Three times in my first 24 hours in Las Vegas I've had that same feeling. Each year, I pop back in the poker scene. The rest of the year I am far removed from my pro poker friends. I don't normally travel to any tournaments other than the WSOP. It's not that I don't try to keep up with their happenings. With blogs, forums, emails and tweets, I can keep abreast of their lives. But then when I meet them, It can take a minute or two to distinguish that while I maybe be aware of aspects of their lives, I haven't spent any time with them in a year. I feel this familiarity with them that no one who hasn't actually lived those moments with them should feel.
When I met Krantz's girlfriend at the DeucesCracked party, I felt a familiarity with her despite never having met her. I had seen her on the 2 Months, 2 Million poker show. I had seen pictures of her in Krantz's room, and heard her mentioned by Krantz in our conversations and in his blogs.
When I spoke to David 'Gaucho2121' Paredes tonight, I had the similar sense from following his tweets that I already knew how his summer at the WSOP was going, before he even had to tell me. We've been casual friends over the years, but I haven't really spoken to him much online in the past year.
When I met up with Lee Childs today, I knew about how he had become a father through adoption this year and how it had changed his life. I knew him from his WSOP Main Event final table run from several years ago, but I had only seen him twice since, both at the WSOP. And yet, following his tweets, I felt like I knew of his life. Interestingly enough, he expressed some familiarity with my world from having read my blog.
In each case, I have physically interacted with each person in previous years. So there is a direct connection to them, but despite the lack of interaction throughout the year, I still get a sense of familiarity with their lives through the various forms of social networking. I suppose you can call it a virtual familiarity. So can I say I know them, or can that only happen if my knowledge of their world comes from direct contact?