Nominate Andy Glazer for The Poker Hall of Fame

I will be nominating Andy Glazer for the Poker Hall of Fame. Public nominations open today and will remain open until July 2nd. If you are in the poker media and were inspired by his work, I ask you to join me. If you lived for his tournament reports as a fan of poker, as I did, I ask you to join me. If you were one of the many players he covered - long before other media came on the scene - I ask you to join me. Nominations can be made here.

Andy’s love of the game was profound. His integrety as a writer was boundless. His contributions were timeless. Andy set a benchmark for poker journalism that has yet to be challenged.

I wrote this on July 6, 2004: While most Americans spent last weekend celebrating their country’s independence, I found myself celebrating the life, and mourning the loss, of one of poker’s most respected writers. Andy Glazer, known for his articles in The Detroit Free Press, Card Player Magazine and a plethera of online sites, died on July 4th.

People are often surprised to find how open and accessible many of the professional players are to those that aspire to play. But what was more surprising to me was how supportive the professional poker writers were to those that aspired to write. In a game that is brutally competitive, it seems perhaps incongruous that somewhere at its core, is a communal belief system that nurtures and instructs all who have a desire to learn. It is one of the things I most admire about the game.

The very first poker article I ever read was one of Andy’s pieces in the Detroit Free Press. It was many years ago now, but I still remember the excitement I felt as each sentence brought the game to life. His tournament reports were never merely a recounting of events. Every piece offered an insight into the belly of our beast: the players, the strategy, and the texture of the encounter. Even today’s televised events, where every card and every breath is recorded for all to see, are no match for the depth, feel and insight Andy’s pieces consistently provided.

When I first started writing about poker, I sent some of my work to Andy’s email. I figured I would probably never hear from him, but I also felt I had nothing to lose. Within the day, Andy sent me a full critique of my work. He didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear and he didn’t dissuade me from writing. He told me what he thought I needed to think about, and work on, to become a better writer. And so it began.

Through our correspondence, I learned what was most important to Andy: journalistic integrity, ethics, sportsmanship, and accuracy. He was his harshest critic and held himself to almost unattainable standards. And through him, I discovered that the toughest questions a journalist asks are the ones he asks of himself. Andy wasn’t just a writer. He was a fighter. And he felt his mission was to fight for all that was good about the game and the profession he loved. He admitted that he didn’t always win. But he always felt it was a battle worth fighting.

In some ways, I find it strange that my life was effected and changed by someone I never met in person. But perhaps more amazing is mine is just one story among the tens of thousands of stories that people will tell about Andy Glazer.

There is no tribute large enough to encompass the contributions Andy Glazer made to this sport. But I can’t think of any higher honor, for the writers that cover this game, than receiving an Andy Glazer Award for Journalist Integrity.(Although maybe the Poker Hall of Fame would come close…)

The photo of Andy and Chris Ferguson (admiring his bracelet) was taken by Perry Friedman.

6 Comments

  1. Earl Burton
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    In total agreement with you Amy. Not only should there be a journalistic award with Andy’s name on it, but he and some of the others who forged the poker journalism genre should be enshrined in the Poker Hall of Fame.

  2. Rich Ruedlinger
    Posted May 27, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Amy,

    What a great idea, I only wish I had thought of it on my own. I was at my first ever final table with Andy, and he treated me as just another player, not the newbie that I was.

  3. Posted May 27, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Andy’s writing was special. At the time of his death he had become an inspiration to everyone that cared about Poker. I mourned his death then and now once again at the thought of his brilliance, I mourn his loss again.

  4. Posted May 30, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    His life goes on in the writings that were left behind. He was a good persom who always had time for others. My vote is in.

  5. Posted June 9, 2009 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    I think Andy deserves to be there.

  6. Lee Jones
    Posted July 21, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Know what I remember? Andy covering the heads-up match between then unknown Phil Ivey and Amarillo Slim. Andy wrote up the whole thing, Ivey just being Ivey and beating the famed veteran.

    And *then* at the end of the whole thing, Andy writes (paraphrasing), “Oh yeah - one other thing: Phil Ivey is black. It wasn’t important as part of the article, and pretty soon, nobody is going to care what color or gender the players are.” Of course, and God how I wish Andy’d lived to see this, nobody says “Phil Ivey is the best black poker player ever.” They say, “Phil Ivey is probably the best poker player ever.” Andy’s article was inspiring, and prescient.

    I don’t know that Andy deserves to be in the Poker Hall of Fame. What I *do* know is that every time there’s something interesting going on in the world of poker, I wish I could read Andy Glazer writing about it.

    Regards, Lee