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Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.

FIGHTING CANCER

Everytime I am in Vegas I am reminded of cancer and going through an emotional rollercoaster ride. This time around I handled myself well, had fun and haven't had any downswings mentally. Let me explain why I am reminded of cancer when I go here since it got nothing to do with Las Vegas really.

About 2,5 years ago I invited my ex-girlfriend Laura to Rio De Janeiro where I was visiting Andreas Kostakis a dear and loyal friend of mine who lived and studied there. One evening my girl and I were drinking wine while overlooking the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and got to talk about a lot of things. It was the first time I really got to talk to her.

Laura asked me what was the worst thing I ever did. It took me a long time to think because - as I hope most of you guys know - I don't tend to run around doing a lot of bad things. In the meantime Laura told me what she did which gave me some time to answer the question. I am not going to reveal what she did but it was something most people have done and nothing that made me think any less of her.

My answer to her came after she was done talking but she seemed confused about my answer. Here goes.

The year was 2005 and I was 2 days away from going to Las Vegas to play the $10,000 WSOP Main Event. I was only 22 years old unknowingly steering towards a successful business and poker career. I was traveling to Vegas with my poker-friend Michael "Polse68" Larsen. A dear friend I don't see often enough I am afraid. Now to the story...

I woke up in Aarhus in my parents apartment. I was visiting Denmark before I had to go abroad for my second time to Las Vegas. I had booked an appointment at my hairdresser as I would always would do when I was in Aarhus until I later found a good hairdresser in Malta at Hilton.

Most recent pictures of me reveals I love food. I think all you need is sex, food and a clean toilet to be happy. Then you got the basics covered to ensure a happy existence.

On my way back from the hairdresser I called my mother and asked her if they had any food in the house. I was calling to ask since if they did not I would stop by a sandwich shop on my way home. My mom sounded confused on the phone and said "Just come home Erik".

I came home and did not find anything particular interesting and called my mom from the kitchen and asked why she didn't warn me.

My mom came to the kitchen and asked how could I be focused on food? I thought to myself. "Well, is that not obvious? I am hungry..." Before I could say anything my mother continued "Your farther's results came back, you need to sit down." For a second I was wondering what results? What was she talking about? I did not have much time to think any further or ask any questions. "Dad has cancer Erik. It is leukemia. We don't know how bad it is yet but this type of leukemia is not something you can be cured for".

I was in shock. I froze. And how did I forget that today was the day the results would come back? What a cluster fuck I was. I got up but had to sit down and started crying. My mom being the strongest member of my family said "Erik you need to be strong for your farther. He is naturally very sad and we all need to be strong for him".

He was in the living room with my sister drinking red wine. I think he had several bottles that day and who can blame him? Not me. Definitely not the son who forgot all about it.

I later on realized, after my sister had given me a hard time for my apparent selfish actions that day, that I must have suppressed it. I honestly did not remember that it was the day the results would come back. I must have thought that if I forgot the specific day the results would come back the results would be negative and everything would be OK. They were not and nothing I could do would change this fact.

My dad is a big boy but he is scared of hospitals and now he had to spend the rest of his life depending on medical help from doctors at hospitals. Nobody can face such a hard time on their own. I am sure he knows he is lucky to have a family, a strong wife but again you make your own luck in your life. Naturally at first you don't know what it means. Cancer. Did he have a week left? A month left? A year left? Could he get medicine? Blood transfer? At the time we did not know.

Today I am very grateful for the research that enables my dad to live with cancer. He is part of a medical test group and taking pills worth $5000 a month to stay alive and keep the leukemia under control. The amount of red and white blood cells are in check and for that I am very grateful.

I thought how can I help? A few years ago my grand farther who taught me how to play cards passed away from cancer. Many friends around around me are dealing with cancer and are affected by this horrible decease that seems to get to all of us. Even my high school classmate Anne tradically died from it in 2009.

The people donating money and the scientists researching the decease to make it possible to live a normal life despite being very sick are all great people. We don't thank them often enough.

I have created a PokerHistory.eu Facebook page for this site. Please log on to Facebook and click "I like" on my site if you wish to help my cause. I am donating 1kr for each person who likes the site up to 20,000 DKK. The deadline will be March 2012.

I don't really expect 20,000 to like my site but if you help spreading this on your Facebook wall you might inspire other people and fellow poker players to donate money on their own or make a small click on facebook for a good cause. I have also decided that I will donate 2% of my future life time live tournament winnings to the Danish Cancer Research Foundation. I just need to get in touch with them to figure out how that works. [That is now in place 15. dec 2011 see the frontpage link for further details]


Thanks for reading my blog ladies and gentlemen. If you are sitting out there with a similar story do not worry. Your mom and dad know you love them and nobody can really blame you for whatever you do as the mind protects us from tragic events like these. I forgot that one morning but never since.


This blog is dedicated to my sisters best friend who is very ill from cancer. It is unlikely she will be around this time around next year. She is 27 years old. Having said that she is strong as a bull and I admire her courage. She is my personal hero. When my sister talk about her I shut down. It is just too much for me to handle but thankfully my sister is there to support her till the very end. [Helene my sisters best freind sadly passed away November 2011- R.I.P]

 

Be well my friends.

Sincerely,

Erik "HDG" Smith reporting live from Las Vegas