Editor's note: One of the most tricky parts of working for the PokerStars Blog is walking the delicate line between reporting the news and maintaining the site that serves as PokerStars' voice to the world. Our goal here has always been to be the best of both of those thing. Some days are easier than others. The months following 2011's Black Friday were a frustrating time for everyone involved. Thousands of lives had changed in a single day. All of us who worked for the Blog had our own opinions, but those opinions the subject of Black Friday didn't have a clear place on the PokerStars Blog. Sometimes, however, they came out, like one night with Paul McGuire was covering a SCOOP tournament won by an exiled American.
When you're a reporter covering a big online series like SCOOP, you have to prepare yourself for a long haul and a potential late night. I play music in the background when I'm writing. I'll really crank up the volume in order to help stay awake on those nights when a split-pot event is running long. Call it serendipity. Call it coincidence. But on the night I was assigned to cover SCOOP 26-Low $27 Stud Hi/Lo, I was listening to "Exile on Main Street" by the Rolling Stones while George Lind won that tournament.
"Exile on Main Street" is an epic double album, and the bulk of the material was recorded in France where the Rolling Stones were in actual exile in the Spring of 1971. In order to escape excessive taxes by the crown, the Stones left Great Britain and re-located in the South of France. They created an ad hoc recording studio in the basement of Keith Richards' mansion in Nellcôte, just outside Nice.
In April 2011, many American online poker players were forced underground. Many of them, like George Lind, became online poker exiles. In order to make a living, they fled the United States and relocated to different countries. Poker players often live an itinerant lifestyle, which is why it's not unusual to live out of a suitcase most of the year. But in George Lind's case, he had an entire family to support, including children.
Lind, just like the Stones, got caught in the crossfire of a piece of controversial legislation set forth their respective governments. They quickly adapted and moved to new countries. The displacement of the Stones inspired one of the greatest rock-and-roll albums of all time. On the flip side, it was business as usual for George Lind during 2012 SCOOP. He set up shop in Canada, and was bogged down in an intense online grind by multi-tabling up to a dozen other events simultaneously.
The events of Black Friday were a touchy subject, especially in 2012, so the final table recap of SCOOP 26-Low took on an "Exile on Main Street" theme. It was a way for me to indirectly reference the reality of George Lind, and many other poker players who courageously moved to another country in order to follow their passion.
Thanks for reading all these years. If you'd like to play in the April 21th 20:00 ET PokerStars Blog 10th Anniversary freeroll, you can find it by searching "Blog" in the PokerStars lobby. The password is comprehensive.