Norman Chad to play WSOP $25K H.O.R.S.E. Championship as depression-research fundraiser

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: August 2, 2021 9:02 pm EDT

Veteran World Series of Poker television commentator Norman Chad has announced he will participate in one of this fall’s premier events as a fundraising effort. Chad plans to play in the 2021 WSOP’s leadoff events, the $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship.

However, Chad’s plan is to play the elite H.O.R.S.E. event as a poker-community fundraiser, benefiting the Hope for Depression Research Foundation. Here’s how Chad announced his plans via Twitter:

Chad’s participation in the H.O.R.S.E. tourney, as he noted, will bring the foundation a guaranteed $12,500:

Chad a skilled amateur poker player

Most poker fans know Chad through his work, alongside Lon McEachern, in calling WSOP events on ESPN for nearly two decades. (The WSOP, with Chad and McEachern, will remain with the WSOP as it moves to CBS this fall.) Most of the events Chad and McEachern narrate are no-limit hold’em, Chad’s own preference is mixed games.

He’s perhaps not as elite as the pros who normally play the $25K H.O.R.S.E. Championship, but he does have some poker chops. Chad final-tabled the 2012 WSOP’s $2,500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better event. He also just missed final-tabling the 2014 WSOP’s $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship.

Overall, Chad has cashed seven times in various WSOP events, for more than $90,000. That’s despite playing only a small number of events as his work schedule has allowed.

Research into depression a cause near to Chad’s heart

Chad has battled severe depression for years, a situation made worse during the pandemic lockdown. He contracted COVID-19 himself and developed “long haul” symptoms that kept him ill and isolated for months. His wife, Toni, had been spending time on the East Cost, and a month into the initial lockdown, their dog Daisy died unexpectedly.

Depression sufferers are familiar with how multiple or sustained stress episodes serve as triggers. Chad certainly suffered from such a triggering wave of events.

He also spoke with about how important this fundraiser is to him personally. And, if it goes as hoped, it might not be the only such fundraiser.

“To battle my own severe depression,” Chad stated, “since the pandemic started I’ve concentrated more on having more fun, being more positive, trying to make Twitter a less toxic place.”

“The 25k HORSE is a perfect opportunity to combine a lot of good things: I’ll play in an event I wouldn’t have otherwise, I get 250 people sweating me and having a fine time at a small cost and we get to throw some money to a worthy cause. If this works out, I might try a version of it for the $50K PPC [the WSOP’s Poker Players Championship], where we can raise twice the charity money using the same model.”

Chad’s depression-research funder will be organized through, a site and community whose participants can buy pieces of poker players’ tourney action. (The event was not yet live as of this story’s publication.)

Featured image source: Twitter/normanchad