Tag Archives: Casino Affiliate

Life Update

It’s been a while since I posted here so I figured I would give a bit of an update on what’s going on in my life.

About a month ago I sold off a large majority of my poker websites.  I kept a handful to keep me with a bit of an income stream, but for the most part I am pretty much out of the poker game.  The main reason I did this is because I was getting fed up with the constant stories of affiliate programs changing their terms and screwing over their affiliates plus I really wanted to try and start expanding into other industries.

At the time I was selling everything I was working on a project to build a casino site about the best casinos online.  Since I already started with that project I figure I will continue building the site (which is almost done) then start focusing more on my plans to do things in other industries.  I am really happy with this site so far, and think the design is incredible (thanks Will!).

Recently I made it out to Prague for the iGaming Super Show which was a lot of fun.  There I caught up with some old friends and got to meet some people that I had spoken to many times online but never met such as Roger (congrats on finally making it out to an event ;)).  The highlight of the trip was definitely the CalvinAyre.com party which consisted of an old sewage plant that was still active, many midgets, beautiful women, all sorts of Mad Max characters, overhead jousting, a drum band, unlimited booze, pyrotechnics and much more!  Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera, but you can see a bunch of the pictures from that party here.

While over there I also managed to get down to Vienna for a couple of days, which was a very beautiful city (I added a pic of Belvedere Palace which is now a Museum to this post).

Once I finish up with the casino site my next plan is to build a kind of Men’s Online Magazine which will be sort of a cross between Askmen.com and Forbes.com.  I really don’t know how it will do but it is more something I want to do for fun and think that it could have great potential.  Also I am kinda new to other types of online marketing so it will be a bit of a learning experience.

Anyway, that is all for now, and I will try and get some more interesting posts up soon.

Budapest Affiliate Conference Trip Report

It had been a while since I had been able to make it out to a conference (Barcelona 2008 was the last one), so I decided to book my ticket to Budapest this year for BAC. It was nice that the conference was in a change of venue, which made it much easier to justify the long trip.

I arrived on the Wednesday morning after a long flight with a connection in Frankfurt. I was a little worried about going because I thought that I wasn’t going to know anyone there as many suckers people backed out last minute including the person I was supposed to split a room with (Nick). Regardless I still went and landed in Budapest around 11am. As I went to tell the cab where to go I realized that I was in a different hotel than I had thought. Meh, I went with it and headed to the new hotel (InterContinental). I arrived at the hotel to check in and looked down at my reservation to realize it was for a day later (crap I thought, but figured they would probably have a room). As I explained the situation that I might have gotten the date wrong to the guy at the front desk he replied, €œI hope your reservation is for today because our hotel is full€. Fortunately, he managed to find me a room after hammering away at the keyboard and speaking gibberish Hungarian to his co-worker.

After a bit of a nap, I started trying to find out who was in town and managed to get in touch with Mark from PAL. We decided to meet up for a beer and hit a cool little bar a short trip from the hotel. We took one of the oldest subway systems in Europe to get there which was pretty cool. It was nice meeting Mark finally as we had chatted many times online about how we were both former IBM slaves employees. As I was heading out I also ran into Richie formerly with Carbon who I had spent some time hanging out with in Barcelona and we exchanged info to meet up later. Richie (like me) loves to party so I knew he would be a good person to meet up with later.

On the 2nd day I got in contact with Greame (DealerDan) who was out having a few drinks with some people and invited me to join them. I met up with them all at this cool square, grabbed a few beers then took off because he had dinner plans with Bodog. Fortunately he invited me along so I managed to get a free meal from the Bodog guys (Seb and Claire €“ who had been my affiliate manager in the past but I never actually met). After a nice dinner, which included several Mojitos, we all headed over to the opening party which was hosted by Expekt. As with most gambling conference parties it was a complete sausage party. I wasn’t really in the mood to party so I just took it pretty easy. I also ran into Carly and Jo (from Pokerstars) and Andreas (darko on the forums, but never really posts). I ran into a bunch of old friends too which was nice and we were out of there early (around 2am). We went to hit up the casino, but they wanted to charge us 10 Euros to go in and gamble. We laughed about that and decided to save our money and call it a night.

Day 3 was the 1st day of the conference. I met up with Richie in the lobby around 9am who was with Ven (formerly at Party Poker) and we hit up the buffet at the hotel. We had a great breakfast laughing the whole time and completely lost track of time (not getting out of there till like 11:15). We then hopped on the shuttle and headed over to the conference. We did the whole stroll around the room (me looking for the best swag probably a bath robe from Chipleader). Richie knows pretty much everyone so he kept introducing me to a lot of people. I decided to hit up the SEO sessions (one on link building and the SEO roundtable) after which were all around pretty decent. Though I didn’t learn a whole lot, there were a couple of tidbits here and there that I learned which should help. After the conference we had a bit of time so Richie and I headed to a little bar close to the hotel. Richie ordered probably the gayest drink in Budapest which consisted of pink lemonade, a pink straw and a cherry, I opted for a beer. Mike from Poker Nordica also came and joined us for a drink then we all split up to our own dinners. I headed to the PAL dinner and met DealerDan in the lobby. There we waited like 20 minutes for Seb (yea, we gave him a hard time about it) then finally headed over to Spoon for an awesome meal. At dinner were several people I hadn’t seen in a while like Giorgio, Jason (GoodKarmaKid), Stephen and Russ from Commission Account as well as several new faces. After dinner Seb, Russ and I wanted to keep drinking so we decided to head over to the conference party sponsored by ChanceRoom. Again, it was a huge sausage fest so after we finished our few free drinks (they had this weird ticket system) and grabbed Alex Pratt and Andreas and headed over to a club that several people had been talking about called Bed Beach. Bed Beach was awesome! It was a huge outdoor club with a massive dance floor, tons of tables and a nice VIP section. We ran into many other people and spent the rest of the night mingling not getting back till like 6am (I think €“ didn’t wear a watch all trip).

