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The first email came in August 2014.

TK, – Had my big meeting with the doctor’s yesterday evening and it is not good at all. Seems my diabetes has weakened my heart substantially as well as kidney damage. So, we are now on a strict regimen for controlling that. heart is so bad, candidate for a heart transplant. NOT going to happen. the good news is, cholesterol is good as blood pressure. Also, losing weight as directed. Down to 221! So, going to do whatever I have to do to stop the “bleeding” as it were. just to keep you informed. – – Dutch

And, six years later, I got this on the 4th of April 2020, only a few weeks ago:

Bad news. Just got out of the hospital. Stage 4 cancer, Went into the hospital Thursday morning. Not for dissemination on the Slope as we do not have a plan for dealing with this yet. Dutch

Of course, I said nothing. But, little by little, other folks found out, and rumors start spreading. And then, on Sunday, he was gone.

For those of you who are newer here, allow me to explain: there was a man who has been on Slope for many years by the name of Thomas Holland. His screen name was “Market Sniper”, and he went by the nickname of Dutch. Indeed, I can’t remember anyone referring to him on the site by the name “Tom”. It would be MS, or Snipe, or Dutch, or some other concoction.

For me, the simplest way to describe him would be Sam Elliott. He was a man’s man. Strong. Reliable. Sharp And not to be trifled with.

Now, I could never quite get a bead on what relationship Tom and I had. We were extremely different people. In fact, we had precious little in common, except for the fact that we were both on Slope a lot.

We had different views on just about everything. Tom was a hard-drinking, hard-smoking, gun-toting, tough hombre whereas I……………well………….let’s face it, I’m not any of those things.

But people here weren’t drawn to Tom because he seemed like a cowboy. They were drawn to him for his wisdom, his trading acumen, his gregarious nature, and his generosity. And Lord knows he contributed a lot to the site. One only need to glance around to see it here………….


…………..and there…………..


And even on SocialTrade, where his post was always way at the top for all-time popularity.


Mr. Holland and I had our run-ins from time to time, and it was always about politics. In fact, 99.9% of the reason I decided to make Slope a “politics-free zone” was because I was afraid I’d look out my door one day and see this:


For a lot of people, Market Sniper was the Slope of Hope. So much so that was organized a series of events – – usually in Las Vegas – – called SlopeFest, where people would fly out from all over the place just to hang out with Tom and other Slopers they had let online.

Here is a small sampling of photos from some of these events (only one of which I managed to attend). It’s easy to spot Tom, since he’s the one holding court, and he’s always the tallest guy in the room.


I think that, on the whole, Tom represented more to people on Slope than anyone else here, including myself.

To be utterly honest, I don’t think the guy was ever too crazy about yours truly, but it hardly matters. He liked what I had created, and he really liked the people it attracted. There has been, to this day, a tremendous amount of fondness expressed for Tom, particularly with respect with what he sought to teach others.

Although we had a peculiar relationship, I have always recognized what a giant the man was on the Slope landscape, and so when I put together my tome comprised of what I considered to be the very best writing I could offer over all these years…………..


No one could have been surprised to have seen what was just after the title page: