In a recent Ask Me Anything, Stefanie Ungar-Campbell answered questions about her father, Stu Ungar.
In the summer heat on Fremont Street outside Binion's Horseshoe, Stu Ungar reached the final table of the 1997 WSOP Main Event and went on to capture a $1 million first-place prize - his third WSOP Main Event title that time (he initially won in 1980 and 1981).
As he was being interviewed with Gabe Kaplan after his win, Ungar showed a photo of his then 14-year-old daughter Stefanie and he said, "I love you honey, and I'll be seeing you soon."
This past week, Stefanie Ungar-Campbell, who has now grown up, offered poker fans a more in-depth look at her father (who died in 1998), by giving them the chance to ask her anything on various social media channels. This is to mark the 22nd anniversary of her father's passing on November 22.
Stefanie, now 38, lives in Las Vegas with her husband Brian Campbell and two children. She has been active in social media this year, sharing photos and stories of her father.
Below are some of the questions and answers compiled from her recent AMA.
Q: Did your father teach you poker? A: No, he never wanted me to learn poker.
Q: Who did your father respect as an opponent at the table? A: Chip Reese
Q: How old was your father when he died and what was the cause? A: He was 45 years old and he died of heart failure.
Q: Are you married? A: Yes, happily to my best friend. (*She's been married to Brian Campbell since 2010)
Q: As far as poker ability/style, who would you say is comparable to your father? A: Since I don't play I'll go with Mike Sexton's opinion and say Phil Ivey.
Q: Do you play poker? A: No, I don't play ... but I do like Blackjack if I did feel like playing anything. Most people are amazed I don't play. I didn't get that mathematical gene that he had. But yes I definitely love Vegas! Born and raised here!
Q: Just wondering if your dad ever secretly wrote down his ideas on poker strategy? More so on any tells that anyone could use to better their game? A: No, never. He used to say that he knew what he knew but he didn't know how. His mind was brilliant. Truly a gift.
Q: What are three words to describe your father? A: This is a hard one to narrow down. I'd say charismatic, sharp, witty, discerning and loyal. (sorry I couldn't pick just three).
Q: Besides gambling, besides poker, besides "habits", what did you father have a passion or an interest in, something that the poker community would find strange or interesting? A: My father loved learning about history. He loved black and white movies. He said if he didn't play poker that he thought he would have been an attorney. He didn't cook at all. In fact, he didn't do most things in life that we find normal in the day to day. He actually used to pay our friends teenage son $20 to take the trash out. That still cracks me up to this day.
Q: Your dad struggled with drugs as many others. Have you had any issues growing up with drug/alcohol dependency? A: No, I've never had any additions. A bit of my close friends did and I've helped at times get them into rehab programs. I did do the whole crazy teenager phase and I was definitely wild. But nothing too bad.
Q: What was your dad's favorite food? A: He loved Italian and Chinese the most!
Q: As a kid did you get the feeling that your dad was sort of a celebrity? A: Yes, I did. But also, poker is even bigger now so I can't imagine what it would have felt like today.
Q: Have you had any thoughts of writing a book or even participating in writing a screen play adaptation for another movie on your father? A: I have. I'm would love to produce a movie about him. I need the right connections though.
Q: Have you seen the movie High Roller based on your dad and do you feel that it was done with some accuracy and in a fair portrayal? A: I did not feel it was accurate. That why we chose not to be apart of it after they came to us with the script.
Q: What is your most cherished memory of him? A: Oh, so many! The times we'd spend just lying on the couch together and talking. Also, this one day he took me shopping at the mall and watched me try on all the outfits... we laughed so much! That was a great day that I always seem to think back on.
stu ungar was a genius of the cards, his ability to compete in an aggressive way made him a genius, well his addictions ended with this player, but hey, what we must rescue is his ability to play, but also we must not forget that Before the level was not very competitive, today poker is harder, there are competitive players, and more skilled, who study a lot. I think it was a shame to lose him, because I wanted him to be present at this time to see his ability with others.
ha,ha,its crazy to see how he was only about poker and how he lived day to day and he didnt do anything like normal people,as his daughter day!in that years,where money had bigger value,he payed to some kid that he take trash out for 20 $ !even now if you pay 20 $ to some kid,its big money,but you can imagine to give somebody 20 $ to do something in 90's!
He was way way ahead of his time. Poker genius, but like allot of other geniuses he has some serius problems out of the poker world. The drug addiction cost him live at the end. But he is still remembered as one of the greatest of all time, specialy if you ask old school players.
Stu Ungar was a great poker player, his ability was incomparable, but as in any discipline, we have to be very responsible in what we do, unfortunately it was not the case with this great player, drugs beat him, but it would have been wonderful if was alive to enjoy it.
Well, Stu Ungar probably didn't want for his daughter to play poker, because there were other times and he didn't think that women would end up practicing in this sport or profession. He was a professional, but you can't force children to be the same.
