Tag Archives: CAP Euro

Barcelona Recap / Argentina Next

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend Cap Euro in Barcelona. First off, shout out to Alex Pratt and the rest of his team for doing such an amazing job putting this show together. Even though my actual time in the conference was very short, the event as a whole was a lot of fun and I got to meet some really great people and catch up with some old friends.

I’ll try and do a quick recap as I remember it…..

Day 1 – Don’t Go to Can Majo

Arrive in Barca, head to Hotel Room – My friend John (JohnG) and I shared a room because we “aren’t balling like that”. Free Wifi, so obviously the first thing we do is turn on the laptops. Get ahold of Jeremy (Boarderman) and John Halloway (JohnH) on Skype and make plans to meet a bunch of people for dinner. Jason (Goodkarmakid) has made reservations at some fish restaurant that is supposed to be one of the better ones in the city. WRONG…. the restaurant was a huge miss, had my worst meal of the trip and waited over 3 hours to do so. The funniest part of it was about an hour in to the wait for the main courses, JohnH received his main. We all got excited the food was finally coming, but it was almost another hour before any of us were to see a plate. (Don’t worry Jason, I know its not your fault as I found the website (No free linkage: http://www.barcelona.com/barcelona_city_guide/where_to_eat_barcelona/top_10_best_restaurants_in_barcelona/) that is resposible for this poor recommendation)

After Dinner it was off to the Blackjack.com party. In a group of 13 people none of us remembered to write down directions for the club so we all decided to hop in cabs to get there. This brought one of the funniest moments in the trip. After explaining to the cab driver that we wanted to go to Joker Nightclub for about 3 minutes, we arrive at Shoko Nightclub. Apparently Joker is not very well known there as the same thing happened to the other cab. We finally get to Joker and there is some giant black guy at the door looking for Blackjack.com chips to get in. Fortunately, I was with Jeremy Enke who was kind of a big deal over there, who brought Alex Pratt to the rescue to get us in. Like most gambling affiliate parties, it was a complete sausage fest, but we decided we would get drunk off the free booze and make it a good night. I am a little disappointed about their advertisements of Wild Orchid Girls, because I maybe saw one, and she didn’t even look that hot.

About 2 hours into the night I run into an attractive lady at the bar so I decide to say hello. It turns out that she is an affiliate manager for Casino Rewards/Rewards Affiliates and unlike most affiliate managers doesn’t try to push her company while out partying… I like her already. To make a long story short I find out later that she (Renee – some of you may know her from CAP) won the award for Best Affiliate Manager at the CAP Awards in London and her company has won the award for Best Casino Affiliate Program, so anyone looking to get into casino more should definitely send Renee an email.

The rest of the night was kind of a mess. I ended up giving Renee a rose, but was shortly outdone by Mike (themike537) who bought some other girl 3:


Day 2 – Hungover at the Conference / PAP Dinner and Partying Again

John and I get up relatively early on Day 2 considering we had only arrived home wasted a few hours prior. Free breakfast at our hotel before 10:30, so being the savvy travellers that we are we hit the buffet. Food sucks, off to the conference.

Line up for what seems like forever, but was probably only 10 minutes. Turns out we were waiting in the wrong line, and didn’t even have to line up in the first place. Run into Beanie and a few others while in line and stare at the many hot girls that are promoting for different sites… the line isn’t so bad after all.

Get into the conference and decide to just walk around. Most of the booths look the same as usual and there is nothing really exciting going on. Chat with some people for a bit, watch the opening session/legal session (really good session) and try to find Stephen from Sportsbook.com. I show up 5-10 minutes late, he is nowhere to be found… oh well…. I kinda expected it anyway as it usually happens with meetings at these things.

Walk around the conference a bit more, stare at the pretty promotional girls, gather some free swag and decide we have had enough – time to head out. Run into Stephen who had a meeting cancelled, so we go to lunch with him. Eat the worst Risotto which is actually rice, but still beats the meal at Can Majo! Day is pretty much done, so back to the hotel. All in all were probably at the conference for about 3 hours.

