Resignation and Opportunity’s Knock

“Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.”
–James F. Byrnes
After making sure that my letter of resignation satisfied the rules of proper etiquette, I clicked the print button with a feeling of relief. After two and a half years of working in the 9 to 5, business-casual, non-profit world of healthcare, it felt good to be moving on. Career-wise, it’s a complete change of direction, but the opportunity is just too good to pass up. I guess one could say that I’m gambling a bit with my career… and I can’t be sure, but the odds look pretty good from where I’m standing.
2 years has always been the saturation point for me when concerning any activity. Throughout my life, pretty much any activity I’ve pursued, I’ve gone after a goal for 2 years, and then found myself getting bored and moving on to something else. Relationships, hobbies, whatever– except for football, 2 years seems to be the maximum length that my mind can stay interested in any given pursuit. So I wondered what would come after 2 years at the hospital, writing code and designing web sites day after day. True to form, in the last few months I’ve found myself itching for change, itching to do something where I could use my skills to build towards something new and different. My internal career clock seems to agree with an oft quoted poker blogger who frequently reminds us, “stasis = death”.
I’d done the resume thing, posting on a few IT job sites and gotten a few job leads. But nothing really sparked my interest until a small startup company in Rochester, New York called about a job working with their Medical Imaging software. I spoke with them extensively, and was impressed by a demo of their software, as well as the progress they’d made in their first year with only 9 employees. Becoming a part of a small team really attracted me, since bureacracy gets in the way of a lot of things at larger corporations.
The job sounded right up my alley– small company, opportunity for growth, a chance to work with a few smart people. But Rochester? I lived in Connecticut for the first 22 years of my life, and we had some blizzards, but Rochester is up there past Buffalo. A big change from sunny LA, and a big move for a company that is still getting its feet planted in the industry. But the wife and I are kidless, without geological constraints, so a 3,000 mile trek isn’t too scary. Neither of us are big fans of the Hollywood scene, so Rochester might be a nice antidote for the bright lights and fancy cars.
After 3 interviews, the company said they liked what I had to offer, but were so busy that they’d call me in 2 weeks with some kind of offer. I shelved the idea in the back of my mind and wondered what to do.
A couple days later, my buddy RDub (the author of a guest post on No Limit Strategy) flew in for a job interview with Full Tilt Poker, pending his graduation this summer. We planned to meet up after his interview and hopefully hit the LA card rooms to introduce him to the famous ram-and-jam, no-fold-em California hold em. Unfortunately, we never played a hand of poker, although we did sit at the table with a couple of sharks.
Dinner With Sharks
My cell phone rang, and I was surprised to hear the voice of Rafe “Tiltboy” Furst on the other end. Rafe had hooked me up with VIP seats recently at a celebrity poker event, and is just an all-around nice guy. Rdub had told Rafe to check and see if I wanted to meet them for dinner at an Italian joint in Venice. “Them” included Rafe’s compadre, poker superstar Phil Gordon. I gladly accepted, and hopped in the car for the 30 minute drive to Venice, glad that the Tiltboys were willing to put up with some unknown poker blogger.
Dinner was excellent, and filled with tales from the Tiltboys about their Ultimate Sports Adventure. What a trip… travelling around in an RV with a built-in poker table to see every major sporting event over the course of a year…
Phil graciously signed a couple autographs during dinner, yet another reminder at the rising popularity of poker. It was strange to hear the term “poker blog” used by a couple of poker superstars as I stuffed myself with pasta, and wondered what the future for this little niche of the blog world would be. After all the food was gone, we hit the road, and headed back to Rafe’s place (which was unsurprisingly extremly nice) to hang out for a bit.
Phil soon took off to head back to catch a flight to Vegas, leaving Rafe, RDub, and I to a discussion about the state of online poker, bonus-whoring, and other topics often discussed in poker blogs every day. At some point Rdub mentioned something about me being a programmer, and Rafe looked up in surprise.
“You’re a programmer?” asked the tiltboy.
“Yeah, unfortunately I don’t know too many full-time poker bloggers. I write code for a hospital, but I’m looking for something new,” I said.
The wheels in Rafe’s big brain started spinning, as if he was pondering whether to push an opponent all-in at the final table.
…to be continued…
Next post: The Eyes of Jesus and Going All In

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