R.I.P. – Brandi Hawbaker

by , Apr 17, 2008 | 5:25 pm

Serious news.

It has been confirmed by the guys at NeverWin Poker that Brandi Hawbaker took her own life on Sunday. She was 26-years old.

Brandi’s relationship with the poker community was a rocky one, to say the least. She certainly battled various inner demons for years, and it seems that the struggle was too rough. Anyone who has experienced that kind of severe mental instability knows that this may have seemed to her like the best way to end the battle, and it is sad that the illness won.

Rest in peace, Brandi.

10 Comments to “R.I.P. – Brandi Hawbaker”

  1. Trey

    Neverwin is not the best source for this considering their history, yes?

  2. Alicia

    What a compassionate and insightful comment on mental illness and the devastating effects when left untreated.

    Very well put, Jen.

  3. California Jen

    Trey, I know the NWP guys, and though they don’t always use the best judgment, they’re not joking – nor would they – about something as serious as suicide. This is sad but true.

    Alicia, thank you. So many people know so little about mental illness… This is the worst way it can end, and it’s heartbreaking.

  4. 85nutz

    Jen, I would also like to thank you for your comments. You seem to understand the situation better than most. I couple years ago I lost my older sister when she took her own life in the form of a drug overdose after years of mental illness. It seems like in today’s world all the doctors want to do is medicate patience’s with all the fancy new drugs out there and it simply doesn’t work. I know that my sister’s life was a daily struggle and that she is in a better place now. I hope that the friends and family of Miss Hawbaker feel the same way about her.

  5. olivert

    Bob Pajich of CardPlayer Magazine is one of the few writers working for a print poker publication who actually does some basic journalism: he called the Los Angeles Coroner’s office to confirm the story:


  6. California Jen

    Oliver, thanks for the link to the article.

    BTW, are you taking a jab at me for not investigating sufficiently? Just curious.

  7. olivert

    > BTW, are you taking a jab at me for not investigating sufficiently? Just curious.

    Russian proverb: Trust but verify.

    Bob Pajich was perhaps the only print media writer who actually bothered to make the phone call to the coroner’s office.

  8. DanM

    >>Russian proverb: Trust but verify.<< In J-School they taught us: If your mother says she loves you, check it out. Pajich's obit is really well done, imho. Handled sensitively without sappiness, and a commitment to facts that doesn't always work in the instant-gratification blogosphere (or poker media's tourney coverage). He also happened to turn some really nice phrases in summarizing the greatness of a real person's life without sugar-coating the harsh realities. Thanks for the link, Oliver. I can't help but wonder how Andy Glazer would have written about Brandi's life and death.

  9. California Jen

    85Nutz, I’m so very sorry for your loss. You understand exactly what some of Brandi’s friends and family are experiencing, and I hope they find someone like you to comfort them, because right now they are lost.

    I’ve been watching people’s reactions to this news, and most of them have never known anyone with a mental illness and cannot fathom someone wanting to take their own life. People are truly stunned that it came to this, and that stuns me.

  10. Brandi's Uncle

    I appreciate your kind comments.