In Memoriam: Justin Shronk, 1981-2009
The poker world was stunned and saddened with the unexpected passing of well-known poker media figure Justin Shronk on Sunday. Justin was a fixture among poker’s “new media” breed, working most recently at the growing and popular site PokerRoad, but with credits (among others) at Bluff, CardPlayer and, of course, here at PokerNews, where he worked for an extended period as PokerNews’ multimedia director. Justin remained a close friend of the PokerNews family and was a “Shoutbox” staple during PokerNews’ live-event reporting in recent months.
Justin’s passing has been attributed to natural causes, which may or may not have been connected to a health condition he battled in recent years. By the time of his passing at age 27, he had already amassed a lengthy list of notable industry credits, and was remembered both for his impressive production skills and his sense of humor and flair. Justin himself named this PN video (with his own cameo halfway through) as his all-time favorite:
Justin found the humor in every situation, as illustrated in this classic "bloopers" video from the 2007 WSOP:
PokerNews’ own Tony G remembered Justin fondly when he learned of Justin’s passing. Said Tony, “Justin made important contributions to PokerNews’ multimedia efforts and was vital in helping PokerNews grow. He was open and funny and put a ton of effort into his work. His loss is a blow to the entire industry and he will be missed.”
Former PokerNews.com Editor-in-Chief John Caldwell remembered Justin in this way: “The poker world has lost a friend, a fan and its staunchest supporter in Justin Shronk. Whenever you walked into a poker room and saw Shronk, you knew if nothing else you would have at least one great laugh that day. Shronk’s sense of humor and unique ability to boil down a situation to its essence with a few words, usually culled from a TV show or film, was something you looked forward to. That I will never be able to hang out with him and have him make me laugh again makes me sad beyond words.
"No one else could come up with concepts like 'buffet fold equity' (folding all hands to make it to the break when the free buffet was served), and present them in the way that Shronk could. Shronk loved what he did, and if nothing else, I hope the poker world knows it has lost a real diamond in Justin Shronk. I will miss him.”
Services for Justin Shronk have been scheduled for this Saturday in his home town of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania.