By: Shari Geller
When Lou was my editor here at Poker Player Newspaper, I frequently apologized to him for my inability to come up with pithy or eye-catching titles for my articles. Of course Lou, being the most supportive and encouraging of editors, told me not to worry and he'd often come in with a good fix that would save the day. But I can't count on his help today.
Yesterday, Lou passed away unexpectedly. Yes, he was diagnosed this past summer with esophageal cancer and so, intellectually, I was aware that he might die. But Lou was such a force of life, so full of enthusiasm and passion and, yes, fight, that it never seemed possible he would actually succumb to this horrible disease. He would battle until he won and we talked of the great party that we'd have once he was cancer-free.
My history with Lou Krieger is shared by so many others in the poker community. I came to him a few years ago for advice and for a job and he gave me both and so much more. He was nurturing of the writers he worked with, an old-school mentor who shared his knowledge and talent while helping to develop theirs. He was unselfish with his time and so giving of his heart. I remember how willing he was to share credit on stories, or to give it up altogether. It was as if the success of those he mentored was as important to him as his own.
He loved writing -- turning a phrase, finding just the right word, selecting just the perfect quote -- and he loved poker. The strategy, the history, the people, everything. He was universally loved and respected by everyone in the poker community -- a rare feat indeed! He literally wrote the book on poker and many more, and his poker articles were legendary for the unique style as much as the valuable content. He had a singular voice that he shared not just in his writings, but that he entertained us with for years on his show Keep Flopping Aces.
I was fortunate enough to be asked by Lou to be his co-host for the last two years and I was in awe of the breadth of his knowledge, his easy style and his acute ability to come up with just the right question. He loved discussing, debating, arguing the issues of the day. Just the mention of Black Friday or Full Tilt Poker would get his blood boiling and it was, I confess, fun to hear him get all worked up. I'm going to miss that.
I'm going to miss talking about the (usually) disappointing Dodgers, his often odd taste in music, his love of his wife's Ireland, his Libertarian take on politics and passion for all things poker. I'm going to miss getting an email back telling me my article was perfect (when it certainly fell short of that lofty goal). I'm going to miss hearing him every Thursday start out with his signature "Welcome Poker Players" and I'll miss hearing him call me his co-host. The poker community has lost a great ambassador for everything that is good about poker. The writing community has lost one of the great voices whose words rose above the clutter. And I have lost a true friend, who I fear meant more to me than he ever knew.