Extremely skinny poker prodigy who died young?

I remember reading some time ago about a professional poker player who was considered one of the greatest of all time, and how he died early. I can’t remember who it was, only that he was (I think) supposedly very eccentric and weird, that he was a prodigy at the game and had been playing since he was really young, and that he was extremely thin. I can’t remember how or why he died so young but I think it might have had something to do with drugs, either that or he committed suicide.

Is any of this ringing a bell?


This person? … although 45 is not that “young”.

Do you mean Brandi Hawbaker? Link 1. Link 2.

She was eccentric and died young (26), but was a she.

Stu Ungar?

Yeah, that’s definitely him, thanks. I guess he was older than I thought when he died, but still was considered to have died too young. Looking at pictures of him, I remember how weird looking I thought he was. He really looked emaciated. Was this because he was addicted to drugs?

It seems they made a movie about him starring Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos - in a million years they could not have picked an actor who looked less like the real person.

The movie’s called “Rounders”, and if your into poker and all it’s subtleties, it’s definitely a good movie to watch.

ETA: I didn’t really know what the main characters looked like IRL, but the cast played the characters well (whether or not they resembled Stu Unger and co.). Also has some poker legends that make cameo, including Johnny Chan. Pretty impressive considering the movie was made in 98. (I think)

The one I was talking about is called Stuey made in 2003. Rounders stars Edward Norton, I think.

Yeah, and Matt Damon I think. I wasn’t aware they made a 2nd movie about him (Stu).

Uh, no. The movie is not Rounders, it’s High Roller: The Stu Unger Story. In no way does any character in *Rounders *resemble Stu Unger’s life.

Is it actually possible for the bridge of someone’s nose to collapse from excessive cocaine use? Because that’s what some people on the IMDB forum for that movie are suggesting, and it does look pretty believable.

It looks like possibly this can happen. The cocaine use starts shutting down blood veins, which causes the flesh and cartilage to dry out and come out in bits until a perforation forms. Nasal decongestants to relieve nasal blockages can also worsen this, and cocaine users will use those in large supply as well.

I saw a dude put a 6+ inch nail up his nose w/o a problem, which he claimed was due to his nasal cavity basically being eaten away from coke.

And yeah, I was way off on the Rounders thing relating to Stu Unger. I was big into poker a couple years ago, and a roommate rented the aforementioned Stu Unger movie. Then I was drunk last night and just confused my poker movies, my bad.