First and foremost, Merry Christmas to everyone or happy holidays if you celebrate some other weird holiday.Â Just kidding, I don’t discriminate ;)Â I had a nice Xmas with the fam.Â Pretty quiet, but lots of great wine and amazing meals!
Anyway, so lately I haven’t been up to all that much.Â Just lots of shopping for the holidays, which is thankfully now over, and trying to get some work done, which is as usual pretty unsuccessful.Â Also been hibernating in my house as it has been ridiculously cold lately.
Vacations… I bought a plane ticket to head back to Argentina on January 21st for 2 months.Â The prices were so good and since I have been hating every day of winter since I got back I thought it was the right thing to do.Â Also, I will be going to Venezuela on January 6th for 1 week, so if you are looking for me, good luck!Â I’ll be on the beach without my computer.
Work… trying to get back into it.Â Have many projects that have been sitting in limbo that I am trying to get going again.Â Wish me luck!Â Dreading doing my taxes, but I know it has to be done.Â I have the gov’t, bunch of criminals!
Hopefully everyone is enjoying this little break in the year and having a nice time with their families!
I end this post with something I saw today on Wicked Chops Poker… possibly the greatest commercial of all-time!Â I won’t give any spoilers, BUT be warned… this is NSFW.Â Enjoy!
I am still recovering from the past few days of debauchery as I write this post, but let me try and recap what was probably one of the funnest weekends of my life thanks to Aced.com.
As an active affiliate with Aced, I was given the opportunity to join them for an affiliate retreat in Vegas thanks to their amazing affiliate manageraffiliate director poker room manager (I think that’s the title he is using now): Brandon Berndt.Â Brandon is one of the most liked people in this industry and definitely knows how to throw a party (anyone remember the Stinkyfish Party at the 2006 CAC?) so I knew this was going to be a weekend to remember and there was no way I was going to miss this.Â In fact, I had contemplated extending my time in Buenos Aires, but decided that it was probably in my best interests to make it back for this weekend in Vegas.
My friend (and business partner) Greg and I arrive in Las Vegas and manage to track down Brandon, Kendall and Jeremy “$100 Slot and Candy College Fund” Enke in the airport and jump in a stretch limo to the Hard Rock Hotel.Â (If you know Vegas, you will know that the Hard Rock is one of the best party hotels to stay at in the whole city).Â We walk into the hotel and notice a rather large line forming around the check-in counter.Â Fortunately, this is completely irrelevant because we are going straight to the VIP Room where our room keys are waiting for us.Â Here we pick up the itinerary for the trip which includes things like: partying in the penthouse suite for the HRH hottie model search, dinner at Nobu, private poker tournament, bikini contest in the penthouse, and the best booth in Body English on the last night.Â OMFG this is gonna be fun!
After a quick shower and stop in the room we all head to Center Bar (the bar right in the middle of the casino).Â Here we meet up with John Halloway, Jeremy Miller, and Mike Murphy (plus his girlfriend Alicia).Â We have a few beers, shoot the shit then head over to Ago (Robert Deniro’s restaurant) for an amazing dinner.Â I am really picky with food, but this was probably one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had in my life!
After dinner we hit the casino floor for a little gambling.Â Jeremy M. helps teach me how to play craps again as I had only played once before.Â I quickly lose $150 or so and find out that we are going to be going up to the Penthouse Suite now to help judge a “Hottie Model Search”.
We all pile into an elevator and these two girls follow in behind.Â Because we had been taking so long the elevator started to make a buzzing noise, so I said, “Sorry girls, you are too heavy”.Â Fortunately they did not hear this, but half of the other people in the elevator did
Up we go to the top floor and walk into one of the most incredible hotel rooms in the world!Â The room comes complete with huge bar, bowling alley, stripper pole, massive LCD TV’s everywhere and much more!Â There are smoking hot girls walking around everywhere and are all dying to get to know you to try and swing your vote: AMAZING!
We’ll get to the girls pics in a bit, but for now here are a couple from walking around the room:
Me, Kendall, Jeremy, Greg, and Brandon
Jacuzzi with stripper pole in the background
Bowling Alley on Left, Bar area straight ahead
Guitar on the dining room table
After chilling here for a bit and many free vodka red bulls, some of the group decides they are going to hit the strip club.Â Greg, Mike and I decide that we would rather hang out at the party for a bit more and hang back, but from what I heard the next day they had quite a night and one stripper in particular by the name of Candy was able to retire that night thanks to Jeremy “Breaking All the Stripclub Etiquette Rules” Enke.
We hang out in the Penthouse for a little while longer and decide to break out for one of the clubs downstairs.Â Greg and I head over to Wasted Space, which is a club owned by Freestyle Motocross Rider, Carey Hart (also known for Hart and Huntington Tattoo’s).Â Wasted Space is a rock bar/club with attitude and mixes in a bunch of other types of music.Â There is gorgeous girls everywhere, amazing music and we have a blast here for several hours.
Wasted Space Day 2
After only a few hours sleep, I wake up around 8am for some unknown reason.Â Possibly the red bull is still flowing in my blood, it could have something to do with all the oxygen they pump in the rooms or I am just really excited about the day ahead.Â Since everyone else is still sleeping I decide to hit the casino for some gambling.Â I go on a serious run at the craps table (at one point rolling for about 30 minutes straight) and make a few hundred dollars.Â Funny Moment: At one point I went to throw the dice and missed the table completely and hit some girl.Â The dealer said in all his time there, he had never seen this happen. By this time I manage to get a hold of Brandon and we hit the bar for a bloody mary to reminisce about the debauchery that went down at the strip club.Â Apparently one of the Aced Consultants, John, is quite the legend at the Spearmint Rhino and knows many of the strippers personally so he managed to hook the guys up with quite an incredible night.
After some time the rest of the crew starts to file down to the casino floor and we all head for lunch at the Pink Taco.Â We have a nice lunch then all head up to the Lucky 7 Suite to do a little presentation about the future of Aced.Â We talk about some of the current issues, cool custom features like their Outs program and learn the future plans for the company.Â All I can say is that they are definitely headed in the right direction and I expect some big things from these guys in the years to come.
Stripper Pole in the Lucky 7 Suite
Lucky 7 Suite
Bar in the Lucky 7 Suite
Jacuzzi In Front of the Stripper Pole
We break up for a bit and Greg, Mike +GF and I decide to hit the mall for a little shopping.Â We pick up some new clothes for the evening and head back to the Hard Rock for a poker tournament that the Aced guys have set up for us.Â We have the sickest table in the room which is usually reserved for high roller games.Â The poker game is tons of fun and we are pretty much laughing having an amazing time from start to finish.Â John Halloway gets nice and lucky against me after calling a bet pre-flop with KJ for a 3rd of his chips.Â I have AQ and since over half of my chips are in there I have to push no matter what comes on the flop.Â With K Q X on board I make the shove and so goes my chance at the $1500 prize pool generously put up by Aced.com.
The crew playing poker in the new poker room at the Hard Rock.
After the poker ends we head to Nobu for dinner thanks again to the Aced guys.Â They organize an Amazing dinner with huge platters constantly being rolled out to our table, sake, something called purple haze and a massive desert platter.Â We feast like kings and have a great time over dinner.Â For the food pictures you will have to talk to Kendall, as he was doing his John Chow thing after every course came out.
Our table at Nobu
Amazing Red Snapper Dish
The night is young and we are already getting buzzed so we head to the Lucky 7 Suite again for a couple of drinks.Â After hanging out for a bit its time once again to go up to the Penthouse Suite for a Bikini Contest with the girls that we met the night before.Â I won’t get too much into detail here, but rather just post some pics to show the amazingness that was organized by the Aced guys:
Me and one of the Contestants
The Bikini Contest
Me and Sanja… one of the coolest girls there.
John from Aced.com on the couch and Carey Hart on the right
The crew in the Lucky 7 Suite
After the contest ended we all headed back to the Lucky 7 Suite again to have some more drinks.Â After about 30 minutes it was time to head down to Body English to finish the night off in style.Â We had a VIP Host escort us to the club where we were sat at the best table right in the middle of the club.Â Our security guy Joe quickly introduced himself and said if we needed anything at all he was there for us and he wasn’t kidding.Â Right after that he went to scour the club for hot girls to bring to the booth.Â While he was off doing this, our bottles started to arrive in true Vegas style.Â 3 girls carrying bottles of Dom and Grey Goose show up with huge flares and all:
We were definitely the center of attention for the whole club at that point.Â The night got pretty sloppy and people started to head back upstairs to the casino or their rooms.Â Brandon, Jeremy M. and I stuck it out the longest then decided to hit the casino after for one last craps session.Â The rest of the night is kind of a blur but included things like me playing craps alone at the table for like 45 minutes, Brandon cashing over $100 on a penny slot after one spin that lasted about 15 minutes, and much more.Â What a day that was!!!
We were all up around noon as many of us had to check-out to catch flights home.Â After a quick lunch in the Hard Rock I thought, what Vegas trip would be complete without a trip to the Gun Range.Â So, Brandon, John H, Kendall, Mike, Greg and I all got into cabs and made our way over to The Gun Store Las Vegas.Â Since many of the people had never fired a gun before, we decided that the Coalition Package was probably our best bet.Â This included:
John “#6″ Halloway – John knew instantly when he saw this target that it was his choice… others were a little more tactful in their approach.Â When asked why he chose that one, John replied “I’m from the ATL”
The happiest man holding ammo
Me and the M-16
I think Kendall is even happier than me to be holding that gun!
Thank you Brandon, John and Xander for everything this weekend as this was probably one of the best weekends of my life!