Back at the hotel we decide to lie down for a bit to try and recover for the debauchery that is about to follow that evening.

After a few hours of shut-eye, Geof from Bet365 comes by our hotel so we head over to the CDLC for the dinner that I organized. Turns out the place is AMAZING and has a really cool setup. Chat with Geof for a bit and wait for people to arrive.

8pm arrives (when we were supposed to meet) and not a single person is there (actually that might be a lie, because I think Giorgio was there, but we didn’t actually know who he was till about 8:30)! I begin to get extremely stressed out that I am gonna be stuck with a bill for 40 people…. oh boy! Fortunately some people start to roll in around 8:30, but we are still not even at half of the original group. The waitress starts to freak out on me a little, and I tell her that people are on there way, but are stuck in traffic.

9pm… Finally there are enough people to sit down, let’s get this show on the road. Dinner is quite amazing and probably the best meal I had over there. Half-way through the meal I find out I got the shaft on seating as it turns out themike537 and Kendall (kdollar) have the best view in the whole restaurant. In front of their table is a bed full of smoking hot lesbian girls that keep making out with each other… wow I am good at picking restaurants.

Dinner finishes up, and my good friend Margaret from PKR covers the tab for all the affiliates. Being an affiliate does have its benefits 🙂 Now that dinner is over, its PARTY TIME.

Head over to the Winzingo party. Again, a sausage fest and they make you pay for your booze. This party sucks! Fortunately my good friend Dee from 888.com gave me an invite to their party earlier in the day so we decide we need a change of scenery and head over there.

I forget the invite though at the hotel room, but fortunately we manage to locate Dee in the club and she gets us in. As we get in we discover that 888.com isn’t cheap and booze are FREE 🙂 This is much better than first party. The best part about this party was they did it in a club where there were local people partying also on the first floor. After catching up with some old friends for a bit and meeting some new people we decide to head downstairs for the real party. As we get downstairs we hear one of the nicest sounds in the world: Rick Ross…. this party is getting even better!

themike537, kdollar, JohnG

themike537, kdollar, JohnG

JohnG, JohnH, themike537

JohnG, JohnH, themike537

Party on the dancefloor for a bit then get invited over to a table that Chris (lifeofsports on PAP) has reserved – party gets even better! Hang out with them for a bit and do a lot more drinking with Chris and most of the Cake Team (which I must add are probably one of the coolest teams over there – they know how to party). Find out that over 20 people had been mugged the night before, but the only one that managed to fight them off was little Mr. Enke.

After a ton more drinking Evan (who works for Chris) and I decide it will be fun to try and pick up girls. After going about 0/4 we finally meet 2 German girls. After about 10 minutes of me trying to speak spanish to them, I find out they speak English. I decide I have probably had enough and leave Evan with the girls and we all head back to our hotels.

Day 3 – I Really Should Get Some Work Done

I decide before going to sleep the night before, that today would be the day where I actually try and get some business done. I head to the conference and decide I am gonna go around talking to a bunch of the different programs. I get there, realize I am still so hungover and have nothing to really talk to them about so I go talk to the people I already know.

While talking to Renee (Casino Rewards) I see that she has a really cool lighter. She tells me to go to Everest Poker to get one. I decide to go and pretend to be interested, and quickly discover that I don’t like the people at Everest. The two I am talking to seem like dicks and really have no interest in my business or telling me about their company. I find the lighter and leave.

I run into Henrik from GNUF/Betway (who I met in London) and chat with him for a bit. The GNUF team is really cool and has Heineken… so, I stay longer. After a one or two beers I leave and walk around for a bit more and realize the conference is over. Everyone is packing up and its time to get out of there.

