Haseeb Qureshi

Update before I leave

I’ve finally gotten a full night’s sleep again.

The night after I posted my last blog entry, my mind was restless thinking about all of the hatred that people would have for me.  Jungle went out to meet up with some fellow high stakes players who also wanted to see me and grab dinner together, but I told them that I wasn’t feeling well. I kept waking up in the middle of the night, only to roll over, stare at the ceiling for a few minutes, and bury my face in my pillow to try for another hour’s sleep.

When I awoke I made sure to stay away from the computer. I thought to myself, I need to just brush my teeth, shower, shave, eat a piece of fruit for breakfast. To feel normal for just a moment. Life goes on. Once I finished, I stepped outside with my camera. Since the night I arrived in London, I had told myself I had to take photographs of the place we were staying at. But after I stepped outside it soon started raining. I waited for a while, looking out the window and just thinking.

After the rain cleared I took some photos; they didn’t come out too bad. Here are a few of them, along with a link to the album.

Album link

I’m not a good photographer, but it’d be nice to get better. I intend to take a lot of photographs along my travels.

Anyway, when I finally returned home I went to my computer desk, took a deep breath and checked my e-mails, expecting to feel like shit. I was blown away. I had 40+ e-mails from people who had read my blog, all supporting me. With words of advice, encouragement, or just simply sharing their own stories with me. Many people offered to show me their city or places to stay.

I don’t know how to tell you guys how much it has meant to me. This has been a very long and difficult week. But although to all of you it is a little thing, it has meant a lot for me and has made me feel a little less alone in all of this. Thank you all, so so much. In the next few days I will make sure to write each and every one of you back and thank you all individually when I can, but until then, allow my thanks here to suffice for the moment.

Of course I had to get some token hatemail though. It wasn’t much, so I guess it wasn’t too bad, but it angered me that somebody was low enough to harass my family members as well. One person wrote to call me a stupid nigger… even though I’m not black. I’m not sure if the appropriate response to that is offense or confusion…

Anyway, I’ve been reading up on all of the resources and advice that you guys have given me. Tomorrow I’m going to go shopping for backpacks in central London and stock up on some of the stuff I’m going to need (fast-dry towel, basic medicinal stuff, compass, basic linen for hostels, etc.). Hopefully I can start heading down by Monday or before. I’m optimistic at the moment, but I know it’s going to be fucking scary once I set off. But that’s how I know I’m doing it right, I think.

Over the last couple of days I’ve been thinking a lot. One of the things I’ve been thinking about is hate. People who know me well know that i can be a very critical person. I think most of us are in our honest moments. But I have been trying to understand—am I a hateful person? I can certainly hate ideas—I can probably even hate groups of people, or generalizations about people. But the truth is, I think it is very difficult to hate an individual person. When you look somebody in the eye before you, you watch them breathe, you share the sensate world. They are not so far away, and their fears and desires are not so unlike yours. Empathy, not hate, is the natural response.

Last night Jose got back in touch with me. He had been unreachable for the last few days so I scrambled to answer once I saw who was calling my phone. We spoke for a while over the phone. I spoke to him calmly and slowly, without affect. He did not know what had happened since he left on vacation the night this story broke. He told me that reading about it made him too sad, and so he couldn’t. I explained to him everything that had happened, how me and Jungle had gotten destroyed on the forums for being associated with him, that people were accusing me of being complicit in his scams, I told him about all of the proof that had come out that he had multiple accounts on TwoPlusTwo, that he had never made all of that money and lied about his account names, that everything was a huge sham, and pointed out that he had cheated me and Jungle as well.

He told me that he was sorry about everything. He sounded very sad. He told me that he definitely didn’t cheat me or Jungle and could provide proof that he didn’t; he said if we could show him any evidence that any play on our stake was illegitimate that he’d recompensate us 10x whatever we were cheated, and agreed to send us all hand histories that he had ever played as well as try to get Lock Poker to verify. He told me that 2 other accounts (including LookingForProdigy) were his friends who helped him come up with the idea to create publicity for himself, and said that sdgsdjdgdjsg (or whatever) was his girlfriend. I told him, how can you expect me to believe a word you say? You’ve lied to us about everything. I don’t know what about you is true and what’s false.

He told me that that wasn’t true, and that he had really made all the money he claimed to. I told him that twoplustwo had provided proof that he hadn’t, that his results were all faked, and that he was full of shit. He told me he could prove that he had. He said that he had 600k sitting in his bank account right now and could show proof to anyone who wanted to see. I told him to contact some journalists and that if he could prove it satisfactorily to them, that would go a long way towards establishing his credibility. He told me he would, and assured me he’d remain contactable. He also told me that he didn’t intend to play poker anymore. He seemed to still care very much for me and Jungle.

I don’t know whether or not to believe Jose. He has lied about an enormous number of things, to me and to Jungle and many other people. He tried to scam many people, including people I know he looked up to. But as I spoke to him I realized I do not have any hate towards him. Why, it’s hard to say. My involvement with him has destroyed my entire poker career. I don’t trust him, and I know he betrayed me. But life is too short and emotion is too valuable for hating people. Everyone is just trying their best in the end. I don’t know why Jose cheated people, lied and manipulated the way he did. But I hope that someday, he will be able to atone for what he did too. And that once he does, that he can find his own happiness. And fuck everyone else who thinks that there is anyone who doesn’t deserve that. Fuck everyone who thinks there’s such a thing as unredeemable. And that I mean from the bottom of my heart.

