#268: “Diving Into The Ocean of Generosity”

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When I woke up this morning to 263 notifications I thought ‘no fucking way, could it be…?’ I opened twitter and there he was, Ali Nejad, opening an envelope and reading out The Chip Race. I let out a hearty chuckle. My girlfriend Saron let out a yelp. Our son Hunter informed us that he had just done a poo.

I was honestly surprised when the show got nominated. Jamie, Chad, Brett, Remko, Jeff, Sarah, Lance and Donnie all make great shows so just to be in their company was an honour. Sure, there might have been mis-categorisation with a couple of would-be nominees and perhaps the nomination panel were not adequately on the pulse of Twitch but on the whole, I felt like some very worthy and very deserving work was acknowledged in the choices made across all the categories. To be included in those names was a boon. I also know that Eric, Roland, Hans and the rest of the GPI team alongside their partners Pokerstars and PokerGo put in a lot of mostly unappreciated effort to make the awards happen so kudos to them.

In the end, who wins and who loses doesn’t matter a great deal. The awards ceremony itself should just be a bit of fun and a celebration of achievement to help promote the hard work of content creators who toil over their labours of love. So when the nominations came out, my first instinct was ‘how do we maximize this for publicity?’ Dara and I want the show to have the biggest audience possible so we are shameless about using whatever positive press we get to entice prospective listeners to check us out. This was obviously very good press so we took advantage as best we could.

Now that we’ve won, though, I’m genuinely not sure how to feel. I’ve always thought it uncouth to celebrate winning an award but I have to be honest, a wave of gratitude has come over me, washing away (albeit momentarily I’m sure) my usual cynicism. I feel like at any moment I might ‘do a Roberto Benigni’, stand up on the back of my chair, jump around, kiss Sophia Loren and ‘dive into the ocean of generosity’. I won’t actually do that. Instead I will try to thank everyone who has helped the show over the last four years, helped Dara and I personally and contributed to this unlikely win.

First and foremost, Willie Elliot has been a one-man art department, one-man animation team and the one man apart from Dara and I who has been there working with us on every episode.

On and off the mic, Daiva Byrne has been immense, giving Dara and I her guidance, her generosity and her brain to pick at whenever we needed her.

Daragh Davey was there at the birth of the show and was very much the third parent of the project. He has remained a consultant, a confidante and munificent contributor down the years.

What can I say about Ian Simpson? From his squeaky chair to those news reports he inexplicably recorded from his bathroom, Ian’s enthusiasm and kind nature has been matched only by his lack of professionalism. Could we have found someone better? Yes. But did we want to find someone better? Also yes but Unibet wouldn’t let us.

I have cut the show alongside three editors over the years and I am an awful person to work with so a big thank you is due to Colly O’Neill, Rob King and Tom Stanton.

Four years ago, Heatley Tector and Rob O’Connor pitched the idea of an Irish poker podcast to Dara and I. Two and a half years ago, David Pomroy green lit The Chip Race’s return to the airwaves as a global-facing show. For their vision, I am so grateful. Unibet Poker gave Dara and I the freedom to make the show we wanted and they have also had our back when that meant the occasional controversy. Thank you to Simon, Nataly, Robin, Kristoffer, Andrew, Marc, James, Jason, Patrick, Kasia, Sophie, Tambet and Lenka.

Thank you also to Jennifer Tilly, Donna Morton, Sameer Singh, Tony Baitson, Chad McVean, Kevin Mathers, Kat Arnsby, Nick O’Hara, Henry Kilbane, Jesse May, Lee Davy, Jason Glatzer, Martin Harris, Robbie Strazynski, Wil Shillibier, Mad Harper, Neil Channing, The FLIP Facebook group, Pokerfuse, Poker Tube, Pokernews, Calvin Ayre, ShareMyPair, all of our wonderful guests and many, many others who have graced us with their presence and helped us spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, on forums and in the media.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the wonderful Saron and Mireille. They may take no shit, nor pull no punches but they are also incredibly supportive partners. Words can’t express my gratitude to them both for their love and wisdom.

And of course to Dara, who recently accused me of making every reference to him homoerotic (although I don’t see it myself), thank you for being my bosom buddy, my Blue Yeti sharer and the perfect bedfellow on this project. I hope there is much more to come from this partnership.