It was late last year that we first began conceptualizing a new look, design, and overall rebranding for Cardplayer Lifestyle, and I’m filled with gratitude that we’ve finally reached our long-awaited launch day! Cardplayer Lifestyle’s online journey first began in November 2009, so this post is meant to both share with longtime fans what’s new and what has changed in this rebranding, as well as to offer some very well-deserved thank-yous to some special people who’ve been working diligently behind the scenes to help bring our all-new poker media site to life.
My “Aha!” Moment
Many years ago, I remember either reading an article or listening to a podcast that advised new start-up business owners to “do as much as you possibly can on your own before either turning to other people or paying for help.”
It took me years of producing literally every word of content on this site until I finally felt ready and comfortable enough to allow and ask other writers to contribute as freelancers. The decision has proven to be an excellent one, as over the last half decade we’ve now had dozens upon dozens of contributing writers share beautifully written poker articles, strategy pieces, reviews, interviews, stories and more with you, and helping to grow our audience ever more broadly.
As far as all the rest of the back-end work that goes into running this poker media site, after 11 years I had also finally reached the point where I was ready and needed to obtain proper outside help. Essentially, I had reached the limits of the webmastering I was able to do on my own, and I realized that to truly take this site to the next level, it would require me to seek assistance from experienced web design and development professionals.
No more free, cheap, or ad-hoc solutions. No more bartering or trading my services for others’ services. I finally got over the mental hump of thinking I’d have to “spend” money; rather I realized it was critical to INVEST money.
And it’s been a phenomenal investment. Now we’re finally equipped to unlock all of Cardplayer Lifestyle’s unrealized potential.
You’ll surely notice our new logo and color scheme. Having grown up in Los Angeles, I’ve been a lifelong fan of the NBA’s Lakers, and the “purple and gold symbiosis” is something that I just inherently and deeply connect with. The logo’s oval shape is meant to evoke the subtle image of a poker table, while of course the four suits speak for themselves.
Notably, we’ve also officially dropped the word “blog” from our name. Back when I first started this site, poker blogs were all the rage. While a few are still around, for the most part the Web and poker niche have evolved from those days. To be sure, I’ve still published plenty of personal poker stories and experience over the years on this site’s pages (and will continue to, every so often), but Cardplayer Lifestyle long ago evolved to become something way more comprehensive than “just” a blog.
I’m grateful that for quite a while we’ve been acknowledged in the industry as a fully-fledged poker media outlet, and this rebranding signifies us having “matured” into that from our humble roots.
Finally, our homepage layout has been fully redesigned to both highlight as well as better organize and present all of the content we have to offer. Over the years, we’ve published a vast amount of posts and pages with evergreen, useful, informative, and entertaining content, so we’ve tried to make it all just a bit easier for both new visitors and returning visitors to find on this site.
What (and Who) Else is New?
In tandem with our website redesign, we’ve also recently redesigned our Facebook page and have created a new dedicated Twitter account @PokerLifeMedia. Be sure to please give those a Like and Follow (if you haven’t already), as boosted numbers really help us out. Moreover, we’ve also brought on our first ever Social Media Coordinator, Chad McVean, who is in charge of streamlining our efforts in the social media sphere. Chad has been a longtime staunch supporter of this website and my other work in the poker media industry, so it brings me great joy to have him join our team and “help the cause from within”.
Another “new face” (behind the scenes) is Heather Gearan. Also a longtime supporter of this website, some of you might remember Heather and her husband Paul as the “Poker Pilgrims” who we profiled in these pages about 3.5 years ago. Heather has slowly begun taking over some back-end editorial duties and will be working directly with me and a number of our contributing writers.
Plus, a very special shout out to my 13-year-old daughter Abigail Strazynski, who over the last few months has become our go-to graphic designer. My bias as a proud father notwithstanding, she is genuinely supremely talented and creative within this field. Having worked with many graphic designers over the years, I can confidently say that Abby’s professionalism and skill at such a young age is nothing short of remarkable. Her work has already begun appearing on this site, and you can expect to see plenty more of it over the coming years.
My most sincere and humble thanks go out to John Wright. A legendary webmaster in the gaming space, John has been mentoring and advising me for years. His extensive experience in web design, optimization, UI, marketing (and SO much more!) coupled with his just-as-extensive experience in the online gaming niche has made him uniquely qualified to spearhead Cardplayer Lifestyle’s redesign. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that without John at the helm, this site would have been stuck spinning its wheels for far, FAR longer.
Beyond what John himself has brought to the table, he has also “brought along” his team. Specific thanks to our trusty software engineer and web developer Radoslav Stoyanov, especially for always being available to answer my many questions and soothe my anxieties throughout this lengthy transitional process.
Additional thanks go out to Carl Walker who has provided invaluable input, advice, and expertise in so many niche areas, such as SEO and plugins, over the last few months as we’ve prepared for today’s launch.
Of course, we couldn’t have gotten this far in our journey without the continued support and patronage of YOU, our fans. Thank you for sticking with us and always sharing your love for what we do in the poker space. I hope you love the redesign and rebrand as much as I do.
Please have a look around the new site. Let me know what you like, if you spot any bugs or glitches, and if you have any additional suggestions for tweaks that could make the new site even better. You can email me anytime at [email protected].
As I mentioned above, it’s exceptionally gratifying to know that Cardplayer Lifestyle is now fully primed to take its next steps towards growth in the poker media sphere.
As we expand further, our plans call for commissioning even more content from our contributing writers and bringing you more of the poker media you crave.
Finally, I’d like to personally invite you all to celebrate our “relaunch/rebranding” in person at Cardplayer Lifestyle’s inaugural Mixed Game Festival, set to take place from October 4-7 at the Westgate Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. There will be giveaways galore (keep your eyes peeled over this next week or so!) + the chance to win a coveted Platinum Pass from PokerStars worth approximately $30,000!
Upwards and onwards, my friends!