That night CAP held a dinner for some people which I managed to work an invite to (thanks Yvette!). We get on a bus and are shuttled over to the restaurant for a great meal… thanks Warren! At dinner I met Eva from Betway and we had some great conversation about travelling. She has been to quite a few places, and I am planning to do more travelling in the upcoming year.  Eva was really cool to meet, and definitely look forward to working with her more in the future.

Me & Eva

Me & Eva

After dinner we head to the Million Dollar Poker Room party. They did a great job putting this on, but after waiting 30 minutes at the bar to find out they ran out of glasses we start to look for other options. I did catch up with some old friends though like Johan (who used to be at GNUF, but is now at Full Tilt) and a few others so it was stilll a great night. Run into Richie from Carbon Poker and he tells me they are going to Opium.

Get to Opium and there are a bunch of people over there. Run into Chris (lifeofsports) again and a bunch of other people. After a long night of drinking I realize it is 7am and I need to get out of there. The people I had left had long gone, so I looked for someone that was also leaving. Richie and I head out of the club and he waits with me to get a cab – Thanks man! There had been a ton of muggings there that week especially by this club so it was very nice of him to do this.

That pretty much concludes the conference… John and I stayed for a few more days and met up with some friends and did some sightseeing. Here are a few of those pics:

Mt. Tibidabo

Mt. Tibidabo

Camp Nou

Camp Nou

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia

Parc Guell

Parc Guell

So that’s all for my recap… hope you enjoyed it. Next Saturday I will be leaving for Argentina for 7 weeks. John (JohnG) and I are going to work from down there for a bit to get a change of scenery and explore some of the other parts of the world.

My main goals on this trip are to improve my spanish (if I can perfect it that would be amazing), do some travelling, try to get some good ideas on what the heck I am gonna do with the rest of my life 🙂 I’ll try and post an update soon!

CAP Euro Trip Report – Part 2

When I last left off day 1 had come to a finish. Let me continue now with the rest of the report:

Friday, January 25th, 2008

After waking up with a bit of a headache from the previous nights’ celebrations and an extreme bout of dehydration (the temperature in our room must have been around 25 degrees celcius even with the window open), Kyle and I made our way over to the conference. We missed the first super affiliates panel as we could not find the main sessions room, but decided to walk around and check out some of the booths.

Our first mission was to find the Affiliate Speedpay booth to check out the lambo and the girls that we voted for. We ended up finding a sweet Ferrari done up with Affiliate Speedpay decals, and later found the ASP girls wandering around. Our first thoughts were “those aren’t the girls we voted for”. I have to say that the girls kinda looked like escorts that decided getting paid to wander around a convention was better than having to put out for cash, but after all, who cared… they filled those ASP shorts nicely. I think some other people must have thought similar things because on the next day there were 2 different and much hotter models walking around. We went to a couple more booths, then I had to go to one of my scheduled meetings.

After waiting about 5 minutes for someone that I had no clue what they looked like, I decided to give up. In future, I am never going to arrange to meet anyone that doesn’t have a booth at the show, it just doesn’t work out. Next meeting went well and I accomplished everything I wanted to do. Only problem was it ran longer than expected and I missed the first bit of Neil Patel‘s session on Social Media and Web 2.0. Fortunately I did not miss too much, and got there in time for him to share a couple of cool tips near the end.

The next session was the panel of CEO’s. Speaking at this session were: Mark Blandford (former CEO of Sportingbet), Peter Nylander (CEO UniBet), and Malcolm Graeme (CEO of PKR). It was neat to get the perspective from the top people in several of the key players in this industry and to hear their thoughts on all sorts of subjects from mobile gaming to gaming legislation. Peter even mentioned the time he was arrested by Dutch Authorities, which was a very entertaining story. Mid way through the session I had to step out and meet with Henrik from Gnuf poker. Before I left for London I had entered my name for a free dinner to the CAP Awards paid for by the guys at Gnuf. I ended up getting selected so we planned to meet on the Friday at the show. We exchanged contact info, and planned to meet just before the awards at my hotel.

