Saturday, September 17, 2011

Goodbye Dear Friend

As the poker community has heard now, one of my best friends, Paresh Jain aka Dana Gordon on 2p2 and on Pokerstars, has passed away.

I'm not used to dealing with the passing of such a loved one as Paresh, and so I may be rambling at times so I apologize in advance. Also, I think I'll have a hard time putting his essence into words because it seems bleh to summarize his life in only a few paragraphs, but I'll try my damndest. Hopefully I won't be in tears by the end of this post although I can already feel them. And I'm not sure whether to use 'was' or 'is' in reference to him, so **** it I'm gonna use 'is.'

I met Paresh 7 years ago when we first started at the University of Virginia together. We were both SNG donks back then (I guess I still am lol) and he was back then, and remains now now, my best poker friend as we helped each other quickly learn and grow as poker players to crush all those silly games back in the Party Poker days. His regimen and approach to thinking is beyond admirable and I learned that pretty early on. He is an absolute delight to hang out with, talk strategy, play MTTs with (both $20 frat tournies and eventually Super Tuesdays and such), and just plain party with. He has met many of my high school friends through me and others, and together, we have a core group that exists today and transcends poker. As luck would have it, my best friends now are actually his best friends from the small town of Roanoke in Virginia that I would never have met otherwise.

This dude is seriously the craziest, most fun-loving, adrenaline junkie, and all-around great buddy anyone could ask for. We went skydiving in college, jet-skiing at the PCA (we were the only two ppl from our group that would go), and definitely wanted to do much more. After college, we went on two separate sweet trips to South America which embodied all that is awesome about him. Who else would randomly go with me to the Amazonian jungle in Manaus (Brazil) with me? On the other trip, we randomly rented a car in Montevideo, Uruguay, drove ourselves to the LAPT in Punta Del Este, and actually came close to having a serious accident as he drove 110 kmh over a pretty steep hill on a bridge to get some air! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vk2Tpwl6eE, notice techno blaring) We severely bottomed out the car, punctured the radiator, and the car instantly started overheating haha. We had to get help from some old dude in a bar at 2am who didn't speak a lick of English, and all we could muster was an "hola" or "gracias." My friends think we are insane.

We also hit up Europe a couple times (EPT Monte Carlo and most recently the EPT Madrid). We went on a sick drive last year that started in Geneva, Switzerland, went through the French Alps and Italy, and ended in Nice (France). My other buddies were like "wtf we're gonna fly, have fun you idiots" so it was just Paresh and I. And most recently, we hit up Madrid just cruising around randomly both at night and during the day. However, I was stuck in the tournament for a while and didn't get to go around with him like I had planned to (doesnt everyone bust Day 1?) Oh how I'd give up my winnings in a heartbeat to just spend 3-5 days more with him.

Oh and the music. As someone mentioned above, he is ALL about rockin sick beats, house, trance, techno, hip hop, mashups, anything fun and exiting with a beat. We were roommates for the last year, so Apartment 1912 in Arlington, Virginia was definitely the place to be if you wanted to rock out to techno beats blasting from both of our rooms. We'd grind poker during the day together and then I'd sweat him in his nightime MTTs sometimes while he played. Little known fact - when he is deep in an MTT, he loops the same song he's on literally 30 or 50 or however many times until the final table is over. Just incredible passion. Here are a few of his favorites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay8zFH5a59Y, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_L1zqyUwefs, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqY-Q32wPv4, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5ezEcaZz6Q. Listening to these are going to make me well up everytime. ****.

I hope you all now have a more complete view of the guy that is Dana Gordon. I could probably talk and write for hours more about him; he is just that special to me. I feel blessed to have met him, shared some of the most fun moments of my life with him, and simply being associated with him (and I'm not even religious!). I'll save the clichés because he is as far from a cliché as one can be. My thoughts and prayers go out to his parents, his brother, and the rest of my friends (hang in there tuttle, chuc, natt, ben, leb, gabe, cara and all). Goodbye, and may you rest in peace Paresh.

spwwacewwwavy!!

3 comments:

Pear M. said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Andrew. Paresh sounds like an amazing person. Good luck in the half!vyj

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James Maloney said...

Reading your story helps me realize that you really lost a great poker buddy. Like Pear M., I am sorry for your loss Andrew. Playing poker really does something else to a person aside from the money it can offer and the fun it can bring. With your story, you have not just earned the money and fun, but also friendship that's glued by playing together in the Poker table. This benefit separates land-based casinos from the virtual equivalent, the online casinos. I mean, I've been playing my favorite games at the best online casino I know, yet I've only found money and fun. Friendship is something that's hard to develop when you’re in a world where physical interaction with other casino players is absent.