Tag Archives: Protos

End of a chapter

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.

PND and PT auctions end

ebay

That’s a screenshot from eBay of the two auctions. For obvious reasons I blurred out the account names of the winners. It will be up to them if they want to reveal themselves at some point.

I’m happy with the PND sales price. We had a pre-auction offer for a little bit more but I think we all preferred to let it go to auction and see what happened. At least this way we can go to sleep at night knowing that we put it out in the market and let the market decide what to pay.

The PT sales price is a little lower than I think it’s really worth but I guess it’s only worth what people will pay for it. I was tempted to bid for it myself and buy it personally but in the end I decided against it.

The reason I didn’t bid on PT is because I really just kind of want to take some time off from the whole poker affiliate thing. I may be getting back involved in a poker project (in early discussions now) but it won’t be an affiliate project. I’m also reworking an affiliate site of ours but I won’t be doing that much related to poker affiliating after the next few months (unless something changes).

Good luck to the new owners of PND and PT!

PokerNewsDaily and PokerTerms for sale

As an FYI to anyone out there who works in the poker industry, the company that I work for has decided to sell two of its websites on eBay. Both sites were put up around noon PST today and they’re going to be 10 day auctions.

The first one is the site known as PokerNewsDaily. PND is a widely read poker news source with very solid Google rankings and traffic numbers. Here’s a link to the PND auction. The second site is PokerTerms, which I have posted about previously on this blog here and here. Here’s the PokerTerms auction link. We’ve enjoyed running both sites but we feel like they both deserve more attention than anyone at our company can currently give to them. We started both auctions at 1 cent and we’re running them without a reserve. And since both of them have received bids so far, basically, someone else is going to own the sites in about 10 days!

It should be really interesting to see how the auctions go. The business of buying and selling websites (particularly poker sites, which exist in a highly profitable but also volatile industry) is a very coy cat-and-mouse game when done via private channels. We were actually close to closing a deal to sell PND earlier this year but after months of negotiation, some plane trips and an agreement in principle, the other party decided against it. We’ve had that happen to us multiple times in various situations (not necessarily related to PND though) over the last few years and I think it’s fair to say that we’re more than fed up with dealing with private sales, protracted legal discussions, extensive documentation and due diligence, etc. These are pretty small/simple sites in the grand scheme of things and they just don’t require that sort of process. I don’t think any of us really care what the sites go for as we just want to focus on the part of the business that we’re better at running and not have the distractions of running sites that are really ancillary to our core business. That’s not to say they can’t be highly profitable sites to run though — they both can. Just not in our company with our current business needs and current workforce skills/availability. Hopefully eBay will cut through the bullshit and just get the sites sold for a somewhat fair market value price.

Good luck to anyone who decides to bid, you’ll be getting a great asset if you do.

Congrats to Adam & Lilly!

Yesterday I attended the wedding of my friend and business partner, Adam Small. The wedding was a bit west of San Jose, Costa Rica and he married an awesome Costa Rican girl named Lilly. Blog readers probably know Adam as one of the founders and admins on PocketFives. He now works as our company CEO but he is still pretty active on P5s even with his other duties.

The wedding was a great time even though I was staying sober because I had to drive afterwards. There were a few setbacks though. There was a 3 PM cocktail party to be followed by a 4 PM ceremony. When I got there at 3 PM, the sky was pretty clear. While we’re used to unpredictable weather in the US, in Costa Rica the weather is a lot more predictable — usually. February is dry season and it very rarely rains. I can only think of a few times that I can remember seeing more than a light drizzle during any Costa Rica dry season period. On the other hand, it rains 95%+ of days during the Costa Rica rainy season. So Adam and Lilly obviously picked a date right smack in the middle of dry season on purpose. Unfortunately that didn’t end up paying off.

By the time the ceremony was supposed to start, the weather was headed downhill fast. I walked outside with pokertrip (aka Jon Friedberg) and his girlfriend and we took our seats but the clouds overhead looked pretty angry. Jon actually minored in meteorology in college and he mentioned that swirling storm clouds overhead were a very bad sign. While obvious statement is obvious, at that point I realized that the outdoor wedding was not happening. I’d only been seated for a few minutes before the rain really started coming down and we headed back inside. A few minutes later it looked like this:

At that point I think they were already setting up the wedding indoors. So the ceremony happened a bit late and so on but it was actually a nice intimate setting indoors. I’m not sure how the outdoor wedding would have been since everyone was going to be spread around a rather large pool.

Anyway, after the ceremony we headed down the hill to the reception which was a great time. Like I said I didn’t drink but it was still nice to talk to a few people who I don’t get to see all that often. In this video you might be able to recognize a few P5s admins (Dan, Cal, Sandy):

I headed home around maybe 11:30 or so. The party was still going but it was probably past the point that I was really enjoying it while sober so, yea, called it a night.

Today Adam and Lilly are on their way to Kauai, Hawaii for a week for their honeymoon. And I am going to be flying back to Las Vegas tomorrow morning for a brief pitstop before heading east for a trip. Congrats again to Adam and Lilly!

Euro Trip and Blogging

I just got back a few days ago from a business trip to Europe. I went to meet a whole bunch of different people with a few of my business partners. We were pretty much all over the place in the UK/Ireland area. London, Dublin, Isle of Man, etc. Obviously we met with Pokerstars in Isle of Man, Full Tilt in Dublin and so on. It was a good trip overall although we had to worry about pretty much every flight because of the Iceland volcano. It seemed like we managed to squeeze in flights whenever the airports were open but every flight was uncertain. On the plus side, we got a great view of the volcano on our Dublin-Newark flight on Saturday. I took a couple pictures.

Here’s a close up of the volcano:

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

I also got a few pictures of the people on the plane, there were a bunch of people in my seat here:

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Airplane Scene

And this is looking back in the plane, you can see everyone looking out the left and tons of people in the aisles:

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Coach Scene

And here are a few more pics of the area… first, one of a lake:

Iceland Lake

And second, another one of the volcano, this time with a wing in the picture:

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Behind Plane

That was probably the highlight of the trip for me. Doing some of the other stuff was pretty cool too. I’d been to Ireland and England before so I guess they were a little less exciting but flying into the Isle of Man was pretty cool. I took a video of it:

We were on a pretty small prop plane on an airline called Aer Arann. I really don’t like those planes because the pressurization is really bad and they tend to give me a headache. Luckily I managed to escape that fate on the IOM flights so I was relieved about that.

All of the other details about the trip are pretty boring to people who don’t work for our company. We spent a lot of time talking about sites like PocketFives and some other projects that we have coming up. We’ll see what happens with the sites — I’m very optimistic that we’ll be able to do deals with at least one of them. I don’t want to say too much because some of them might see this blog at some point and I don’t really know which direction we’ll be heading. Either way, the end result of the trip should be some pretty exciting new things and I hope to see them up and going in a few months.

After I got back from Europe on Saturday, I made an attempt to go to my 10 year high school reunion but it had already basically wrapped up. I got there in the late afternoon and almost everyone had left. I also managed to miss my 5 year college reunion last summer so I’m not doing too well on those recently. I wanted to make it to my high school one but the business trip obviously was a priority and it wasn’t going to work to get back in time. Oh well…

Yesterday I took my mom to the Braves-Phillies game. It was obviously Mother Appreciation Day or whatever at the park. I decided to ball hard on the tickets so we were sitting right behind the Atlanta dugout. Here’s a picture I took of Chase Utley getting a hit in the 1st inning:

And here is a picture of me from the game:

It was a good game — the Phillies won despite Cole Hamels blowing up in the 5th inning. He managed to get out of a pretty bad spot with only giving up 3 runs but the Phillies pulled him after that. He basically totally lost control and started walking guys left and right. But the Phillies managed to pull it out 5-3. I’m not a huge Phillies fan but I definitely like to see them win. My mom had a good time and that was the whole idea so I’m glad we did it.

I head back out to Vegas tomorrow and then on Thursday I get my wisdom teeth pulled. That will make for a fun weekend I’m sure.

** This post has gotten too long already so I’ll address the “blogging” thing in the next one…