After spending most of the day at the conference Kyle, John, Greg, Jeremy, BRANDON and I decided to head over to he local pub for some drinks and food before getting ready for the awards. This worked out quite well because I had arranged for another meeting at this pub (pubs are probably the best place for meetings as its much more casual and you can have a drink to calm the nerves). Thinking the guy wasn’t going to show, I decided to call him from my phone at the $5/min rate that I am sure I will be faced with when I get the bill. Looking around the bar for someone with a ringing phone, I see the guy directly beside me answer his phone… sure enough it was him.

I met in the lobby bar with the Gnuf crew before heading on over to the awards. They seemed like a cool group of guys, so my initial worries that this would be a very akward night were quickly turned positive. We arrive at the awards to be greeted by a bunch of almost naked girls painted gold and lots of free booze. I was seated next to Johan (the head of marketing from Gnuf) for the dinner which was an awsome experience. He had so much industry experience and gave me a lot of REALLY good advice about online marketing in general which was awsome because lately I have been very seriously deciding if this is the kind of job I want to persue full-time. The dinner was great and the comedian was really funny. The only thing that I found really weird about the awards was that Rake the Rake won poker affiliate of the year, but who am I to judge.

CAP Awards
Warren from CAP

After dinner the partying began. I met Beanie from PAP and heard some great stories about his times as a poker affiliate. I started a little debate with one of the guys from Bluff magazine about the effectiveness of print advertising. Frankly I am not sure how I could get any ROI from advertising in Bluff, but I am sure that the right product could. It was a good convo though, and nice to hear another point of view on the subject.

We left the awards only to find that there were probably 100 other people all looking for a taxi at the same time. After a little waiting we got a cab and were on our way to Paper Nightclub. Fortunately we were with Warren from CAP and Neil Patel (both black amex cardholders) so we did not have to wait in line and went straight in. The club was pretty cool… if you wanted you could get a massage, and it had this Hawaiian style theme to it.

Me and Neil Patel
Me and Neil Patel

PAP Crew
Nick, Andreas (Darko) and Jeremy

After quickly polishing off a bottle of Grey Goose and bottle of Champagne we decided to head out and find a strip club. A bunch of Nigerian cab drivers were clearly trying to roll us, but since it was late and night and we wanted to get to the strip club, we paid their ridculous prices. After about $100 in cabs and 2 strip clubs that were at capacity we decided to head back to the hotel. Another Nigerian scammer was about to take us back to the hotel at another ridiculous price (about $60) but as he approached the car he went to pick up some clothes off the street and did a little drunken stumble. This set off a huge flag, so we broke out of the car at record speed as we weren’t willing to play chicken that night. He even tried to hold my door shut, but I just pushed it even harder and got the hell out of his car. The guys in the other cab also did the same thing as their driver was trying to get them to pay around $140 to take them back to the hotel.

Nigerian Cabbie Scammers
Nigerian Cabbie Scammers

We decided enough was enough and headed back to the hotel to call it a night. Stay tuned for the rest of the trip in Part 3.

CAP Euro 2008 – PAP Crew “Ruins” London (Part 1)

I am finally starting to recover from all the partying and sleepless nights during my short visit to London for CAP Euro.  All I can say is WOW, what a trip!  I had an amazing time meeting up with some familiar faces, along with some new ones, but enough of that, I am sure everyone is eager to learn what happened on the trip.

Wednesday, January 23th, 2008

I meet up with JohnG, winner of the PAP Contest (see his report here) and head over to the airport where we meet up with Kyle.  2 hours later, we are on our way to London!  Some old Indian dude seems to fall in love with Kyle and keeps staring at him on our flight.  About an hour later he switches seats with his mother who also continues to stare at Kyle – it was really funny, they wouldn’t even blink.  Turns out alcohol is free on the plane… this thing is off to a good start!  I fall asleep for a bit, only to wake up and find that the old lady that was staring at Kyle is dying somewhere in the back and they are rushing to get her pills.  I don’t know if it was Kyle… so I am a little cautious with him for the rest of the trip 😉

Thursday

We land at Heathrow around 7am.  Some dude tries to roll us immediately as we walk out and tells us its like 60 quid (slang for: British Pounds) to get to our hotel.  Our thoughts are, “WTF that is $130 CAD which translated to “this is gonna be an expensive trip”, or “fuck this guy – let’s take the tube””.  We opted for the 2nd option and got on the tube.

