I can’t say that I’m extremely surprised at the news that Brandi took her own life. I can say that I’m extremely saddened by all of it. I met Brandi on December 31st, 2006, at Howard and Suzie’s New Year’s Eve party. I guess I didn’t really meet her, she sort of made sure she got into a few pictures I took. After I put up the post on the New Year’s Eve party, I saw her at Bellagio. She was very friendly and told me that a friend of hers had sent her the link.
It’s difficult for me to say “I know them” simply because I’ve dealt poker to them. I do believe that I know a lot more about them from dealing poker to them than I would if I spent time with them anywhere else. Poker has a way of giving up a lot of information about a person’s character that you would never see in any other platform. When I discovered who she was – I briefly visited 2+2 and skimmed through a condensed version of what had developed to date. Some of it can be found by referencing Iggy’s blog although you may have to scroll to find it, he’s put in some links if you have the heart to follow the whole thread. I admit to giving up shortly after reading part of the summary on it. But then I got to see these people in the flesh, David Sklansky, Captain Tom Franklin, Brandi Hawbaker, Dutch Boyd, and Brandon (referenced in this article) – and a lot more that never hit the news.
I was invited to her birthday party last year. I saw her that night at Bellagio, she was in a game, and she said she was waiting for a few people to get in touch with her, one of them was David Sklansky. I was dealing and on shift, I wouldn’t make it.
Brandi always had a hug for me, and a special hello. I dealt to her and Brandon frequently in the 100-200 LH game when she would practically sit on his lap/share a chair with him and they took turns playing hands – if one of them won, they played until they lost a hand. She always talked to me, when I dealt to her, as if I had perfect control over her win or loss but never appeared to be ruffled with me if she lost during my deal.
On the side away from the table, I felt she was incredibly insecure and very much in need of attention and affection. And poker fulfills a lot of that need. Poker always provides a place to be, any time of day, you are welcomed into the fold. And the fact that she was a very attractive young lady made it even easier for her.
Did any one thing lead to her decision? I would believe it was a combination of things and her own inability to sort through the combination and come out if it with a clear picture. Life pushes us along, we choose how fast and where we’re going but some of us speed up when we should slow down. I can’t think of one good reason that Brandi left us…not one.