I deliberated whether I would write about the closure of our little alcove of the poker world here, Poker News Daily. I debated since we (and by “we” I mean my friend and colleague Dan Katz) were informed last week that the ownership of the site was “pausing” posting on the site and whether a farewell was necessary. Dan was the one who ushered in my farewell to you here on Poker News Daily, but not farewell as to my work.

Rock You Like a Hurricane

My work in the poker industry began by accident in 2004, when I taught myself HTML and created a rudimentary website that discussed poker. Back in those days, I got interviews with the late Mike Sexton, Linda Johnson, and even Barry Shulman took some time to speak with me. Later that year, a popular poker news site was looking for writers, I submitted some of my work, and they hired me on what has been a long, strange trip.

Back in those days, you simply shot work out as much as possible – there was not “research” done because, to be brutally honest, there wasn’t much info out there TO research. Four years after these auspicious beginnings, I was to come to the spot that would be the longest-tenured position of my career, here at Poker News Daily (PND), after becoming a newlywed in 2008. And there have been both good and bad along the way.

Along with Dan, PND has tried to bring you the latest in the world of poker. Sometimes that would require recreating a tournament for readers where the participants were not the “big stars” of the game, but there have been times that those players and their families have reached out and said, “Thank you,” for giving them the same pixel space that players like Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, or Fedor Holz would have received. There have been the stories that brought injustices to light, such as the Houston poker club raids a few years ago, which shining light on injustices requires a media to uncover.

There have been records that have been broken, historic moments on the World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour stages, and many a moment that I, and hopefully you, have enjoyed; I will always remember standing beside Johnny Chan at the final table where he won his tenth bracelet and asking him “Do you want me to tell you what the river card is?” With his back to the felt, Johnny simply said, “No, the crowd will tell me.” And they did…

There has also been the downside. Plenty of friends have passed away that I do regret not seeing more or being more “in touch” with over the years. Lou Krieger’s passing was difficult, as was Tony Holden’s recent departure from this mortal coil. There have also been scandals, which are never fun to remember. And that marriage has also been a casualty, of a spouse who loved the job I was doing when we met to a specter I did not recognize anymore who often complained about getting a “real job.”

I had a real job. I had it for sixteen years, and I do not regret it at all.

The Future’s So Bright…

So, where do we go from here? I am closer today to retirement age than I am to the drinking age, and as such the offers are not exactly going to be rolling in. I am going to be moving my operational base to a new location, Casinos.com, with more of a focus on the overall casino gaming world rather than a specification on just poker alone. I certainly hope to finish off my working days there, but I also have some other writing outlets that I work at, my music writing with Rock at Night and my radio shows with Real Rock Radio. I will be busy, still doing what I like doing and being able to make a little something for it.

What I do want to take the time to say is that both Dan and I have been the workhorses of PND since post-Black Friday. I was released for three months in that black time of 2011 and, as things began to settle, the then-owners brought me back for duty, and I would stand my watch…until June 13. I am sure I speak for Dan when I say I hope we entertained you, I hope sometimes we educated you, and I hope that sometimes you got a laugh off one of our jokes or were able to rail a friend. It has been a long, strange trip for Dan and me at Poker News Daily, and as we shut off the lights – who knows…there may be a rebirth someday – I am reminded of the old line that Mike Sexton used to sign off the WPT telecasts. It might sound hokey, but…

“May all your cards be live, and your pots be monsters.”

Signing off…End of Watch, Poker News Daily…6/12/2024


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