This is exhausting. My only desire now is to get away from all of this. I will leave it to Jungle to try to close out what is left of our affairs with Jose. I don’t wish to speak with him or anyone else from my life in poker. I will be leaving this flat soon to stay with a friend of mine who is outside the poker world and gather what I will need for my travels. I just want to start moving; I want a feeling of progress, of growth. I want some peace in my heart. I want to feel free.

Thank you everyone, and sorry for being all emotional. I can’t help myself right now. I will write again soon.

  • Haseeb Qureshi, if you ever read this, just know that you got handed a silver spoon in poker, something you happened to be pretty good at, you were provided financial rewards that most people dream of, and you still managed to be so greedy and manipulative that you are universally despised within the industry that gave you the only thing that is probably good about your life (financial autonomy).

    If you ever write a book i’m sure it will sell, in the same way that Ted Bundy’s last interview sold (was consumed heavily), but just know that every dollar you ever make in this pursuit is printed from the mint of a communities collective disgust. It is only people’s fascination with the truly despicable that makes you anything more than an ant to them.

    I hope your travels help you heal whatever fundamental character flaws are causing you to act in this way, i truly do, because you are a colossal net negative on Planet Earth. Take a long hard look at yourself and make some changes. Again and again you have shown that you are incredibly narrow sighted at viewing your own behaviour.

    Make a point to start doing genuinely good things for people where this is no possible upside to yourself. I think that would be a start. Volunteering for an aids organization in Africa for example.


  • T

    Always remember to keep moving forward. No matter where you go in life, there will always be idiots that will constantly slag you off for things you did or did not do. Mistakes were surely made, but that’s in the past and nothing can be done to truly undo them. All you can do is keep moving forward in life and keep trying to do what you believe is right. I hope this journey of yours helps you find some measure of peace.

  • It’s totally idiotic to slag someone off for something they did?

    He is contributing to people believing poker is full of scum bags and liars, and as someone that loves the game i don’t want to be lumped in with these people by my friends, family, in my relationships, business dealings, etc.

    I feel ashamed to be a poker player when someone like Haseeb also is given his recent actions (even only those that have been proven such as his constant lies). I want that to change, but i don’t think its idiotic to be annoyed about this.

  • T

    @Martin: You completely misunderstood.

  • I still want that how to play king motherfucking queen article! ;)

  • @T – Hai dere Haseeb! LOLOL

  • Reminds me of one of the all time great quotes…”Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”

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  • nice photos

  • good luck with whatever life brings you, haseeb. by the way it’s been my kind of a dream to grab a beer with you for a long time, i live in prague, that would really be awesome

  • i’d be a great farce on the poker comunity if those guys on the skype group came out and said “there was no scam; it was all haseeb’s idea, he made us do it” coulda been an aprilfools’

  • Hi DIH!
    I’m truly sry on your lost and hope you grow up on your ‘seaching4life’ travels.
    It’s funny how a teenage kid from Portugal can manipulate and mislead two adult pokerpros, who have been leaving in Vegas and must know something about scams. Very shady scene, man.
    It would be easier to buy, if you were scammed by a beautiful sex-bomb girl who promised you and JM 24/7 blowjobs and billions. But a 17-18year old turns you on and you plan to move to his appartment to 3some some HEM stats?! Cmoon I don’t understand what was behind this? You seem like a smart guy but how can this be happening?
    why don’t you tell us the real plan behind this ridiculous theatre play.

  • Amazing how much your apologies and confessions echo those of “Jose” in tone and content. Also similar is your decision to “quit poker” rather than face the consequences of your wrongdoing. The crowning glory of your almost-certain invention of “Jose” is the ability to claim you were cheated by him as well, and to use this fictional character to externalize from yourself all the mad and the sleazy things you did.

    Classic strategies of liars caught in a lie: 1)confess to a lesser lie or wrongdoing so as to re-establish some credibility in order to deny the bigger wrongdoing; 2) try to pre-empt further investigation and exposure by accusing others of mistreating you (play the victim) before shutting down communication and exiting the relationship altogether.

    The place in the pictures, where you’ve been “staying”–I hope for your sake that that’s a mental hospital. You, my logorrheic friend, are a borderline psychopath, and what you need is assuredly not another cliche (i.e. European backpacking quest to discover self). You need professional help.

    Can’t deny what you say about no one being unredeemable. But my honest advice to you (as someone who has himself messed up in life-changing ways) would be to own up to the whole facts, pay back the money, and THEN try to move on–because otherwise it probably won’t be possible to start over authentically and in a way that enables you to rebuild a genuine self-respect.

    I hope you have the courage not to censor this comment.

  • dgc

    I’ve discovered, through your various posts dating back to the running bet with Ashton, that you are a great storyteller. More importantly, I’ve learned that you are a master of spinning the actual truth into a diluted version of what you see as reality.

    It’s a sickness. A disease that needs attention. As harsh as it may seem, I feel no pity for you. Those who claim to be your friends shouldn’t either. Nothing about the Girah story makes sense and you, as well as the entire poker community, know it. It’s conveniet that you just happened to be the person he came to to shape his message. From the start it seems to have just been a way to stroke your already out of control ego.

    To me, you seem to be nothing more than a sociopath. Then again, I hope to never meet you so my perception will not be changed. I will, however, wish you luck. Changing your ways is no easy task. Rebuilding an emotional psyche warped beyond comprehension may be impossible. Luckily for you, the resources you have may allow that to be possible. None of that matters if you fail to see the need, though.

    Good luck.