Tag Archives: poker affiliate

Winter is Coming

So, its starting to get much colder out and lately I have been losing a lot of motivation to go out so I am trying to focus on getting a lot more work done.  I guess that is one of the nice things about winter, you can just hibernate and work on things you have been putting off forever.

Work wise things have been pretty slow so there isn’t much to report on.  I bought a couple of smaller sites that I am hoping to fix up and make more profitable, I guess time will tell.  The men’s magazine type site that I have been working on for a while now is finally coming along and is almost ready for me to keep adding content to on a more regular basis.

I have spent the last few months in chef school (night courses) which has been a lot of fun.  I have improved my chef skills quite a bit and am hoping I can use the knowledge I have learned to eventually open some kind of food related business offline.  I love cooking, and good food so it is something I have always wanted to do.

I am probably planning to attend the London affiliate conference in January.  Anyone else planning to go?  I’ve missed the London one for a few years now as I haven’t had much desire to go to London in January (would be nice if they did this in the summer), but everyone who goes always seems to say its a great event and it would be nice to go to the iGaming Awards again.

Anyway, that is all for now… wanted to update this blog as it has been a while since I made my last post.

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.

Real Estate Negotiations vs. Website Purchase Negotiations

After spending the last 2 or so years trying to buy a condo which I finally found a couple months ago I learned a lot about the negotiation process (after many failed offers).  Here are a couple things that I think could be used to negotiating the purchase of a website or domain (if you aren’t already using them).

Time Sensitive Offers (BUYING) – One of the things that I picked up that I thought could be applied to the affiliate industry is the use of time sensitive offers. Basically what I mean by this is putting in an offer, but telling the person your offer expires in X # of hours. This way you put the pressure back on the seller to either accept your offer (if it is the highest at the time there is a good possibility this will happen) and risk losing it, or holding out for a better one. Typically if you come in around the amount they are looking to get, but a bit lower usually you will get the site you want and save some money doing it. I find that far too many people on PAL and other forums have the worst approaches to both buying and selling their sites. People post offers in a thread (which is now visible to any other potential buyers) and give the seller an endless amount of time to make a decision. For me personally if I am going to commit to a purchase I want to know if I have it almost immediately, which is why I like using this approach.

Offer Conditions (BUYING) – Another thing that could work with purchasing websites (like they do in Real Estate) is putting restrictions or conditions on your offer. Almost every real estate deal will have some kind of condition on the offer, so why not do the same with virtual real estate (or domains). This way you can come in with a good offer and ask the seller to take the site off the market if he accepts, but also give yourself some time to do some due diligence on the property you are buying to make sure there is nothing funny about it.

Holding Back Offers (SELLING) – One common tactic used in the real estate market is to hold back offers. Basically this means you set a sell date, and allow everyone to present their best offer anonymously. This can create bidding wars back and forth as the seller will then usually try to work with the top 2 offers on price. Sure, its annoying as hell from a buyers standpoint and it might discourage some, but this could also lead you to making a lot more on the sale of your property than you had planned.

Anyway, I am sure there are some other things and I didn’t really plan to write this post so most of this is off the top of my head.

Life Update… Well I have spent the last month or so getting settled into the new condo. It has been a ton of work, but its pretty close to done now. Just need a couple more small things. Other than that I have been trying to get some other projects going that I have been working on for a long time. One is a men’s magazine kind of site that is a cross between Forbes and AskMen.com. Another one is a Casino Site that I will post more about once it is complete. Then I have a few more sites that I will be developing further down the road which include a real estate site, a local furniture store site and a site about local restaurants. I am really just trying to dabble in a bunch of different industries to see what works and what doesn’t. I also hired a writer that is helping me get many of these sites ready.

Here are a couple of pics of the condo that I think I promised in the last post:

The View:

My Workcenter / Dining Room

Guest Bathroom:

View of most of the place (there is a new sofa now and the dining table is now white glass):

Kitchen:

Affiliate Tip: I don’t think I have ever really posted many good tips on how to make money for a while so, here is an easy one. Scour around for domains that have some good keywords in them (I know all the really good ones are gone, but if you look for ones with lower search volumes or find dropped ones its possible – preferably generic with things like “online” “poker” “review” “code” “bonus”, etc. in them). If you have to spend $50-$100 to get a pretty decent domain. Then get someone to build you a decent template that you can reuse for several sites (this will be the most expensive part but it is a one time cost and the more you spend the more you will get in return). You should be able to get something decent for around $400.  Write around 25 pages of good content (the more the better) and add it to the site.  You should instantly be able to flip that site for around $2000 or more depending how much content is there on your $500 investment.

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

Cool Hand Poker… Could I Have Been Wrong?

Well, I was at the gym the other day watching the TV and what should come up but an ad for CoolHandPoker.com.  In a previous post I though these guys were just some random skin that was going to try and base their business model on affiliates, but it looks like I might have been wrong.  It is good to see these guys are actually spending some money advertising.

It is good to see that they also updated their homepage from a picture of a bunch of dorks playing poker to a couple of guys with semi-attractive women.  It looks like they are finally starting to find their niche.  Will be interesting to see what comes of this place.

Other News

Affiliate Speedpay closed their doors today and I can’t say that I am surprised.  I think it was great for some people, but I always had a feeling it wouldn’t last and was wary about having my money sent to some shady bank.  I never really wanted to open an offshore bank account because I felt it all seemed a little too shady.

BUDAPEST! In just over a week I will be heading to Budapest for this year’s BAC.  As usual Alex is doing an awsome job organizing it and it looks like this is gonna be one of the MUST ATTEND events of the year.  Will be good to catch up with some friends and meet some new faces / people I have probably talked to a shitload online but never met.  Thanks to Mark for organizing the dinner, looks like it will be awsome!

Anyway, that is all for now…. see everyone going to Budapest on the other side of the pond!

Affiliate Managers Contacting Through Facebook

I understand, its hard to get new affiliates to promote your room but sometimes I just want to tell these people to LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!  It’s one thing to send emails to addresses associated with sites, but sometimes the contact becomes a tad too invasive.  I get random people adding me to MSN with no clue who they are, and a few times now I have even received messages to my facebook account.

Like I said, I have grown used to the emails, but I look at Facebook as a more personal venue.  Even though it can be used as a great networking tool for people you have actually met or talk to, it should NOT be used as a method to promote your brand and contact potential affiliates.  It is actually just kinda creepy to me.

Anyway, I decided I would try and turn this into something productive that hopefully other affiliate managers could take something from and provide pointers on what I don’t like about these or most forms of “first contact” from affiliate managers.

Here is the message I received from NAME REMOVED of Cool Hand Poker with things in bold that could be improved if you had to use this method to contact an affiliate for whatever reason:

Hi Graham,

Not some mad stalker – I promise! :)  I am sure you prefer the term “e-stalker”.  “Stalker” is so real world.

I am an advertiser interested in promoting our Poker room – Cool Hand Poker via your network.  Network eh?  I bet you couldn’t even list some of the sites I have.

Been doing research to find appropriate media partners for my client, Belle Rock Entertainment. The company owns various online gambling sites (Poker, Bingo & Casino) and have been operating for over 10 years.  If you had done your research properly you could maybe tell me a few of my sites and why you think they would be a good fit for your room.

Cool Hand Poker is a relatively new and small poker room – it was launched late last year and we are aiming to grow the business. It is quite unique in its marketing, as the target market is “everyday people” or people wanting to learn & play poker socially / newbie poker players onto the site. We are not aiming for the big-stakes Professionals who usually go to the more aggressive sites such as Full Tilt or Poker Stars.  More on how this is a retarded idea later.  Do you really think you can keep out the “sharks” from a site.  Also, you do realize those are the ones that make money, not the guy who plays poker once a week.

We are focusing our marketing efforts on the UK, Canada Europe and Australia & NZ (not USA or Africa) – would be helpful to understand your traffic split (USA vs. target countries above) and targeting capabilities better?

In order for me to motivate for any media deal, we must provide as much detailed information as possible. Besides Cool Hand Poker, we also market Casino and Bingo – further opportunities to work together!  Oh, I forgot I was trying to sell you on why I should promote your stupid site.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Warm regards

NAME REMOVED

The thing that annoys me more than anything is NAME REMOVED has probably copied and pasted this message to hundreds of affiliates.  Anyway, since it wasn’t an email I will let facebook deal with the spammers roaming their site:

am-facebook

Her messages lack personal touch, and really do nothing to make me want to work with them.  For further proof here is an email from NAME REMOVED with the things that need improvement in bold:

TITLE OF EMAIL: Advertising/Affiliate partnership (FuzioPoker)‏ First off, the site is Fuzion Poker (instant points off for spelling mistake)

Hi Graham,

By way of introduction, my name is NAME REMOVED and I am the Poker Affiliate/Publisher Manager at COMPANY REMOVED.  And, you already lost my interest.  I don’t give a fuck who you are, why are you contacting me!  It’s bad enough you creeped my whois info to get this email instead of looking for the site contact email.

I am an advertiser interested in promoting our Poker room – Cool Hand Poker via your website. Would be grateful if you could contact me to discuss opportunities?  “Cool Hand Poker”, really, thats the name you went with?  Ummm… I don’t care about opportunities, you contacted me, remember.  What do I get out of this?

My aim is to find appropriate media partners for my client, Belle Rock Entertainment. The company owns various online gambling sites (Poker, Bingo & Casino) and have been operating for over 10 years.  Whatever.

At this time, I am specifically focusing on our Poker room – Cool Hand Poker – the emphasis being on fun, free or low-stakes, social poker games. Especially for newbies wanting to learn poker in a friendly, safe environment.  Fun, free, low-stakes?  Let me guess, you probably want me to send these players that will make me no money on an MGR deal too, right?

We are focusing our marketing efforts on the UK, Canada Europe and Australasia – would be helpful to understand your site and traffic split better?  Do your own research.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Not likely.

Warm regards,

NAME REMOVED

Anyway, I hope someone learns something from this post so I don’t have to use you as an example for one of my future posts.

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?

Back in Canada

drinkinggameWell, I’ve been back home for about a week now and have been kinda sick since getting back.  Definitely miss Argentina and can’t wait to head back again.

Tax season is upon us now and one of my least favorite times of the year.  Nothing is more fun then sending the government a big fat ass check that they are just gonna blow on stupid bullshit.

Missed out on Amsterdam this time, but looks like everyone is having a blast as usual.  Trying to decide which conference to go to next.  Where is everyone else going?

Jeremy Miller launched a blog recently.  Please, turn off the stupid “YOU MUST BE LOGGED IN TO COMMENT”… where’s the fun in that!

Been having some awful poker sessions as of late.  Just the other day was playing some 2/4 PLO and hit a set on the turn in a decent sized pot.  The other guy bet, I reraised big, and he shoved me all in on a JT53 board (I hit 5′s).  I made the call, and he showed AA97???  Anyway, river came an Ace… gg asshole.  I need to stop playing.

This weekend is the Toronto FC opener and my brother is taking me (allegedly).  I don’t always believe everything he says, but he seems to be serious so hopefully its a go because I really want to go to the game.  Gotta pick up a new jersey for that.

Other than that, life is boring… can’t wait to travel again.

/end boring post

How Do Retarded People Get Jobs as Affiliate Managers?

Recently I received an email that was titled “Attractive Proposal” so I decided I would investigate further to see what this affiliate manager was offering….

Original Email:

Dear Webmaster,

My name is NAME REMOVED; I am an Account Manager at
www.Affiliateclub.com.
I find your website very attractive for our brands:
www.casinoclub-poker.com,
www.pokerkings.com

Our affiliates are getting fantastic conversion rates!

Do you want to hear more about it?

Kind regards,

NAME REMOVED

Account Manager
My response:

Hi NAME REMOVED,

I am in the process of trying to find a room to get a league going
ASAP.  Here are my requirements that I have been asking rooms for:
Hybrid CPA/Rev Share Deal
Tourmanent Prizes

Tell me a bit about your software and what you can offer.

Regards,

Graham Rowlands
GNG Media Inc.

