Behind the Cover of Elements of Poker

I’ve been asked a half dozen times now just what the heck is up with the cover of my book.  Here’s the cover, and why…



At the outset of the book project, the only two things I had decided on about the cover was that it would not include pictures of cards or chips, and that if you took away the text, it might be something I would hang on a wall. My thinking about the cards and chips was…

::: yawn :::

My thinking about the wall was that I knew I would be selling copies from home, which meant I was going to look at this cover many, many times, so I wanted it to be artistically pleasing to my eye.

I found the image I ended up using at after a year of looking at images all over the place and bouncing ideas off several friends of mine who are artists.

The original image was white where you now see blue. My artist, Dave Sciacero, came up with the blue color.

As I looked at various images, I was drawn to the ones that gave me a sense of lots of pieces coming together to form a whole. I felt like that would abstractly represent what was inside the book. And this image took on some additional meanings in my mind, which is why I settled on it. The bottom third or so is many pieces that sort of go together and reflect off one another, like the elements in the book, and the bottom third of the image also represents the slicing pain and edginess of poker. The various reds are like blood — flowing blood, and clotted blood. The middle, with the smooth loopy-shaped thingies, is like a tilt-prone poker player in mid-development, learning to smooth out the edges and find some tranquility. The top represents the arrival at emptiness, and peace, that can only exist in the moment, and is never forever, because there’s that thick stripe of bloody tilt looming off to the side.



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