Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Breaking News: John Caldwell Resigns from PokerNews

By Pauly
New York City

No mas Scheckytime

I just got some surprising bit of information. My good friend and colleague, John 'Schecky' Caldwell, will be leaving PokerNews as Editor-in-Chief.

Here's the press statement:
Longtime PokerNews honcho John Caldwell has called it quits after nearly five years at PokerNews.

"I just felt it was time," said Caldwell, "I'm looking to change focus, and now felt right. It was, quite simply, time to go."

Caldwell started when PokerNews had two employees, and was still doing business as PokerNews.info. Currently, PokerNews owns 100+ poker domains, and employs 200+ people all over the world.

"PokerNews is extremely grateful for the contribution John has made to our company. On behalf of all PokerNews staff, I would like to wish John and his family all the best for the future," PokerNews CEO Damon Rasheed said.

"I'm really proud of what we accomplished at PokerNews. In a matter of a little over three years, we went from three guys in a tiny room to one of the largest poker sites on the web. PokerNews will always be a chapter in the book of my life that I am proud of. I have really enjoyed working with PokerNews. I’ll continue to contribute as a consultant on an ad hoc basis. I wish Tony, Damon, and everyone at PokerNews continued success."
I have to say that the main reason PokerNews is where they are today is because of Caldwell's relentless work and dedication to the company. He lived and breathed PokerNews and he couldn't stay away from the company for even a couple of hours without having to deal with some sort of emergency or problem. Best example I saw of that was during a holiday to Australia's Gold Coast after the 2007 Aussie Millions. Brandon Schaefer, Caldwell, and I headed on a trip up to Surfer's Paradise to see the Big Day Out music festival. But Caldwell spent most of his time working instead of enjoying some much needed R & R. That demonstrated both his work ethic and his dedication to the company... and I'll never forget that instance. The guy goes on vacation but he's still working.

I wish Caldwell and PokerNews the best. His departure is sort of like a hall of fame coach calling it quits. PokerNews will have some big shoes to fill with the absence of Caldwell.

I have been very lucky in the poker industry and that has a lot to do with several key figures in the poker world who were admirers of my work on Tao of Poker such as John Caldwell. At the end of 2006 when the UIGEA hit, I lost several clients and had to take a drastic pay reduction with the majority of them. It was the same time when Caldwell approached me and decided to bring me aboard Poker News to help out legitimizing their tournament reporting side of the company.

What started out as one gig for Poker News with the Aussie Millions turned into over two years of reporting where I was sent all over the world, including three month-long visits to Australia. For those epic experiences, I'm eternally grateful to both Caldwell, Tony G, Damon, and Poker News. They treated me with the utmost respect and paid me my full rate and then some.

The poker industry is constantly changing and it is obvious that Poker News is headed in a different direction with their decision to scale back tournament reporting and even more so with Caldwell's abrupt departure.

At this point, I have mixed feelings. I'm always elated when friends of mine find the opportunity to leave the poker industry. However, I'm incredibly sad that Caldwell made the decision to resign from Poker News. He was the glue that held Poker News and all of their other sites together.

I will find it very hard to work for PokerNews in the future without John Caldwell as the anchor. Back to the sports analogy, he was the coach who brought me over to play for his team and once the coach leaves, it's very hard for me to stay and play. I'm never one to speak in absolutes, but Caldwell's resignation, has put me in a position where I am seriously mulling the decision to leave Poker News as well. One of the few positive traits that I have is loyalty.

So if Caldwell leaves Poker News, then I shall follow.

And if that's the case and I end up making a decision to leave Poker News, I too want to thank everyone at the company especially Damon and Tony G for their support and the opportunity to work with them. I want to wish Damon, Tony, and Haley best of luck. Perhaps we can do some work down the line, but for now, the news of Caldwell's resignation was a total shock and it will make me carefully examine my future with the company.

Let's end this on a good note... the next time I have a lunch with Caldwell, I can expect an interruption-free meal with his Blackberry not ringing a dozen times during our time together.

Farewell, good friend. The poker world will not be the same without you. Now that you have some time off, you wanna join me on Phish summer tour?

Original content written and provided by Pauly from Tao of Poker at www.taopoker.com. All rights reserved. RSS feeds are for non-commercial use only.

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