Editor’s Letter: For The Love of the Game

The Poker World Will Miss Jerry Buss, But Not As Much as He’ll Miss It

Lance BradleyEarly on in the education of most poker players there’s a lesson, often a hard one, about money. It usually comes after a tough session where multiple buy-ins end up in some other player’s stack. The takeaway from that lesson is meant to be that you need to disassociate yourself from the money, make the dollars at stake nothing but a tool of the game. Most players claim to learn the lesson but in reality they’re often aware of what they lost that night — a car payment, a mortgage payment, in some cases even a car or a house.

One player who never learned that lesson, never needed to, was Jerry Buss.

Buss, most famous for being the owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, played in some of the biggest games on the planet for amounts of money that most BLUFF readers would find staggering. Yet the money, won or lost, never mattered to him. Buss just wanted to be the best poker player he could be, to learn something new every time he took to the felt. He played in numerous WSOP events where first-place prize money wouldn’t have been enough to pay the lowest paid player on his beloved Lakers. He didn’t do it for the money, he did it for the thrill of competition.

Buss passed away in February and the poker world is poorer for it. He was always a gentleman at the table, loved chatting with fellow players regardless of their lot in life and loved the game of poker.  He was the model for how every poker player should treat the game.

Lance Bradley

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April 2013