Kevin Roster, a terminally ill poker player: Go back to the WSOP and die.
Published by Giselle
June 12, 2019 7:39 pm
The American poker player Kevin Roster (36) from New Jersey is seriously ill with sarcoma, a rare type of cancer, and according to the doctors has only a few weeks left to live. Now he wants to play one last time at the WSOP in Las Vegas before he retires.
Roster has always dreamed of winning a WSOP bracelet. He also wants to win money to leave to his son. But there is another reason why Roster made this decision.
He wants to raise awareness of this deadly disease and also to support assisted death. In California, where euthanasia is legal, he wants to die peacefully and with dignity with the support of a doctor.
The right to die with dignity
The End-of-Live Option Act is a California law that permits terminally ill adult patients who can make medical decisions to administer a drug to euthanasia if certain conditions are met.
This law was passed in October 2015 and came into force in June 2016. California is the fifth US state to have passed a law on euthanasia.
Currently, Roster is in Las Vegas to participate in the WSOP 2019 and in the last few weeks that remain for him to do something he loves, namely play poker.
But he also wants to educate about sarcoma. He said:
“I’m here to educate people about sarcoma. I’m going to play in various tournaments and talk to people.”
The 36-year-old wants to convey his message by wearing a unique T-shirt during tournaments, the front and back of which contains several facts and figures about sarcoma, including a link to his website.
Roster was very active in social media and was open to questions. He said he could have just stayed home to complain about his fate.
But he decided to go to the World Series of Poker to live his life the way he always did.
Kevin Roster at the Main Event
One of Roster’s last wishes is to participate in the Main Event of the WSOP 2019. In case he wins, he wants to donate part of the money. The rest should be given to his son.
US poker pro-Greg Merson (31), the winner of the 2012 WSOP Main Event, also heard about this. He now wants to allow rosters to participate in the Main Event.
He posted on Twitter:
“I have made a private effort to give Kevin free entry to the Main Event, but he made it clear that it is very important to him that his case is noticed. That’s why I wanted to share this with my followers. GL @KevinRacksPoker and I look forward to meeting you in Vegas soon.”
Roster thanked for the chance to participate in the Main Event. He now hopes that the disease will now receive even more attention.
“I just hope that I can survive the rest of the series, and also afterwards until life is really not pleasant to live. At that moment I will have to face my decision. When I can’t get out of the house, the time has probably come for me.”
Kevin Roster and his passion for poker
Before being diagnosed with cancer, Roster led a good life as a semi-professional poker player and collector’s shop operator. Roster comes from Queens, New York.
In the early 2000s, he played poker on the underground poker scene and online until poker was banned from the Internet in 2009. Even then, Roster’s dream was to win a WSOP bracelet. The WSOP 2019 should be his last chance to make this dream come true.