When we arrive at the Hotel, our rooms aren’t ready, so we decide to get some breakfast.  By about 11:30am they still weren’t ready, so we figure, screw it, we are in England, where’s the pub!  After almost falling asleep while drinking our beers we decide to go back to the hotel… FINALLY… the rooms are ready!  We get the first key only to find out the room is still being cleaned.  We then head downstairs and after a 30 minute wait are told that the room is fine and to try again.  I do that, only to find out that there are now 2 people in the room…. serenity now!  I restrain myself from jumping over the desk and strangling the girl at the front desk and finally get a room plus 4 comped drinks at the bar (that helped ease the stress a little).  The room is crap for a 4-star hotel, and the bed cracks when I sit on it… this day is off to a bad start!

Fortunately this bad luck does a 360 and we meet up with the PAW/PAP crew for the dinner that I organized at Gaucho.  The room we got at the restaurant was seriously balling… I have been in a few private rooms before at some really amazing restaurants, and this is probably up there as one of my favorites!  Here are some pics:

PAP Dinner Gaucho
PAP Crew at Gaucho (from left to right): Darko, Nick, Carly, Jeremy, Boarderman23, themike537, Beanie, Greg Powell, GoodKarmaKid, Kyle, Brandon and WAZ.
Missing: JohnG, Myself, ArnoldPalmer

Gaucho Apps
Gaucho Grill Appetizers

Main Course
First Dish of the Main Course

In total the bill came to about 1600 quid (approx $3500) and everyone seemed to have a really great time.  (special thanks to the PAP guys for covering my portion of the tab – you guys really did not have to do that!)

After dinner we headed over to the Hollywood Poker Party at Cafe de Paris.  This was fun for a bit, but kind of turned to disappointment as we were cut off from drinks after only being there for around an hour.  Regardless, we still had a blast and I got to meet Chris (lifeofsports), scrawnybob and many others at this event.

Here is a pic of Picaddilly Circus:
Piccadilly Circus

After a bit more partying, we decide to head over to the Casino where they held the WSOPE.  I played a little roulette and ended up around $120USD.  It was really scary betting in UK Pounds as you quickly forget that they are really double and a bit in my own currency.  After the casino we cabbed it back to the hotel and called it a night.

The rest of the report is still to come… I will try and get it done in the next few days.

CAP Euro… Just a few days away!

London England

I have to say that I am pretty excited for CAP Euro this year. This will be my first CAP Conference and from what I have seen so far it looks like it is going to be quite the event. I know I would be pissed if I missed this one.

The last few weeks I have been pretty busy trying to organize our PAW Dinner which has been an interesting experience. The final numbers are at 16 and I look forward to meeting up with some friends from PAW, along with some new faces that I have never met before. Between doing this, continuously updating sites, and working on a big project at my day job, I have been keeping really busy.

I think this is going to be a pretty important event and will hopefully set the stage for many good things to come this year. I bought my new suit, got some amazing business cards (thanks to my buddy Randy at Fresh Meat Design) and even picked up a brand new blackberry so I can continue to receive all my daily spam while I am in London.

Here are the Top 5 things I am looking forward to at CAP Euro (in no particular order):
1) Hollywood Affiliates Party on Night 1
2) PAW Dinner (see above)
3) Affiliate Speedpay Booth – Lambo and Models… what more could you ask for!
4) Meeting up with everyone from PAW/PAP along with some of the programs that I work for, and some programs that I would like to work with
5) CAP Awards

So get that confidence built up, study the guide, pack those bags, and see you in London!