August 5, 2020 Poker News, Featured Articles Petr Černý

High stakes poker player Brad Booth has gone missing

Brad Booth was last seen on July 13th 2020

Troubled poker legend Brad Booth has been placed on the Missing Persons register. Friends of the Canadian pro worry for his welfare 3 weeks after he was last seen…

High stakes poker player Brad Booth has gone missing

A listing for 43-year old Booth on the government-run NamUS missing persons site states: ‘Brad Booth was last seen leaving the Grand Sierra Resort in a 2002 Silver Toyota Tacoma truck NV plates 601PMR.’

Brad Booth Poker

It continues: ‘Brad told his roommate he was going camping however he took minimal items that would not sustain him for more than a day or two.’

Booth’s backstory is a cautionary tale of ‘riches to rags’ in the poker world, with an all-consuming passion for the game ruined firstly by the Ultimate Bet scandal, and later involving Booth’s own massive debts and scams.

The riches came about after Booth grinded his way across Canada’s cardrooms. His nickname ‘Yukon Brad’ reflects his time playing poker in the gold rush territory.

When he ended up in Vegas, he soon became a regular at the biggest cash games, joining the likes of Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Patrik Antonius, Chris ‘Jesus’ Ferguson, Doyle Brunson, and Mike ‘The Mouth’ Matusow in season 3 of the televised High Stakes Poker.

One hand in particular sticks out from his 2007 appearances, a monster, memorable bluff against Phil Ivey at $300/$600 stakes and revisited by Doug Polk in 2016…

We’ll come back to Doug Polk and Brad Booth shortly, but first, we have to know what happened to Booth in 2008, when the Ultimate Bet scandal hit.

Booth claims he lost more than $2million to the superusers on the site, multiple accounts believed to be run by Russ Hamilton, and which stole more than $20million in total from unsuspecting players.

Russ Hamilton poker

Booth’s debts

Within 4 years, Booth would have hit rock-bottom, explaining: “If you look at the approximately $4.2 million I lost over the past three and a half years – it’s kind of a blur and I don’t remember the exact dates — 98 percent of that total came online.”

By then it transpired he had debts totaling at least $1million to fellow players, with Doug Polk among them.

Doug Polk poker

Polk posted his ‘Brad Booth stole $28k from me’ story on the 2plus2 forum in 2012. He explained that an initial $13k online transfer on Lock Poker had been repaid by Booth in cash.

However, in Polk’s words: ‘Then Brad asked if he could get a bigger transfer… he asked for ~$30,000, which I sent him online. Several days later… he told me the unsettling news of many of his other debts, how little money he has, and the inside scoop on many additional things.

Polk and Booth agreed on a payment plan, but after one payment of $2,200, Polk related: “…since then, he has left the country, changed his phone number, and has started completely ignoring me.’

It transpired that Polk’s debt was one of dozens. It led to a heart-felt and tearful public apology from Booth…

As recently as 2017, Doug Polk updated his thread on the debt. He revealed: ‘For what it’s worth guys, Brad has continued to make small payments throughout the last few years. We aren’t moving anywhere fast, but I do think he wants to make it right and I appreciate his efforts to right the debt.’

The current fears for Booth after his disappearance, however, are reflected in some previous interviews from Booth, at the height of his troubles.

Booth stated in 2011: “I’ve had a few days and few nights, when I’ve felt, not suicidal, but that I was at the end of the rope here.’

The hope is that Booth has decided to disappear for while rather than anything more serious. Anyone with information as to his whereabouts has been asked to contact Reno police on the numbers below..

High stakes poker player Brad Booth has gone missing

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