It is with great sadness that we at Blue Blood have to announce the loss of another of our own: Steve Ball passed away on 18 November after a brave fight against Oesophageal cancer. Messages of sympathy have been pouring in on social media and all are united in their praise for his dignity and serenity. A true gentleman on the tables and off, Steve was diagnosed a year ago and treated his terminal diagnosis like a hand of poker: you do everything you can to survive but sometimes the luck is just against you and there’s no use complaining.
Your correspondent was, somewhat inevitably, playing poker when the news came through and there was an immediate and genuine outpouring at the tables of grief, sympathy and, yes, of relief at the end of his suffering. Many players attending had known and appreciated Steve as a man and as a poker player; he touched many lives and was genuinely liked and respected across the British poker world.
I had the pleasure of playing with Steve on the final two or three tables of the 25:50 tournament at the beginning of Goliath week this summer and the example he set at the table, win or lose, was a lesson for all of us. He took his unlucky exit with grace and good humour. Our thoughts are with his family, especially Helen, Max, and Henri, Splashy his beloved dog, and his many friends in poker and Sheffield Wednesday.