return to, the home of critical reviews

Losing Everything with Jasper Joffe

From:     LuckyJimm
Category: Art
Date:     17 July 2009
Time:     11:08 AM


I was introduced to poker five years ago when Jasper Joffe took me to a rotating home game. I'd
never touched cards till then. It was a small, soft game in which we'd play hold'em, Omaha, seven
card stud, and deuces wild. Halfway through the evening the host would serve a heavy meal. Some of
us drank a lot; others, it seemed unfairly, would sip slowly, waiting to take sober advantage.
Jasper played an aggressive game, pouncing on weakness. In the first half of the evening he'd win
everyone's money. By the night's end, drunk and careless, he'd lose it all back.

The first time I went to this poker game, I lost 20 and the will to do anything else with my life.
The next time I lost 250. When I went to the bathroom the other players decided not to let me re-buy.

A sour loser, I was partially responsible for the game's demise a year later; though two couples
having children was a factor too. I always wanted to play longer and for more money than anyone
else, though I was by far the poorest person there. Jasper encouraged me to study the game, control
my moods, apply bankroll management. When it was clear I couldn't do this, he told me to stop. I
retreated into online poker, which Jasper played himself with some success before realizing his time
was better spent with people or paintbrushes.

So it was Jasper who introduced me to a life of perpetual loss, but it was wholly my own decision to
take it as far as I did. Jasper also showed me that there's more to how you live than what you own.
I envied his quick, fluent creativity, his dedication: he painted as if he had no choice.

Now, traumatised by the apparent end of a very serious relationship, Jasper is selling everything he
owns. As if holding a yard sale after his own death, his clothes, books, paintings, furniture, every
personal memento and scrapbook are for sale in thirty three lots costing 3,333 each.

Divested of his every belonging, I hope Jasper can find rebirth through loss. If he sells the lot,
I'd like it rather more if he took it the hundred grand to Vegas and, in the manner of Ashley
Revell, put it all on red. 

Or black. I think it's gonna be black.

return to, the home of critical reviews