If you play poker regularly and have no idea who Norman Chad is, you should really be ashamed of yourself!
Before Norman started his poker commentary career, he was better known as a sportswriter and syndicated columnist, as well as the occasional host of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” and “Reel Classics.” Norman also published a book way back in 1993, called “Hold On Honey, I’ll Take You to the Hospital at Halftime (Confessions of a TV Sports Junkie).”
Since 2003, Norman Chad, alongside Lon McEachern, has commentated on most of ESPN’s poker broadcasts. Norman Chad is by far the best commentator poker has ever seen and it was fortunate for the poker world that he entered the industry when he did, catching the poker boom in its infancy and being an integral part of its growth.
Thanks to Norman, many players haven’t been knocked out of WSOP events, but rather Whamboozled, sometimes holding Squadoosh. And surely no other poker commentator has ever been able to get so much material from his failed marriages, not to mention being the only commentator who makes you want to watch random people play poker. Norman did get married for the third time in 2007, stating that it will definitely be the last time.
Norman rarely participates in WSOP events himself. He has stated numerous times that he’s nowhere near good enough to be able to compete with today’s pros in the Hold’em tournaments and that he prefers to stay away from them as a result. However, he does participate in the 7-Card Stud, 7-Card Stud Hi/Lo and Omaha Hi/Lo events. His best cash came in 2012 when he finished 6th in the $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Event #42, taking home $36,093.
Norman Chad has also never thought twice about defending poker on a national stage, even in the face of attacks from Bob Costas, who at one point denounced poker and called poker players “degenerates.” The following quote from Norman’s Chad rebuttal says a lot about why he is so valuable to poker:
“Poker is as American as baseball and apple pie, and the game involves math, psychology, money management and a variety of other nuanced skills that make hitting a 90 MPH fastball look simple”.
On August 17th of this year, Norman Chad turns 56 years old. So, let’s take a look at some great moments from Norman’s poker broadcasting career.
Great WSOP Moments
Here are just some of the hands from various WSOPs that just wouldn’t be the same without Norman’s commentary.
Norman has never been shy about admitting that his Hold’em game is not particularly strong, but even he knows when bluffing with squadoosh will end badly.
Hilton Laborda provided some of the wildest televised hands in the 2011 WSOP Main Event and
Norman provided some of the best commentary on his plays.
Some poker players have unique betting techniques so it’s a good thing Norman is there to cover them and provide detailed information on the ways of the pros.
Thanks to Norman, Phil Hellmuth has gotten his very own corner in each year’s WSOP Main Event called “The Valley of Unhappiness.”
Norman Chad’s Heads-Up Segments
Norman’s segments have always been great additions to ESPN’s broadcasts of WSOP tournaments. Taking on some of the most entertaining players in poker in various off-the-felt activities, Norman provided some great entertainment for all.
If you’d have to guess by looking at him, you’d probably say that Mike Matusow is probably pretty good at bowling. Well, as it turned out, Norman is better.
There’s ice-hockey and there’s grass hockey, but Norman and Daniel Negreanu decided to mix answering questions and pavement hockey.
Norman is also pretty good at interviewing people which he showed in this interview – Rubik’s Cube challenge with Vanessa Rousso.
Sooner or later, it was bound to happen. Norman took on Phil Hellmuth in this Heads-Up segment and almost put him on tilt.
Perhaps the funniest Heads-Up segment was when Billy Gazes tried to redeem himself after pulling a muscle while attempting a field goal and getting hit in the face with a football afterwards.
Let’s hope that Norman Chad will keep entertaining the poker world for years to come!