As of this Sunday night, I will officially be out of the day-to-day poker business world for the first time in about six years. I will still have some minority equity positions related to poker but that’s it. I co-founded thepokerdb in May 2005 (over six years ago!) and I co-founded PSCrew.com even before that — around January 2005. So not working on anything poker-related starting in August will be quite a change given that roughly 85% of my professional life has been poker-related. Although, I have to admit, it’s a change I’m really looking forward to. This is something that was decided back in early June and I’ve been wrapping up various poker commitments since that point.
The US Gov’t war on online poker has really taken it’s toll. Of course it’s taken its toll on the sites, the players, the whole industry. But I am talking about myself here (given that it’s my blog). I just have such a different mindset about online poker these days than I did in the 05-08 timeframe. The last two plus years have been a major struggle mentally. It seemed like the whole industry was always just waiting and expecting things to fall apart in the US. And now, of course, they have. And it’s a brutal reality now for people in the US-related poker world without other options. Players don’t know what to do. Poker-related businesses are down significantly. But for me, more so than anything, I just can’t stand being on edge all the time about the industry that I work in. In the last few years, there were like 20 pieces of major bad news and 0 pieces of major good news. That’s a rough combo.
So, as stated above, I’m moving on. I won’t rule out a return to poker at some point should the right opportunity present itself but I’m virtually certain I won’t return until the legal environment changes (if it changes). I am personally pretty pessimistic about it changing soon which is one reason that I’m not waiting it out and developing new things related to poker. There are a lot of opportunities out there online so I’m going to apply my web marketing skills to some industries that aren’t under constant attack.
What’s next? I can’t say the exact projects yet but I’m working on things roughly related to the CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting areas. These are both subjects that I’m passionate about (although I’m more passionate about Oly, I do really enjoy a number of aspects of CrossFit). I also own grocerystores.com and foodstores.com so at some point I hope to be able to develop those sites (the current sites are placeholders, not at all what a finished product would look like) at some point in the future — as well as about a dozen other quality domains that I own. I’m also going to be working for the rest of the year (and possibly beyond) on things related to WordPress and WordPress themes. WordPress and programming are long-time passions of mine (I switched my blog over to WordPress slightly over four years ago and I haven’t looked back) so I’m pretty pumped about that.
To those of you in the online poker community who’ve been friendly and welcoming over the years (almost all of you), thanks for the great experience. I really hope things get on track for online poker in the US. Best of luck to everyone! Keep in touch.