For a writer, there really is nothing more exciting than a crisp, new notebook. The empty pages offer a world full of promise and opportunity, and it inspires the holder to fill it with the best ideas or stories possible.
Earlier this year, World Poker Tour CEO Adam Pliska presented me with an opportunity rooted in the question, ‘“If you could do anything with WPT.com, what would you do?”
The WPT is a storied brand, with 20 years at the forefront of a game which I have spent the last 16 years of my life writing about. Adam’s question was a daunting one, but I happily pulled out a brand new notebook and started jotting down ideas – fantasy drafting a staff, creating a roadmap and a budget – while trying to answer that question. About a week later, I shared my ideas with Adam.
He looked at me and said, “Okay, go do it.”
So here we are; Day 1 of an entirely new vision for WPT.com. Over the coming days, weeks, months, you’re going to find yourself coming to this website regularly to find stories from the poker world that are second to none.
And I do mean the entire poker world, not just the World Poker Tour. We will bring our readers elevated content from the World Series of Poker, Triton Poker, PokerGO Tour, European Poker Tour, online poker, the live-streamed cash game scene, backrooms and underground clubs. Wherever poker has a presence, if there is a story to be told, we will tell it and tell it well.
In that notebook, along with my notes about the type of material we will produce and what the site needed to look like to deliver this content, there is also a dedicated page or two about who would staff this enterprise. I knew I needed people that I could trust to tell these stories, creative thinkers who also had their finger on the pulse of the poker world.
My first call was to Jeff Walsh, my former right hand at PocketFives. The guy oozes creativity and has been writing about poker for more than 10 years. Many of the ideas that will come to life here came from discussions Jeff and I had over the last three years working together. He saw that notebook and snap-called at the opportunity and will serve as our Senior Creative Editor which will allow him to have a hand in all kinds of projects.
My second call felt like a bit of a longshot. My right hand at BLUFF, Tim Fiorvanti, had been with ESPN for six-and-a-half years and was covering MMA, boxing, and a topic I know he loves, pro wrestling. When he heard what we are going to build here, Tim jumped at the opportunity to cover poker again. He is our Managing Editor and will have byline after byline on this site.
We’re also going to be home to an amazing group of collaborators who have worked for some amazing mainstream outlets including The Ringer, ESPN, the LA Times, and the New York Times. David Hill and Arash Markazi are just two members of the Dream Team we are putting together to give poker the spotlight it so rightfully deserves. We also have a few more surprises up our sleeves that will continue to bolster our amazing roster.
Our promise to the poker community, players, and fans, is to provide elevated poker content, and we expect to always be held accountable to that. As the market evolves, we will constantly be looking to expand the platforms in which you find our content to adapt our content to meet the changing needs of our audience.
That original notebook has since been retired to a shelf full of notebooks I have used over my career, and WPT.com now becomes a notebook of sorts. It too is full of promise and opportunity for the best ideas and stories that will soon call it home.