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.