Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
— Dr. Seuss
Lou Krieger was so fond of quotations.
Yet I sit here now reflecting upon the devastating news of his passing and the extraordinary measure of his character, desperately grasping for the appropriate quip which captures the essence of a man who passed away yesterday.
Of all people, Dr. Seuss provides the best summation of how we should look upon the death, and more importantly the life of the man known by most people in the poker world as Lou Krieger.
Most of us simply called him “Lou.” That was his chosen pen name. Over the course of two decades, during which poker was ushered out of smoky backrooms into international prominence, he wrote hundreds of columns for Card Player magazine. He authored 11 poker books, all on strategy.
Lou was a writer, a teacher, a broadcaster, a strategist, and a player. But his accomplishments within the game of poker – although widely appreciated – were but a tiny fraction of the very full life of the man who was born in Brooklyn, NY and died yesterday at his home in Palm Springs, CA.
Indeed, Lou was actually born as Roger Lubin. The son of Jewish parents, Lou spent his early childhood on the streets and playgrounds of Brooklyn and his summers along Coney Island. Although he later blossomed into a true philosopher and gifted intellectual, Lou never veered very far from his working-class roots. He was able to converse with just about anyone, on virtually any subject, and was able to make those around him feel as though they were both heard and respected — sadly characteristics increasingly rare in society.
Alas, if listening is an art form, then Lou was our Michelangelo. He was the best listener I have ever met. Perhaps that’s ultimately what made him such a respected and beloved figure to those who knew him. Lou was always there to listen.