Perspective at the PCA
I'm writing this in hopes of lifting the spirits of any number of people at the PCA.
I just saw a tweet from somebody complaining about the (slow) speed of play in one of the tournaments here, closing with "fml". I have heard and seen similar expressions of frustration and despair many times during the past week.
But seriously, folks, we are living large. All of us. We are participating in a poker tournament in the Bahamas. Maybe you're a player, an organizer, a spectator - whatever. You are part of a glorious tradition that turned eleven years old this week. If you take a moment to step outside, you will see exquisite Bahamian sunshine and electric blue water.
Within a ten-minute walk of where the poker players are playing too slowly, you can marvel at tropical fish and even large sharks cruising around gin-clear pools.
I am perhaps more aware of this fortune than I would normally be. One of our PokerStars colleagues has recently had surgery for thyroid cancer. The good news is that the cancer is gone, but she'll be taking drugs for the rest of her life to control thyroid hormone levels. Not once have I heard her say "fml".
A few days ago, a friend of mine lost a dear friend of hers (and the mother of a 12-year-old) to cancer. I'm sure my friend (and the woman's family) would love to be thinking instead about the speed of poker here in paradise.
Vita brevis, my friends. Every one of us here should stop and take a moment to smell the salt air and count his or her blessings for being here, at this impossibly short moment, on our minor planet of a very average star.1
Life is short, but it is also beautiful.
1. Stephen Hawking is generally credited with this description of Earth.
Lee Jones the Head of Poker Communications at PokerStars; he first joined the company in 2003. He has been involved in the professional poker world since the mid 1980's.