Let me treat you to a Kinderegg today.
Three lessons in history, medicine and poker all rolled into one blog post.
Let me tell you about Gus Hansen. He is one sick puppy.
He is the poster boy for the old advice that it's of no use to be the 10th best poker player in the world if you only play against the nine that are better.
In September last year he hit the $20 million mark. I'm talking about lifetime losses online. He's shown few (albeit some) signs of slowing down.
With that he is the official, world champion, loser. No one else comes even close.
Us in the know suspect that the multiaccounting Guy Laliberté could be the unofficial champion.
But him aside, which makes sense anyway because he is an amateur, Gus is the man.
Losing $20m Means You've Made $20m
It's very impressive to lose $20 million. It means you made that much money somehow.
Besides the obvious fact that you have something missing in your head.
Obviously he is a compulsive gambler and will end up broke. I cannot be more certain of that.
Did you know that he even changed his name so he could play more? A true story that I will tell you another time.
He was the perfect poster boy when PokerStars wanted to start up Full Tilt again and attract the sharks -- or should I say bait?
The other poster boy - Viktor Blom - is an equally sick puppy. He plays anyone, at any game, at the same time.
You gotta feel alive when your whole bankroll is on the table everyday. Especially if it's a million or two. Or three, if he has a good afternoon.
Viktor Blom is down $7-8 millon from his high-water mark. He is still young, though, and if anyone can catch Hansen my bet would be on Viktor.
The Swedish Smörgåsbord is also my favorite to be the biggest winner of all time. All he needs is a rush.
The Great Danish will go broke and the Swede is broke. But I wrote this piece yesterday so it could be outdated news. Blom could be a millionaire today again.
The Great Danish and the Swedish Smörgåsbord, what a treat to the poker world!
Do Not Bleed
Haemophilia is a medical term for a state coming from a genetic shortage of a certain form of protein.
The result is that the blood will not coagulate on its own. It can create spontaneous and very painful internal bleeding.
It can be extra painful for a poker player and his bleeding bank roll. I'm not sure about Gus Hansen, because he is really sick, but I know that Viktor Blom feels the pain when depleted after a 36-hour session of internal and external bleeding.
In the old days Haemophilia was treated with rest. That is out of the question today since the Internet is open twentyfourseven.
Another way to treat it is with blood transfusions. In the 80s it went out of fashion with HIV suddenly on the table but I cannot imagine The Great Danish or The Swedish Smörgåsbord ever saying no to a transfusion of blood when bleeding.
I promise you that rest is out of the question.
The cure is simple in theory. Do not bleed. But I believe it would be easier to take a meat bone out of the mouth of a pitbull, and less hazardous.
The only solution left is more blood transfusions. The more, the merrier, if you ask Hansen and Blom - and their opponents.
Either Way, You Can Never Win
The other end of the spectrum is called Thrombophilia. It's when the blood coagulates too easily.
There will be no action if your blood stops. The result is the same if you get a blood clot out of a two-outer on the river, or if it freezes because you play scared.
Thrombophilia can be genetic or developed. Either way you can never win.
But on the other hand, it's not even close to as painful as Haemophilia.
You can ask The Great Danish and The Swedish Smörgåsbord about that.