I just heard about the death of Skip Hughes, a good friend – and certainly one of the leading pioneers in helping video poker become a popular gambling subject on the Internet. He organized the first VP discussion forum; and hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of skilled VP players owe their start to the information they got on his Web site. As a fellow writer, I was always impressed with his wonderfully quirky humor that made the driest information fun to read!
I would like to share some details about Skip’s personal life, many of which are not known to the VP community. When he and his wife, Marie, moved from California to Las Vegas, they were looking forward to semi-retirement, a time when he could put his video poker skills to work more often than he had during the earlier period of short visits. But that dream lasted only a short time.
Some financial issues hit hard. His part-time computer job went away during the dot-com meltdown. And due to family issues, they took on the responsibility of supporting and raising 3 young grandchildren. I talked to Skip about this big financial burden, but he was not complaining. He said this was the best thing he and his wife had ever done. And as a devoted grandmother myself, I knew that the sacrifice was worth it and I understood why he did not have the bankroll to continue to pursue his video poker dream. He knew that there was more to life than VP.
The sad irony is that Skip finally landed a very good job in a Nevada state government agency. He and Marie moved to Carson City – and things were finally looking up for them. But within a very short time he was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. First was a long period of treatment and then surgery – and Marie said he was doing fine after that. He was in a rehab center but they expected him to come home soon. However, that was not to be. He contracted one of those killer bug infections so common in rehab facilities and that took his life last Saturday.
I have talked on the phone with his wife, Marie, and, of course, she is still in shock. Since she is not very computer savvy, I told her that I would notify the video poker community of this sad news. I know there are many of you who would like to send her and the family condolences. There are no plans for a funeral or a memorial service so in lieu of flowers perhaps some of you would like to contribute something toward Marie’s expenses as she is in the process of moving from Carson City back to Las Vegas where some of her family live. I’m sure this long period of Skip’s illness had drained their finances.
Since Marie is in the process of relocating and doesn’t yet have a permanent address, I told her I would see that she got any correspondence from Skip’s friends and fans. Anthony Curtis has given me permission to use the Huntington Press address to collect this correspondence. I will pick up all the envelopes we receive and give them to Marie, unopened.
Here is the address you can use:
Skip Hughes Memorial
% Huntington Press
3665 Procyon Street
Las Vegas, Nevada 89103
I know that Marie will deeply appreciate hearing from the many whose lives were touched by Skip – and will be comforted in the knowledge that he leaves a beloved legacy.