Man in Center of United Airlines Controversy is Poker Player

This story was published more than 4 years ago.

This past weekend United Airlines found itself chest-deep in controversy after it was revealed that they had a paying customer forcibly removed from a flight to allow their employees to fly. Today it was revealed that the man dragged off is a poker player, who has had some success in the past.

Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed on a United Airlines flight this past weekend when he refused to give up his seat to airline employees who also needed to get to Kentucky. He was initially offered $1,000 in compensation but declined, as he said he had patients to attend to. He was then dragged out of his seat by security, and his head smashed against an armrest, knocking him out. The incident has been a public relations nightmare for United, as their CEO bumbled the response by saying the passenger was "re-accommodated" and that he backed his employees in the situation.

Various people have also been looking into the past of Dr. David Dao, and this week it was revealed that Dao has played poker for about the past decade competitively, and to date he has racked up $266,263 in winnings. According to the Hendon Mob poker database, he plays in events around the country, including World Series of Poker tournaments in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. His best finish money wise was in 2009 when he won $117,744 by finishing second in a WSOP Circuit Event.

Thus far the video of Dr. Dao being dragged off the plane has been viewed millions of times, and there's no doubt he will have a payday coming from the airline that dwarfs anything he's won at the tables.

About the author

Dustin Jermalowicz // News Editor
Dustin Jermalowicz
Dustin has a long-standing passion for gambling. He has been writing professionally on the subject and breaking industry news for Casino Listings since 2011. His favorite casino games include Blackjack, Poker, and Hi/Lo. A proud native of Detroit, Dustin currently lives in Michigan.
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12 April 2017 - 11:13pm

As a poker player he should it know better and take those 1000 bucks instead of getting that...ride 😀
He's looking so relax while they dragging him that it's almost seems like he enjoying it 😂

But did I missing something here why they needed his exactly seat 🤷 Just a bad luck or some kind of strategic seat that is*)

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13 April 2017 - 8:41am

This is such a crazy story. Who cares if he's a doctor or anything else, I mean the audacity the airlines had to kick him off the plane was insane. He will definitely have a payday off of this and that's well deserved.