Clarity: Was the sky always this blue?
I feel so light.
It's funny how time flies: In the fall of 2004, my son had just turned three, and my daughter was mere months from two. I was a young father, still in my thirties, and I was an active sports bettor. When the opportunity came along to step in and run a poker site, it seemed like a perfect fit: after all, poker involved betting, and I loved betting, even spending a lot of my time on handicapping forums. Of course I jumped at the opportunity!
I had no idea the kind of ride I was in for. What began as a project that might bring in some income--as hot as online poker was at the time, it seemed a sure thing--quickly took on a life of its own. I would find myself working day and night on the site, from coding to gaming, and it became more of a job than my actual paying job, but it never seemed to matter. My kids were young, so it didn't bother them that "Daddy had to work", since I was home with them along the way. The time certainly wasn't wasted; I learned more about coding--from dynamic scripting to web scripting to search engine optimization--then I ever thought I would, and certainly more than I ever thought I [i]needed[/i]. I built some lasting friendships, and even a few arch-nemeses, and even made a bit of a reputation for myself. (The jury is still out on whether that one is for good or ill...) It seemed as though the adventure was always [i]just beginning[/i].
I even got paid, once, back the aughts, believe it or not. That was something.
Even when it was no longer a viable business venture, I was so attached to the site, that I had to find a way to keep it running, to keep it active, to keep it relevant. There was always still so much left to do. GottaTalkPoker was built--no, grew up--side by side with my kids, grew with me as a father, and ultimately, took a place in my life that can't be explained. Maybe it can. Maybe it's my third child. God knows I gave it enough attention...then again, maybe it's just a virtual barroom whose pines I had the pleasure of working all these years.
My kids grew older, and our family needs changed, and this started getting in the way of family life, both financially and in that most precious commodity: [i]time.[/i] The work never ended, there was always some demand on my time and energy to keep up with meeting the demands and obligations created here at the world's greatest poker forum. The responsibility weighed heavily on me at times, and I didn't always wear it well. I compensated by cutting back on my time on the felt, and while that helped, it never addressed the real problem. It was time for me to let go. If GottaTalkPoker was truly another child, it was time for her to go out on her own, grow in another direction. If it was just a website, it needed another guiding hand on it to continue to flourish.
There finally came the realization this summer that GottaTalkPoker couldn't do any of that while it was under my stewardship; it [i]really[/i] had to go. I finally pulled the trigger--in my heart and mind--and made the move to put it up for sale.
Who knew I'd be lucky enough to find someone who also loved it right off the bat? In only two meetings with GottaTalkPoker's new owner, I am excited at the possibilities for the future, and I can't wait to help it along the way to the next phase in its evolution. Now, however, I can help along as a member, as a moderator, and as someone who just loves the site, not as someone shackled to the work.
There are no regrets. I've made friends, I've learned so very much, and even toiled against what seemed insurmountable odds over the years to keep her afloat, and I made it. I kept every obligation to every member we ever had, and I go out with pride, knowing that not every poker forum owner can say the same. I may have made a few mistakes along the way, but hell, I was the only forum owner out there refusing to do business with Lock from the beginning, so that's gotta be worth something. There are still a few loose ends that will be cleaned up over the coming weeks, but I'm incredibly proud of what I've done here, and excited to see that flourish in the hands of another.
The deal is done, and the new owner will be along shortly to introduce themselves, and maybe even share some insight into their motivation; I can say with certainty that no one will be disappointed. The desire to pay homage to the past balances well with the passion for the future, so I look forward to seeing that future with all of you, because after all, it's WE who make the forum what it is, so it will be WE who help see this new direction on its course, with the help of all the new members yet to come.
So, there you have it. I woke up this morning with all the duties, responsibilities, and headaches of GottaTalkPoker off my shoulders. It feels good, it feels right.
It feels so [i]light...[/i]
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