Her reply to my email (notice how she doesn’t even READ MY FUCKING EMAIL!!!):

Dear Graham,

Thank you for your reply.
We have 2 brands with Boss Media software:

1. At www.casinoclub-poker.com – we offer 100% up to 200€ Welcome bonus ( here we can make a special promotion for you)

2. At www.pokerkings.com we offer 100% up to 300€ Welcome bonus

WE are usually working on Rev Share Deal.

What do you think about it?

Kind regards,

NAME REMOVED

My last and final response ever to Natasha:

Well NAME REMOVED, here is what I think about it…

For one, you never even gave me a proposal, but rather decided listing the standard
bonuses on your websites would get my attention.  I am not sure how that is supposed to
sell me.  I think you started this off with a great attention grabbing title to your
email, but you really need to work on the follow through.

And two, there was nothing “attractive” about it.  I get a million of these kind of
emails all the time, and this kind of junk just wastes my time.  Don’t beat around the
bush, sell your brand, tell me what I am gonna make, and give me good reasons why I
should promote your brand, over one of the competitors.

Anyway, hopefully this helps you in the future and thanks for giving me something to
write about on my blog.

Better luck in the future!

Graham

retards

Don’t Go To Venezuela / Welcome to ’09!

First off, this is the first post in 2009 so HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I had a good new year until the end of the night when my jacket managed to walk its way out of the restaurant that I was at.  This is never a good thing to happen especially after a ton of alcohol as when I got home I sent some stupid email to the restaurant.  Anyway, turns out someone “mistakingly” left with my coat and it is waiting at the restaurant now to be picked up.  So… the point of me telling this story.. don’t use your computer when you are really drunk.

Yesterday I got back from a week in Margarita Island, Venezuela with my good friend Greg.  It was a nice relaxing trip, but I would probably never go back there.  The people were pretty rude, unfriendly and didn’t seem to welcoming to tourists.  For example, I went to the mall and tried to order a pretzel, the girl just looked at me with one of the coldest looks and was like “no”.  I couldn’t tell if they didn’t have them or if she just didn’t want to sell one to me.  Also, when we were leaving the Country at the airport they had these Chavez dolls that talked.  I decided to push the button to hear what it said and some douchebag came over and said, “you aren’t going to buy it so why are you doing that”.  I just looked at him and said, “this is why your country sucks and why I’ll never come back”.  I am so tempted to register MargaritaIslandSucks.com right now, but I’ll sit on it for now.

I shouldn’t say that all the people were bad ovbiously, as one of the bartenders at our resort was awsome, but I think he was probably the only nice Venezuelan we met down there.  I even asked some Venzuelan/Canadian girl about the general attitude we had been receiving at one of the clubs and was told simply: “they don’t like gringos here”.  On top of that the island itself had a communist feel to it, and at times didn’t feel very safe.  When I asked one girl about going to a club one night she must have told me about 5 times to “cuidado” which means be careful in spanish.

The trip wasn’t all bad though.  I spent most of my time there lying on a beach getting a tan, doing little to no work.  We left the resort quite a bit and took a jeep tour of the island which was a ton of fun.  It was 8 hours long and included a boat tour, open air jeep driving around the island (you could stand in the back which was a ton of fun), off-road driving, lunch, stop at a beach, and much more all for just $50.  Here are some pics of that:

The food at the resort was pretty decent, so I can’t really complain about that.  One thing that was a little annoying though was Greg and I were probably the only single guys at the resort so the “girls” situation was awful.  Long story short.. if you are thinking of going to Margarita Island, I’d pick somewhere else (like Jamaica) instead.

Well, next week I am headed back to Buenos Aires :)  I am so excited to get back there as the winter cold is killing me being inside all the time.  I need to get out and move around as I feel that winter makes me feel so much unhealthier.

As for ’09, I think this will be a good year.  My main goals are to start expanding on non-gambling projects and investigate other areas of online marketing.  I think my strong points are consulting others so if possible I would like to focus on that a little more.  Hopefully this year I can come up with a more long term goal for myself as right now I still have no clue what I want to do with my life.  Time will tell!  If anyone is planning to come to BsAs (Buenos Aires) or wants to, send me a note.  Best to everyone with this year!