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“Downtown” Chad Brown

by Linda Johnson |  Published: Jun 27, '14


I was glancing at Twitter while playing poker and I came across a Tweet from Doyle Brunson that read, “Everybody should give an encouraging tweet to @downtownchad Chad Brown who is in hospice. The nicest guy to ever grace the poker world. #LUV”

I instantly teared up. I knew that Chad has been very ill (he has liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer) and I have been following his updates, but the word hospice is always attention-getting. I read the many get well wishes and added one of my own.

Chad and I aren’t “get together and go out to dinner” friends, but when our paths do cross, we stop and greet each other and exchange a few pleasantries. He has a fabulous smile and is extremely friendly, sincere, and down-to-earth. Chad always remembers my name. People like Chad make the world a better, happier place.

Chad has endured radiation, chemotherapy, and at least five surgeries. Throughout it all, he has been courageous and never asked “Why me?” I remember reading Chad’s blog on Feb 17, 2014, called An Update on My Health. Following in red are some excerpts from his blog:

Where it stands now is that surgery will no longer be an option for correcting this. There is still cancer in my body, and what we hope for is that I have enough time for there to be a new drug developed for me.

In the meantime, while I’m healthy enough, poker’s still one of my biggest passions. I greatly enjoy competing, and while I’m there I’m there to win. In my last post I mentioned finishing runner-up in a preliminary event at the Borgata Winter Open last month. I managed to have success again in the Main Event there, too, finishing in 26th place. So although my body isn’t as strong as it once was, the brain is still operating at a high poker level. The way that I’ve been handling this and continue to handle this is to view the situation like a poker hand. There are only so many correct plays that you can make, and you can make the best play and still lose. If that winds up being the case, I’ll be okay with it, because I’ll know I did everything I could do to give myself the best shot.

As far as how I personally handle the ups and downs of the illness — the “swings” you might say — that really is like poker, too. People in the poker world who know me know how I accept it as part of the game when things aren’t going well and I’m running bad. If you’ve read my posts here you’ve probably noticed me saying the same thing, how the most important thing is to play your best and not let being unlucky get you down.

We all have a choice when it comes to how we want to feel about what’s going on in our lives. If you want to feel like a victim, that’s your choice. I choose not to. I don’t feel like a victim. I feel very blessed with the life that I’ve had, regardless of what happens. I’ve never been depressed about this at all.

I’ve had tremendous support from family and friends who have been in the know from the get-go on every aspect of my illness. Anyone wondering if I’m going through a hard time, the answer is no. This is just part of life and I’m okay with everything. I accept it. And right now I’m just looking forward to the next hand.

I don’t have any more information than what I read in Doyle’s tweet, but it doesn’t sound like things are going in a good direction. Chad, you have earned the love and respect of the poker community. I’m sure everyone joins me in hoping that the doctors find a miracle cure for you.

Linda Johnson
Card Player Cruises

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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