Boy waving goodbye to a ship

It was time to make a change

In early 2005, my job was making me absolutely miserable. So I quit.

Meanwhile, I dabbled in micro-stakes online poker, one of the many people who jumped in at the beginning of the poker boom. I had found Poker Source Online (PSO), the original online poker affiliate that gave rewards like poker chip sets for signing up for sites like Party Poker. PSO had a message board that I soon contributed to daily and through that, I met the company’s co-founder, Mike Jackness.

Our paths crossed offline in Las Vegas, where we and our significant others hung out for a day. Mike and I kept in touch and developed a friendship and when I announced on the PSO message board that I had given my two-week notice, he called me with a proposition.

He and his PSO co-founders, Jay Lakin and Peter Jonnes, wanted to start a poker news site and Mike wanted to know if I wanted to come on board to run it. I jumped at the opportunity and started with PSO in March 2005, working on other things while they were still building Poker News Daily (PND).

All good things….

Now, I wouldn’t say I ever “ran” PND, but the moment the site went live that year, I was the lone writer and the one in charge of deciding what was posted. Over the years, I have written for many poker news sites, some that PSO had bought, some that recruited me to provide my contributions. But for the last 19 years, through multiple ownership changes, PND has always been my home base.

Those 19 years come to an end today.

Last week, management informed us that they are “pausing” posting on the company’s poker sites. They say it could ramp up again in the future, but I’m not holding my breath. Thus, it looks like this week is the end of Poker News Daily. Hopefully, the site will stay up so some evidence of our work persists, but who knows.

Come on in, the water’s fine

I never expected when I joined PSO/PND that I would still be doing this two decades later. Monetarily, it was a terrible career move. If I stuck with consulting, I could have had a lucrative career with great benefits. This career, not so much.

But what all these years writing has provided me has been the opportunity to be at home and raise my kids. I embarked upon this career before they were born and now they are about to be a sophomore and senior in high school. Without PSO/PND and the writing opportunities that followed, I wouldn’t have been here for them nearly every day of their lives. Every day I would have been traveling to a client would have been a day I wouldn’t have had with my kids.

And boy, has this gig been fascinating. Mike had me jump into the deep end immediately, sending me to Las Vegas to cover the 2005 World Series of Poker. I had no idea what I was doing – I even used the flash on my camera for the first few pictures I took of those poor, blinded players. It was a whirlwind, but a fun one. I met so many interesting people, from poker pros and actors to authors and fellow poker writers like my now-friend and colleague, Earl Burton, who wrote for a different media outlet at the time.

I found myself quoted in a book. I hung out with Wil Wheaton, talked about his show “Arena” on G4TV, and got him to sign the King of Hearts to my wife, Jen (to whom he wrote, “I love you.”). I became intimately familiar with the Las Vegas backroads. I served as a de facto host for PSO customers who won trips to the WSOP through our site.

I went back the next year and somehow found myself in a huddle during the Main Event final table with ESPN’s Andrew Feldman, Johnny Chan, and Scott Lazar, who showed us some close-up magic.

So long and thanks for all the fish

Once my first child was on the way, that was the end of my extended travels, but my career in the poker industry had only just begun. So many wonderful people have made this ride a joy and I am ever-thankful for the lifelong friendships I have made because of it.

I knew very little about poker when I started out with PSO/PND – my favorite hand was A-2 suited. And I am certainly not a poker pro – I write about poker news, after all – but I have learned so much about the game, the industry, and what the game of poker means to so many.

So with this, I say goodbye to Poker News Daily, hopefully not for good, but at least for now. I wish it wasn’t ending, but can’t argue with 19 years of run-good.

In the meantime, you can find me writing and editing gambling news at VegasSlotsOnline News (quite the succinct name) and penning the occasional comedy article on the video game and pop culture satire site, Hard Drive.

If you would like to contact me, feel free to send me an e-mail at: dkatz email AT gmail DOT com (no spaces between the first two words and substitute the appropriate symbols for the words in caps)

One Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hate to hear this news.
    Thank you for all the hard work.
    All the best in your future endeavors

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