Making the Case: David Chiu and the Poker Hall of Fame

David Chiu could be headed to the Poker Hall of Fame. The World Series of Poker released the candidates for the 2013 Poker Hall of Fame Class last week. Ten players, all hoping to receive poker’s highest honor, were nominated. In the lead up to the announcement of the Class of 2013 BLUFF is making the case for each of the nominees in a series of stories. The series continues with David Chiu.

Heads-up with Gus Hansen at the Season VI WPT $25,000 World Championship event, Chiu looked down at his chip stack and saw very little. Hansen had Chiu down by a nearly 7:1 margin. Over the next few hours though Chiu chipped away and clawed back to even before eventually completely flipping the script on Hansen to take home the title and $3,389,140. The win is the single biggest score of Chiu’s career, but the determination he showed in coming back is a common theme for the 53 year old.

Chiu discovered the game while working at a Colorado restaurant. He took a second job as a dealer and quickly became a tournament regular. He made his first trip to Las Vegas in 1996 for the World Series of Poker and it didn’t take too long for him to find success. Chiu beat out 527 other players to win the $2,000 Limit Hold’em event and pocket $396,000 for his first WSOP bracelet. He cashed three more times in 1996, including a final table bubble finish in the Main Event.

He didn’t record a single cash in 1997 but returned in 1998 to capture his second bracelet, beating out 170 other players in the $3,000 Limit Hold’em event. He earned $205,200 for the win. Those two Limit event wins, plus 11 other cashes in Limit events at the WSOP, make him the all-time leading money winner in Limit events and the only player to surpass $1,000,000 in lifetime WSOP earnings in that variation. He has a total of five WSOP bracelets with the others coming in Omaha Hi-Lo (2005) and Seven Card Stud (2000, 2013).

After winning his fifth bracelet this past summer, Chiu looked back at his poker career and how the game has changed since.

“The WSOP is a little different now. They get all the young guys with the No Limit Hold’em and the Pot Limit Omaha,” said Chiu. “The old school guys still have stud and all the mixed games and stuff like that.”

Despite winning the WPT’s most prestigous title and being one of only 22 players with five  or more WSOP bracelets, Chiu considers himself an average joe.

“I’m a low key guy,” said Chiu. “I’m not a celebrity. I’m just a normal person and I just play poker.”

That low profile that Chiu prides himself on may be what ends up costing him crucial votes this year. Up against the likes of Mike Matusow, Humberto Brenes, Jennifer Harman, Huck Seed and Carlos Mortensen, Chiu, despite his impressive resume, may not register with voters.

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Lance Bradley

Editor in Chief at
Editor in Chief: Lance Bradley began working with BLUFF in March 2008 and was named Editor in Chief in August 2009. Prior to joining BLUFF Bradley launched an independent poker blog, in 2006. Before entering the world of poker media he was the Poker Room Manager for Bodog from January 2004 until June 2006. He graduated from the Applied Journalism program Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, Canada.
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