Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. A version of this entry was first published (2008) in Poker Player newspaper.
I’m in deep seclusion here in the Ozarks. About five years ago, I quit playing poker regularly and stopped giving frequent seminars.
I moved to a forest on a lake near Branson, Missouri where I’ve headquartered what remains of the physical campus of Mike Caro University of Poker (MCU). Almost everything else I do has moved online.
Here I commune with the furry creatures and do poker research. It’s a great place to write books and produce videos.
Before I return to the poker arena in the coming years, I intend to bombard the poker community with products covering everything I’ve discovered. You’ll see textbooks, DVD courses and Internet training. I promise. And then I’m done. Finished. I expect to complete my life enjoying poker and not worrying about anything else.
But for now, nothing can drag me from my forest these days — except, well, Robert Turner. On Friday, February 22, I’ve been invited to roast Robert. Now, I’ve done a lot of roasts and even been roasted. But roasting Robert is hard. That’s because he’s first-class all the way and whenever he enters a room, his optimism and enthusiasm take the spotlight.
You can categorize people, I suppose. There are analytical, quiet types, egomaniac types, quick-tempered types, and on and on. Robert isn’t any of these. He’s a Robert Turner type, and he’s the only one in that category.
I’ve often said that whatever he has, you should bottle it. It’s a blend of cheerful optimism and unique vision. Wherever he’s managing a casino or heading public relations, that’s where I want to play poker. And when he’s at a table, his special spirit prevails.
I’ve never seen him angry, despite bad fortune and some amazingly bad beats. Instead, he looks to the next hand with new hope — the way I teach my own students to play poker. And in years of competing against him, I’ve discovered that there is true, logical motive behind his often lively style of winning. They nicknamed him “Chip Burner Turner,” but usually it’s someone else’s chips he’s burning, not his own.
Fine. So how do you roast someone like that?
His wife Charity asked me to do it, so I will. But, truthfully, the only roast-worthy thing I can think of is that Robert and Charity once asked me to be godfather for their first child.
Now let me tell you something: I’m world-class irresponsible. Ask any editor or publisher who’s ever had to deal with me. I don’t procrastinate because I think I’m special. I do it because I can’t help it — it’s a psychological glitch deeply ingrained in my soul.
I had only one chore to do when I was a kid — take out the garbage. But I’d hide in my room all day avoiding that two-minute task. I try to focus on one thing, but I end up working on 20 projects at once — and nothing gets done on time. I think we’re talking about a mental disorder.
So, I guess Robert’s biggest short-coming is his lapse of judgment. How else do you explain asking someone so irresponsible that he forgets to eat for days at a time and never had children to be your kid’s godfather? I argued him out of that pronto.
Anyway, we’ll return to poker advice next time. I just wanted to let you know about the roast at the Normandie Casino near Los Angeles on Friday. I’ve still got a few days to figure out how to ruin this great guy’s reputation. Fear not. The gentleman dragged me away from my forest and the bastard will regret it. — MC