As a poker writer, I naturally write and publish articles from time to time about many of the game’s top personalities and high-profile players. Because I follow the industry so closely, am always devouring poker news, and am writing about trending players and topics, it’s easy to sometimes forget that while my subjects are indeed poker celebrities, they’re also people too – first and foremost in fact.
The above has become much more apparent and real (surreal?) to me as I’ve become further entrenched in the poker industry over the years. From thousands of miles away here in Israel, it’s easy for me to think of everyone in poker as existing solely online and on the TV screen. Yet, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet people like Matt Glantz, Jared Tendler, and Yuval Bronshtein, for example, in person and they’re indeed quite real – not virtual. Of course, so is everyone else in the poker world.
Back when I founded this blog at the end of 2009, I wrote out my thoughts not knowing if anyone would be reading, sharing, or caring. Now, however, I write and publish knowing that many of poker’s finest are likely to come across my words, thanks to the miracle of social media. Some of them are even regular readers of the Cardplayer Lifestyle poker blog and for that I thank them deeply.
The Importance of Proper Repentance
On the Jewish calendar, the time between Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is termed the “10 Days of Repentance”. Being in the midst of that time right now, I’ve been doing a lot of introspection, with the ultimate goal of improving my virtues and becoming a better person in this New Year.
Each year we petition G-d through intense prayer to forgive us for our sins. Yet, Judaism also teaches that even perfect prayer and resoluteness not to sin again doesn’t absolve us of sins committed against our fellow man (or woman). For that, one must make amends directly with the people against whom the sin was committed.
Now that I’ve explained the impetus for writing this blog post, I suppose it’s time for me to render my sincere apologies to you, my dear readers.
I’m Truly Sorry, Please Forgive Me
I’ll start off with apologies to the poker players, organizations, and websites I’ve written about and quoted and may have offended or caused to feel insulted. Perhaps my words stung or you’ve felt misquoted. Please just know that it was never my intent to offend, only to inform and entertain my audience. I’m sorry if, while crafting my stories, I lost focus on issues and ended up targeting individuals. I know that the overwhelming majority of people in the poker industry, from its officials to other poker writers to the professional players themselves, work very hard. While I consider it part of my job as poker a writer to sometimes be critical, there are ways to ensure that the criticism is always constructive in nature. Towards the future, I will be redoubling my efforts to that effect.
Next, I’d like to ask forgiveness from my readers. At times I’ve surely been guilty of sensationalizing headlines for the sake of getting a few extra clicks. If you’ve ever felt misled or “baited and switched” by my article titles, pictures I’ve included in the blog posts, or my Tweets or Facebook posts, I’m sorry about that. A good writer ought not to have to resort to cheap tactics to get people interested. I pledge to do my best going forward to not be negatively tempted in this regard.
Perhaps most importantly, I’d like to apologize to any of my readers out there who’ve made the effort to engage with me, whether via email, article comment, or social media, and haven’t gotten a response from me. If there’s one thing I’m certainly guilty of (though this isn’t a sin), it’s wanting more people to be exposed to my words and interact with me. To those of you who’ve been kind enough to acknowledge my writing via reaching out in any of these ways, even with criticism, or share my articles with others, I just want to say thank you (again). There’s no greater feeling as a poker writer than knowing that there are people out there who do value my humble contributions. With everything that fills my time, I want to do my best to ensure I always have the time to interact with and response to my audience.
Re: all of the above, I also intend to send out some emails to a few specific individuals; I suppose you’ll find out who you are soon enough…
The Importance of Turning Over a New Leaf
I will admit that it’ll feel good to click Publish though. As important as I think it is to go through this sort of “confession”, it helps assuage lingering feelings of guilt. Just know that my words here have been sincere and I hope that my future actions reflect this.
I’ll leave you all with a humble suggestion. There’s never a bad time to take a step back and do some introspection. I’ve used this opportunity to try and turn over a new leaf. The more we, as a poker community and as individuals can take more responsibility for our actions and improve our relationships with one another at and away from the tables, the better off we’ll undoubtedly be for it.