Steve Ferris RIP
I know, bummer title. My buddy Steve died in his sleep last night. He was only in his 40's and leaves a wife and 2 young sons behind. Steve was someone that I probably would never have gotten to know if it weren't for our mutual love for the game of poker.
I have talked in the past here about how I really got into poker about a year and a half ago when I started playing at one of the local bars. I was in the bar about a week before they started up a free poker league and saw the signs up everywhere. I decided to give it a try and started coming every Monday night, not really knowing anyone. After a couple weeks, I had met a lot of people, but a handful of those guys I really enjoyed and started to hang around with more regularly away from the Monday night games. We started playing a lot in home games where the money could hit the tables and everyone got along really well. Even though Steve was a little older than me, that wasn't really the reason that he wouldn't really have been someone I necessarily would have hung out with.
Steve was a real big guy. Because of his size, he was always pretty disheveled looking. He smoked every break from the table he could get, and walking for a very short time made him breath real heavy. He was pretty much a health mess. Not a big drinker, when he did drink, he would tie one on with Captain Morgans. He referred to it as Captain Coocoo. Come to think of it, he drank a lot of Captain Coocoo in my house over the last year and a half.
Unfortunately, being the jerkoff that I guess I am, he wasn't someone that I would have struck up a conversation with in another setting. Not that I think I am better than anyone, he just didn't appear to be the type of person I had a lot in common with.
Once I got to know Steve, I couldn't help but love the guy. My wife loved him too. He was very smart, working for Gillette in Boston for over 20 years as a network administrator. He had 2 sons, one of which had a form of down syndrome. It kept Steve busy with Special Olympics events and the like. Steve loved to play video games with his kids and always spoke very proudly of them and their accomplishments.
At the poker table, Steve was very good. He wasn't a high stakes player, but did very well in the bar league, in the home games, and in the various online tournaments that he used to play on Doyle's room. He came in second in a WSOP freeroll last year where first won a seat to a $1500 event. Over the last few months, I haven't been playing in the bar league as much, but luckily, I have been in a couple times each month to hang out. Every time Steve busted out of the tourney he would come over and tell me his latest bad beat story. They all sounded the same, but he was always just as disappointed and pissed off about it. Every time, you could depend on hearing the story of how he went out.
I saw Steve last almost 2 weeks ago. He had run a March Madness pool. One of those capture pools where you get 2 teams out of a hat and if your team covers the spread, they move on. I helped him pick the teams and put everything together. We laughed about how I got Belmont "high school" and Weber State or something like that. His older son got a couple good teams in the pool too. Now, sitting here watching the game, I can only wonder what those kids will be up to at this time next year when March Madness comes around again. My thoughts and prayers will be with them.
RIP Stevie. I am glad I got to meet you and get to know someone very special. Good thing for poker. My next Captain Coocoo is to you.