monroe’s Blog*

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