September 16, 2009
I received some sad news this morning.
A young man named Chris Rossiter whom Iâ€™d been fortunate enough to meet and spend some time with when I was playing Magic back in the early 00â€™s as a young teenager (as he was then) sadly passed away on Friday just eight days short of his 22nd birthday, losing a 4 year fight with cancer.
Chris was an extremely special individual and not just because of his fight with cancer and what he had to endure but also because of what he was able to achieve in such a small period of time.
A friend of mine, Neil Rigby, said of Chris that one day heâ€™d be better than pretty much anyone in the UK at Magic. He just had the mind, and heâ€™d just beaten Neil like a red-headed stepchild in a PTQ Semi-Final and Neil has 4 or 5 English National Top 8â€™s to his name and a Grand Prix Top 8.
However at 14 Chris eyed up Internet Poker and, as is the way with anyone aged 14 who wants to play, $50 was â€œarrangedâ€ to be loaned to him off a credit card.
A few months later this lead to a â€œgood news/bad newsâ€ meeting with his mother:
Chris: Mom, Iâ€™ve got to let you know, a few months ago I used your credit card to deposit on an online gambling siteâ€¦
Chris: The good news is thereâ€™s a new kitchen being delivered on Monday.
Chris had cashed for a massive amount in an online tournament and was also beating up on the cash games and this culminated with him recently having about $1,000,000 in equity on the table at Monte Carlo (sadly he lost while a massive favourite, something he took with amazing calm and dignity which became his hallmark)
However it was Magic the Gathering that really made Chris tick and, despite knowing that he had very little time left, he made qualifying for the Pro Tour his goal and this summer he finally achieved that goal.
He came so close at Honolulu going 5-0 in the Last Chance Qualifier heâ€™d flown out to take part in but it wasnâ€™t to be and it seemed like his last chance, however things turned at the English Nationals.
He turned up to the English Nationals and with a great display of skill and courage he ended up in the final and with a place on the English National Team. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve personally ever been happier for a person in Magic than I was when I saw that online.
Sadly Chris will not get the chance to take his seat at the World Championships this year and as far as I know it will remain empty.
He was someone whoâ€™s lived more in 22 years than most of us will live in a full lifetime and, despite the horrible setbacks he was dealt, carried all his burdens with calm and dignity, and if there is poker and Magic in heaven heâ€™s probably challenging everyone to games right nowâ€¦.heâ€™ll probably win too.
My heart goes out to his family and friends as they remember a truly special young man
Rest In Peace Chris