December 24th, 2009:
"After reading some of Dusty’s blogs and half watching It’s A Wonderful Life for the nineteenth time, I remembered that I’d really like to do some things that help people in my lifetime. And a lot of those things take money."
This was one of my motivations for cranking up the volume this year. I felt like I had a purpose. However, this purpose was vague until recently: play lots of hands, make lots of money, help some people out. To explain how this purpose has become personal and particular, I first have to take you back 23 years to the day.
February 24th, 1987: It was around 11 AM on a bright and cold Tuesday when the phone rang. I had stayed home from school, so I snapped up the phone. When the doctor asked to speak to my mom, I knew I would never see my dad again. I waited for confirmation while my mom talked on the line in the other room, but I knew. That was when I learned to read someone by the tone of their voice.
I was eight. For the next ten (twenty?) years, my mom did everything in her power to make sure I got what I needed to grow up happy and healthy. We had great friends, generous family, and quality schools. These things mean a great deal, and they make a huge difference. But they say a boy needs his father. Well, that's not exactly true. We need food, water, and shelter. But a father sure is a fantastic luxury to have, and one that should never be taken for granted by anyone.
So how does this give me purpose now? A few weeks ago I found out that my mom's friend's daughter's husband Johan has metastasized kidney cancer. He and Stephanie have four children. If he receives standard treatment, he might have one or two more years to spend with them. However, there is a high-cost treatment available that could give him a chance to see his kids grow up, and give his kids the chance to grow up with two loving parents. The treatment is expensive, but some things are priceless.
I have decided to take four weeks out of my life to do nothing but play and study poker. I will not be leaving my building for twenty-eight days. I will be playing over 300 hours of poker, and studying another 30 plus hours. I will be recording daily video blogs and posting them here, plus short daily poker videos which will be available only on Drag the Bar. How on earth is this related?
Well, my plan is to try to get action on some sort of prop bet. If I win, the money goes to Johan's treatment. If I lose, whatever. If I don't get any action because quarantining myself to play twice as many hours as I ever have in a month is not enough of a challenge, then I'll simply make a donation myself 28 days later.
If you would like to donate or find out more about Johan and Stephanie, here are some links:
Stephanie's blog: http://doyouwantthecansir.wordpress.com/
Johan's blog: http://www.helpjohan.org/contact.html
Donation site: http://www.giveforward.org/johan/