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Canadian Poker Pro Brad Booth Missing from Nevada
A longtime poker pro has been missing for more than five weeks from Reno, Nevada. The case went from mysterious to worrisome, and his family and friends are desperate for information.
The player is best known as Yukon Brad, known for playing quite a bit of poker throughout the Yukon before the poker boom. Brad Booth then spent quite a lot of time in Las Vegas when poker was at the height of its popularity, as he was one of the famous faces in the games. He played cash games and tournaments, and he was sponsored by poker sites at various times in his career.
Today, he is a missing person. And many in the poker community have joined his family in a campaign to find him.
From the Yukon to Las Vegas
Booth was born on September 20, 1976. He spent most of his formative years in Vancouver, British Columbia.
According to an approved semi-biographical article about Booth, his adopted mother died when Brad was 19 years old. The devastating loss sent him on the road and across parts of Canada. He stayed away for approximately eight years, traveling the remote land and playing poker. During that time, he played everything from small, casual games to $10/$20 Pot Limit Omaha. And when people asked where he was from, he just told them he was from the Yukon.
Yukon Brad, the poker player, became his new identity.
When he was 27, he took his poker experiences from Canada took him to the poker capital of Las Vegas. He traveled there to play the World Series of Poker in 2003, as well as the cash games that thrived alongside the summer tournament series.
From Cash Games to Poker on Television
Chris Moneymaker won that 2003 WSOP Main Event for $2.5 million. The years that followed became known as the era of the poker boom. Booth was there for it, from the sometimes-lucrative cash games to the tournaments. Booth was a part of it the live and online poker scenes.
In the spotlight, Booth became a well-known figure on the felt. He played in some of the highest-stakes games on television, like cash games on High Stakes Poker and single-table events like Poker After Dark. He also made a television World Poker Tour final table in 2006, finishing in third place at the WPT Mandalay Bay Championship for $319,180.
Out of the spotlight, though, Booth played in high-stakes games at casinos like the Bellagio in Las Vegas. In fact, he lived in a suite at that casino for well over a year at one point in time, playing in the big cash games in the Bellagio poker room.
Bad Luck and Regrettable Decisions
Booth suffered from a variety of financial woes through the years.
At some point after 2008, Booth took some time away from poker. He had accumulated significant debts and decided to go back to his Canadian cash games and grind up a bankroll.
Some of the financial trouble stemmed from losing approximately $2.5 million in the UltimateBet scandal, as Booth had been one of the victims. He also lost online at Full Tilt Poker when Black Friday hit in 2011, when the US government seized funds from sites like FTP.
In total, Booth estimated his losses to be approximately $4.2 million.
His return to Canada between 2008 and 2011 allowed him to grind out some wins and pay some of his debts to fellow members of the poker community. It also presented an opportunity to seek out his biological mother, which happened. Once he learned the story and met his half-siblings, he felt rejuvenated. He was anxious to settle debts and get back to the poker tables.
Poker had always been and continued to be his passion.
After Black Friday
The past eight years of Booth’s life took place away from any spotlight. In fact, there was little spotlight for anyone after Black Friday. Poker opportunities disappeared, and money dried up in many circles.
What is known is that earlier in 2020, Booth was living in Reno and playing poker around town. He kept a relatively low profile.
On July 13, 2020, Booth told his roommate he was going camping. Said roommate believed it a bit odd that Booth took only “minimal items that would not sustain him for more than a day or two,” but a short camping trip didn’t seem too far out of the ordinary.
Booth left the Grand Sierra Resort in his 2002 Silver Toyota Tacoma truck. And he has yet to return.
It was not unheard of for Booth to take off, to leave his situation and take a break, seek some quiet and gather his thoughts. However, he always kept in touch with someone…at least someone in his family.
This time, he didn’t. Booth’s cell phone last pinged in Reno on the night he disappeared – June 13.
On July 30, his family and roommate filed an official missing person report with the Reno Police Department. They put him in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), a wide-reaching US-based resource.
- Brad is 6’2” tall.
- He weighs approximately 185 pounds.
- His hair and beard are a salt/pepper color.
- He has hazel eyes.
- Brad drives an aluminum/silver 2002 Toyota Tacoma truck with a black steel cage bar on the front. The plate number is 601-PMR with a 2020 expiration tag.
If anyone has any information – not rumor or speculation – that may help find Brad, contact:
- Tazy Ciofalo, CSO II of the Reno PD Missing Person Division (775)-334-2175
- Dustin Driscoll, NamUs Regional Program Specialist (817) 240-4106
Please reference NamUs #MP72238.