United passenger forced off flight was $266,000-winning poker player David Dao

  • David Dao earned over $266,000 in live tournament earnings in WSOP circuit events
  • Dao has been making headlines after his violent removal from United Airlines flight went viral

David Dao, who made global headlines after a shocking video showed him being violently removed from a United Airlines flight by police, was a prominent poker player according to reports.

The doctor racked up over $266,000 in his live poker career, bringing in several large prizes in World Series of Poker circuit events, including $117,744 for finishing second in one tournament in Robinsonville.

PR disaster for United

Dao was forcibly removed from his United Airlines flight by police, the video of which has since gone viral, causing a PR catastrophe for the airline and so far wiping a huge amount of money from the company’s stock market value.

After the airline oversold the flight and no volunteers were forthcoming to leave, Dao, who refused to leave as he was due to work in his position as a doctor the next day, was violently forced from the place by local police.

However, Dao, a father of five, has also seen his past dragged up by press including some salacious details, which has led to allegations of a ‘smear campaign’ against him.

The airline has faced calls for boycotts and the incident has raised discussions over police brutality, after claims were made that Dao attempted to strike staff and ‘fell’ while leaving the plane, by United and the Chicago Police Department respectively – both of which appear to be contradicted by video evidence. Indeed, United now appears to have changed track. Its CEO Oscar Munoz says that he felt ‘shame’ about the incident and vowed it would not happen again.

Most of Mr Dao’s poker games seem to have been tournament appearances, and he has a record of duking it out with some heavy hitters on the WSOP circuit. A Kentucky native, he ranks 25th in his state’s all-time money list.

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