Stu Ungar - What Could Have Been

Published on March 11th, 5:26 pm EST

When you are debating who the greatest poker player of all time is, names such as Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan invariably pop up. But how about Stu Ungar? How about someone who was a three time World Champion by the time some people are just getting into the game? How about someone with five WSOP bracelets?

The real question is, just how many World Series of Poker championships would Stu Ungar have won if he had lived a full and drug-free life? Stu's life ended in 1998, at the age of 42, due to his addictions. It is not hard to imagine, with Stu's immense talent, that he could have easily won 4 or 5 more World Series of Poker championships. Stu had a passion for gambling; horses, sports, poker, anything he could get action on, he was involved in. Stu actually got his start in cards playing gin rummy, but moved to poker eventually.

Stu truly was a genius when it came to calculating odds and reading other players. Stu Ungar's problem was that he couldn't deal with the dark underbelly of what instant success and money can bring; drugs and alcohol, namely.

With the World Series of Poker approaching, one should remember and honor the truly best poker player that ever lived, Stu Ungar.