Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Where's Karl??

I now have a new service that I can add to my writing resume! While it is quite likely that I will never get an opportunity to do something like this again in such an important context, I've always found that one's talents are best applied when doing good things for good people. Thus, when my best poker friend, and one of my best and most trusted friends, period asked me if I could write him a character reference as part of a CV (curriculum vitae) to submit to the Kenyan Gaming Commission on his behalf, I told him it would be ready by the time he wakes up. Even better, he not only allowed me to post this on my blog, he actually thought it would be great to add a back link to it to give it some heft, lol!

Karl Javadi posing for a selfie with a gorgeous Kenyan native.
Karl doing what he does best: making friends and winning hearts at his new home in Nairobi, Kenya.

What a strange idea that this blog has taken me from struggling poker pro, to short stack scum, to widely regarded voice on strategy and the industry, to a paid writing position with River Street Writing, and ultimately to a trustworthy source to vouch for a great man's character. While I sincerely hope that this most recent development will pay off in Karl's favor, I am honored that he would choose me to do so, nonetheless. I'm going to gush and ramble here for a bit, so don't be surprised if the following letter looks different after Karl has had a chance to review it and tell me if and where I may have gone on too long. Here goes....

To whomever this may concern in the Kenyan Gaming Commission:

I have known Karl Javadi for just shy of two years now. I was getting a Sonic the Hedgehog tattoo when he added me as a contact on Skype by request of a mutual friend and poker coaching client of mine. Being that I was forced to stay in one spot for several hours with very little to preoccupy myself, I was able to chat with Karl at length as he laid out the details of what he was currently doing in the world of poker. At that time, Karl had secured a spot as a customer service agent/liaison of sorts for a skin operating on the Klas Gaming poker network.

In our first encounter, Karl immediately revealed himself to be an interesting and forthright character. Having spent many years in the pokersphere, I have learned to take first impressions with a grain of salt, yet I still left the conversation with the strong sense that I had a new ally in the poker world. Later on that evening, when speaking to him further on a Skype voice call, I felt like I had made a new friend.

First and foremost, Karl is very transparent with his self-interests. Being that poker on the professional level is, at heart, a business venture, I am very comfortable with the aspects of one forming new relationships with a profit motive in mind. In this regard, Karl separates himself from the pack in the best way possible-- by making sure that not only are his motives clear, but that he will only move forward with them in a business relationship if he believes that it is also in the best interests of the other party. He very clearly states the risks involved, and makes no promises that he can't make good on personally if the worst case scenario does occur. As the gambling laws of the land vary widely from country to country and sometimes even state to state, Karl is very keen to the idea that what may be legal in one locale may be explicitly illegal in another. Thus, he always advises to exercise caution in any undertaking that may or not put the other party at risk, and makes it known when he is uncertain of the legal implications of moving forward.

In the world of poker, a man's honor is always at stake, and this almost always comes down to matters of money. Currency and trust in poker are deeply entwined, and often transactions of hundreds or thousands of dollars are traded back and forth on a whim and guaranteed by nothing more than a digital handshake. This is where Karl's character has truly shined over the time we have known each other. He always gives first and often asks for little or nothing in return. For example, he has always offered the very best percentage deals in terms of staking arrangements, as he has a strong sense of the notion of taking care of the people he invests in and making sure that these people leave the deal happy, even if that means carrying the burden of additional financial risk himself. On more than one occasion, Karl has even swallowed losses to ensure that his friends and partners are taken care of if something unexpected on the higher level falls through, though it be no fault of his own or otherwise outside of his control.

Going beyond matters of money, Karl has always been available to be a sympathetic ear for personal matters. The most memorable time was when I had gotten into an awful argument with my then-wife and subsequently fell down the stairs (don't ask!). In the figurative sense, Karl picked me up and dusted me off. He listened to the entire story, and then his first move was to hold me accountable for my share of the blame before going on to help me resolve the issue. While it may feel great to be able to vent about personal matters, even though I had only known him for less than two months at that time, I knew that he was exactly the person that I could go to for an unbiased opinion.

I can offer many additional examples if required, but hopefully I have painted enough of a picture of this great man already. Please let me know if anything else is required and I will be more than happy to oblige.


Lorin Yelle, aka "The Short Stack Hero"
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