At Bed Beach

At Bed Beach

On the 4th day (the last conference day) I slept in and missed Calvin Ayre’s speech which was one of the things I was looking forward to. Fortunately from what I heard from other people it was rather awkward and he didn’t really tell any interesting stories about entrepreneurship. When I finally did get to the conference I had my meeting with Lee Allen from Sticky Eyes (an SEO company). They were doing free SEO analysis sessions for conference attendees. This was really cool and Lee definitely knew his stuff. He definitely made me think differently about a couple of things and wasn’t like most SEO companies that just BS and pretends they know what they are talking about. Thanks Lee!! After that I walked around the conference a bit more and ran into Johan formerly at FTP / Gnuf. We had met a ways back in London at the Cap Awards dinner and he really helped me make the push to doing this full time. I also met his wife Anna who is with an interesting bingo company called Maria (a branch off from Unibet). Unlike most sites it sounds like they are actually building a brand than just a site (so if you promote Bingo check them out and tell her I sent you). I hung around at the conference a bit more and ran into Dee from 888 and chatted with them for a bit and finally left the conference. I ended up getting in touch with Graeme after who was having a dinner with some people close to the hotel so I decided to join them. There I tried Goulash for the first time, which I understand as being the “big dish” of Hungary and pretty tasty. After dinner we headed over to a party hosted by Bodog. We were greeted at the door with a glass of champagne and asked to take our picture with some of the Bodog Girls. Bodog REALLY knows how to throw a party. The venue was awesome, they had special tables where you could try the national drinks of Hungary (I liked the Unicum the best which is a bitters), tables with free cigars (good ones), constant Mojitos and Caipirinhas plus Hors D‘oeurves and even a hand massage table. The party ended around midnight and I decided to head back to Bed Beach with Johan and Jennifer from Betting Jobs. There we ran into many other people and drank and chatted the night away.

bodog

Bodog Girls at the Bodog Party

On the Sunday I slept in again and missed the “tourist session” as I was pretty hung over not rolling out of bed until about 4pm. I ran into Richie again at the patio of the Sofitel (the main hotel directly beside the InterContinental) and we had some drinks to nurse the hang over. Richie was with Chris from Poker Space and a few other people. Chris came up with a great idea to head to a shisha bar so Richie, Chris, Jen (Fortune Poker), and 2 Swedish affiliates (Mike and Peter) all headed over to this place recommended by the hotel. We ordered some massive platters of food and shared everything. The conversation started pretty tame but after Richie asked what everyone thought about Megan Fox things progressively turned into pure hilarity. We learned some new things like what “musting” is along with several other funny things. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

On a side note, some of the companies throwing the “Official” parties could really learn a thing or two from Bodog. Having a club filled with guys staring at 1 or 2 girls dancing, then making them pay for drinks (especially affiliates) to be there says a lot about your brand. Bodog goes all out when they do a party and it says a lot about their brand. In the future I think the parties should be turned into more of a “pre-drink” where everyone goes and drinks for free then heads out to various nightclubs around the city. If you were at Bed Beach you will know that industry people pretty much owned their VIP areas.

After that the conference was officially over for the rest. I stuck around in Budapest for a bit the next day then headed to Prague for a couple days to do some sightseeing. I am actually writing this on the train back from Prague to Budapest where I have to catch my flight in the morning.

All in all it was one of the best conferences I have been to and was really nice meeting many new people along with seeing some old friends. Till next one!

me-doyle

Doyle Brunson and I

Summer Is Finally Here

It is finally starting to get warm here.  Yesterday I went golfing with a couple of friends but played like crap.  Just trying to enjoy the nice weather.

I have been going to a lot of soccer games lately.  A few weeks ago John Goldie and I went over to Montreal to watch Toronto FC take on Montreal in the final game of the Canadian Championship.  Toronto needed to win by 4 goals which everyone thought was an impossible task, but I had faith they could do it.  We did a little pre-drinking before the game with all of the TFC fans, then headed over to the game on the subway.  The subway ride was insane.  Everyone was chanting and jumping up and down, at several points it felt like the train may even derail.  Once at the game, there were between 200-300 Toronto fans.  Toronto quickly went down 1 goal after a penalty kick, but shortly after came back to score 2 before the end of the first half.  The second half was insane as they continued to score and within the last 10 minutes put in the goal to give them their 4 goal lead.  Just before the end of the game they sealed it and put in a final goal making the score 6-1.  It was such a great experience as we stuck it out in the rain screaming our voices out and in the end were rewarded with the Canadian championship.  The players all came over to our section after the game and threw their jerseys out to the fans.

Also soccer related, Zinadine Zidane came to Toronto a few weeks back and I watched him play a friendly against “the Canadian All-stars”.  Most of the players other than Zidane and Palermo (Boca Jrs) were crap, but it was still cool to see one of the greatest soccer players of all time.

Next week I am going to start part 2 of my bartending training: the advanced course.  It sounds fun and will be pretty cool because I get to invent my own drink and present it to the class.  Also, I got tickets to see Sarah Silverman next week which should be fun.

On the work front, lately I have been spending a lot of time building a casino site.  It seems like everyone is getting into the casino side so I figured, why not.  If anyone has any good sites and wants to swap links, let me know.

My other sites are doing all right, just grinding on and not really growing much.  Need to start spending more time on those but as usual I have either been too lazy or have been more focussed on getting the casino site off the ground.

Lately I have also been thinking about heading out to Budapest for the conference out there.  Anyone else planning to go?

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!