You see a man , then the child of his , day and night , she is normal , her feet to the ground , not living a wild life , with the exception of her teenage life . She has two children , and she has been married to a person he loves most , she s happy , that's very nice to see . Her father is a poker legend , I haven't seen this movie based on him , but since she disagrees with the concept an scenario I won't watch it neither now . I hope her dreams become a reality and she and her children be prosperous .
Sometimes it is good to let your child for choose what job he wants, but not every time if the parents have good plans with him. Important is that things to connect well. If i had a girl, wouldn't let her to choose this job. Eventually i help her with something else, to be good.
He was a great player in addition to his great feats and what the closest people say is that what he said was fulfilled, it was like a guy who said I want money tomorrow, I'm going to play poker to pay my debts and I won it, is Impressive because at the same time he played under pressure that if he did not win he would be worse, so he only knew he was going to win, he knew himself perfectly.
I don't know too much about Stu Ungar, but he was a professional player with much time before hold'em poker to take magnitude. We didn't hear anything like that on TV. Same thing with newspapers. The internet does not exist. Now is different.
It hurts that her daughter did not inherit her father's skills, and she even said that her father never taught her, there are several reasons, he knew that they were going to beat him for being a woman, it is that before women they had her as weak, also that he thought that his skills should not be taught since others could know and beat him, I think his pride was stronger, but it does not mean that he was a great poker player.
hope that he left her enough money that he can live normal life and she dont have to think how to buy something,when she was young and without own family,like she have now!but its good that she was enough old that can remember of this stories and that can talk to all people who want to know more about him!
There was a movie about her father , not official, she didn't give the ok and approval, I guess they might talk a lot about use of drugs and substances ,she might not like this . I haven't seen the movie , but if I were I would put water in my wine , agree to take some money , for my kids , I don't think they would want to dinsult the memory of this great player , just to point some bad habits . He had a great story of life , he succeded to hava a kid , now his beautifu daughter has two kids , he will contilue to live through his grandchildren , I see why he loved her so much
To be honest, i didn't know that Stu Ungar's was sometimes more risky, because he was taking drugs and putting his life in danger, but these things are from his personal life and it's good that he didn't do anything wrong, who is punished with imprisonment.
Stu Ungar was a great player, I think there are very few of that level in poker, where adrenaline was his fun, I like that a lot, not being afraid of anything, but I think that played a trick on him that he believed invincible, and he lost everything he won in poker very fast, like one of his anecdotes that he said that he had won 400 thousand dollars in poker and that in one afternoon he lost them playing pingpon with a professional, I think it was very excessive, in This world should not be too excessive otherwise you lose.
That's how it is and you are right. Stu Ungar was a professional poker, gin rummy and blackjack player. Considered to be the greatest gin player in Texas of all time. He has a few bracelets but unfortunately died too young for prove more things.
This player was very good in his time, but I would have liked to see him now, where the level of players is very high, I think poker has grown professionally, high-level players are prepared, where minimal details separate one from the other, but congratulations cunning because it is not easy to achieve what he, in his time achieved, worthy of admiration, if you want to achieve something in life you have to be persistent.
It is not in vain that he is respected and analyzed by a lot of people. This man had a career in several places and it is not easy to be professional at the same time in 3-4 different games. Not many can boast of such a thing and he is in first place even if died.
Posted by antonis321: You see a man , then the child of his , day and night , she is normal , her feet to the ground , not living a wild life , with the exception of her teenage life . She has two children , and she has been married to a person he loves most , she s happy , that's very nice to see
Honestly it's just refreshing to see this compared to some other sons/daughters from famous players in other sports. Good influence is invaluable in all aspects of life to be honest.
When a man wants something for his daughter he can choose if that child agrees. When she doesn't want to, then the girl chooses what profession she wants to have. Stu Ungar he could be asked to teach his child poker and i don't think he would have refused.
I am very sorry how this great poker player ended, I think I did not deserve it, I think we should not forget the icons of each sport, I would have liked him to live to be able to enjoy it just by seeing him in the big games, but that's how it is. life, all someday has to end, but his daughter, who inherited nothing from him, still can tell us funny things about him just to remember him, and be able to enjoy him even with stories.
Stu Ungar is one of the great poker players. He was lucky to learn because of entourage in which he walked and cause is father's place. His story was good and bad. It scared people and casinos but it's not nice to be banned just because you're too smart.
What a player, his stories move, how a great icon poker player could end that way, well, despite everything he could say that the only one that could win in his life was drugs, no one else could beat him, that implies that he was a beast of poker, nobody equaled him, I think he was beyond the other mortals, we will always remember the world of poker as an example, I speak of winning.
many poker players avoided teaching their children poker. Others realized that money can be made easily from this game and and now in this industry are a few children of professionals. I read once about WPT Fathers and Sons. I think it is possible with fathers and daughters or Stu Ungar's daughter could start a career, but that's not important. A success in this industry for Stefanie Ungar-Campbel can make to become a legend in such a top, but for that he needs to play. Everything is possible.
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