This is going to be a bit of a different newsletter. My time is running short before sabbath begins here in Israel, so I'll just put my heart and full effort into writing this opening letter to you all.
September was probably the craziest month I ever had professionally speaking, as I had to "dance between the raindrops" and navigate some sort of way to fit in as much work as possible through umpteen Jewish holidays in addition to the weekly sabbath. One heck of a time to unveil a massive website redesign, eh?
I worked hours I had never seen before, and was just plain relieved to have finally emerged at the end of last month into "regular routine". Yet, I was actually about to embark on a very non-routine journey... to begin 3 weeks in Las Vegas (7,500 miles away from my home in Israel) for the World Series of Poker.
MIXED GAME FESTIVAL
My time in Las Vegas was incredibly special. The first portion of the trip was dedicated to hosting Cardplayer Lifestyle's Inaugural Mixed Game Festival. To try and summarize here just how amazing it was would be futile, but thanks to the efforts of Matt Hansen, Geoff Fisk, and Mike Patrick, we produced some great daily recaps (Day 1, 2, 3, and 4). Thanks to Chris Wallace, we've got loads of great photos (which we'll hopefully publish in the coming weeks as a photo essay recap, to relive the great memories). Special thanks as well to our trusty Editor Heather Gearan and stalwart Social Media Director Chad McVean, who ensured the steady production and dissemination of our content continued throughout the incredibly hectic multi-week period. It was awesome seeing all these wonderful people in person, as well as everyone who came out to attend the festival. Thank you!
We got coverage in over two dozen poker media sites ahead of the festival and an additional half dozen articles written up after 2004 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Raymer emerged victorious in our PokerStars Platinum Pass $200 HORSE tournament. Perhaps a pinnacle moment for me was seeing the publication of an article about the festival written up in the Las Vegas Review Journal (not gonna lie, I got pretty emotional -- in a good way -- while Jim Barnes interviewed me).
Rest assured, it will (hopefully) be the first of many future Mixed Game Festivals to come!
The second portion of my trip was "me time", during which (among lots of cash game play, lots of networking, and very little sleeping) a supreme highlight was getting to play in my second ever WSOP bracelet event. Just yesterday I published the full write-up recapping that incredible experience. It's one that I think will resonate with a lot of people, so when you have a few minutes to spare I encourage you to give it a read.
The third and final week of my trip was spent with my wife Miriam, who came to Las Vegas for the first time in 17 years. With her, I got to do all the "tourist stuff" I normally never do while in Las Vegas: we saw shows, went to Red Rock Canyon, visited the Mob Museum, "Rode the Rails", went to Stadium Swim at Circa, and much more.
I also truly enjoyed finally having the opportunity to introduce her to "my other life" in Las Vegas, where I've gotten to know and befriend so many absolutely wonderful people and industry colleagues over the last half decade. To everyone we saw together there, thank you so much for giving Miriam such a warm welcome. She had a fantastic trip!
BACK TO ROUTINE + PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Since returning home a week ago, besides battling (and mostly losing) against jetlag and catching up on what seems like an unconquerable mountain of work-related stuff that's piled up, I've been doing a lot of thinking about "the next steps" for Cardplayer Lifestyle.
We've made many very important moves over these last few months to try and build, grow and expand. I still see Cardplayer Lifestyle in a bit of a transitionary period, where I'm gradually (read: very slowly, lol) stepping back from more and more of the day-to-day responsibilities of running the site so that I can focus on "bigger picture" items and the many other projects I'm involved in within the poker industry, such as The Orbit, podcast hosting, consulting for poker companies, and now branching into live events.
Rest assured that Cardplayer Lifestyle will always be my baby, and there will always be a personal touch. But in order to grow, I need to begin letting go, trusting more incredibly talented people to take on more tasks, and do my best to ensure I'm always spending my time working as optimally as possible.
Hopefully, in the very near future, this newsletter will take on a new-and-improved look after 5.5 years. Yet another long-neglected area where I need to improve and serve you guys, my beloved loyal audience, better.
In lieu of a litany of article recommendations that I always share below, I'll just encourage you to visit the homepage of our website. So much more content than ever before is now available at your fingertips, and we're adding more on a near-constant basis. Scroll down to find close to a dozen categories, with half a dozen posts in each, awaiting your eager eyes and attention.
If you like what you read, please share via your social media channels to help us spread the word, and be sure to tag us @Cardplayer Lifestyle Poker on Facebook and @PokerLifeMedia or @cardplayerlife on Twitter.
If you want to send feedback for ways we can improve, feel you have some writing or other skills that would be an asset to us at Cardplayer Lifestyle, or just want to say "hi", please feel free to email me anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!
With that, and just about 15 minutes left until I log off for the sabbath, I just want to thank you all for taking the time to read this personal note. Thank you for caring. Thank you for your support. Thank you for sticking with me as we take this journey to the next chapter.
Shabbat shalom, from the Holy Land,