Finally, to wrap this up…. If you aren’t promoting Aced right now, I suggest you do ASAP.Â They treat their affiliates like kings, and did so much for us this weekend which I am so thankful!Â Or, I could say, if you don’t promote Aced, Brandon will shoot you:
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
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.Â Eva was really cool to meet, and definitely look forward to working with her more in the future.
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:
La Sagrada Familia
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!
So, its been ages since my last post and a lot has changed/happened.Â Thanks Giorgio for the reminder that I need to get back on this thing with an update on what is going on in my life.Â To celebrate this new post, I thought I would change the theme on the blog to something that I didn’t hate as much.Â The old theme was really getting to me and I think I need a change.
I think part of the reason for the lack of updates, has been a lack of motivation overall from me over the past few months.Â So, in an effort to combat this, I am gonna get some things off my mind in this blog post.
I, like many other affiliates I know, am falling into ‘the trap’ and becoming very lazy.Â Part of the reason for this is because when I was at IBM my job was a complete joke and 95% of my time was spent sitting around doing nothing.Â Funny enough, with the remaining 5% of the time when I actually worked I managed to get the highest promotion levels and reviews from my managers… go figure.Â This wasn’t because I didn’t want to work, there just simply wasn’t any work to be done.Â Could you imagine what they would think of me if I really busted my ass the whole time I was working putting in 100%!!!
To some people this would be the dream job, but I’ve never been like that and have always appreciated a good challenge.Â In fact, this could be partly why I am getting lazy lately, because I figure if I do nothing or very little work, things will get harder for me and I will have to start busting my ass again…. WRONG!
In fact, being lazy is actually having an opposite affect and it seems that every month keeps getting even better.Â I guess I am riding the fruits of my labour in the past as they are starting to pay off, but I know this won’t last forever so I really am making a strong effort to turn this bad cycle around.
I’ve tried taking vacations, breaks, getting up earlier, excessive drinking, but really nothing seems to be working.Â The reality is, none of these things are gonna change anything and I am the only one that can do that.Â So, going forward I am really going to make an effort to change this.Â I am going to make more goals and set more targets for myself.Â I think that will help.Â Anyone got any suggestions on staying motivated?
Hell, I’ll do 2 back to back blog posts now to prove that I am trying to break the laziness!
Additional Shout Out / Poker Affiliate Tip
Shout out to Chris from Poker Affiliate Solutions (or PAS for short).Â Chris told me tonight that he had my blog in his blog reader (Google reader is my choice) and was also hinting that I should do an upate.Â I am just glad that I finally know who the other RSS reader is beside me ;)Â JK… i know there are a few of you out there and appreciate that you care what I have to say.Â Anyway, PAS provide services to affiliates such as the ability to create a rakeback section on your site and offer deals that you wouldn’t be able to get normally without knowing someone.Â I have created a rakeback section on my site using their software and so far it has been great, though I am sure Chris is thinking it would be greater if I sent them more players ;)Â They have a really cool admin back-end and it makes things really easy.Â All you have to do is bring the players, so if you haven’t checked them out I recommend dropping them a line today if you are looking to offer something like this on your site.Â Chris also has a blog over on PAS which is even more overdue for an update than mine!Â You should get on that Chris
Its been a long time since I updated this thing, as I have been going a little stir crazy trying to get all the things done that I have been putting off both prior to quitting my job and things that have come up since doing it. But I figure the time has come and this site needs an update bad.
So, as I mentioned I left IBM roughly 2 weeks ago and have been doing the full time thing ever since. The biggest pain since doing this has been trying to organize all my stuff for taxes. I have spent so many days thinking about taxes, organizing paperwork, etc. that my head is starting to spin. Fortunately, I met with an accountant and he is gonna get me more organized so hopefully this won’t be an issue next year.
Beyond that, I also bought a fairly large poker forum a few months back which I have been busting my ass to try and build it back up. It was almost at the point where it was starting to die off, but I think it has come back to life a little and it is starting to get very busy again. I have been wasting far too much time with this site though, and it is really cutting into my productivity. I’ve basically had to teach myself all sorts of stuff with vBulletin (such as how to upgrade it, install plugins and much more). It has been an interesting experience, but very -ev dollar wise so far. Thankfully most of the crap is now out of the way so I can start focussing on other things once again.
Ok… enough of the boring stuff… since I have been doing the affiliate stuff full-time I have been doing a lot of my work out Starbucks, so let me end this on a positive note with…..
Top 5 Reasons I Love Doing Work at Starbucks
5) Relatively cheap internet. At $35 for a whole month, I can’t really complain.
4) It gets me out of the house so I don’t become a hermit.
3) After a few of their coffees you feel like you are on crack as you get super-wired. Their coffee is really good too.
2) I get to watch everyone else who is working real jobs run in for a minute and run back out, while I chill there in the nice comfy chairs.
1) The scenery. There are so many pretty girls / yummy mummies that come in there all the time that it sure beats staring at my wall.
So far the full-time thing is going pretty good, but I am finding it hard to keep myself motivated all the time. Anyone got any tips?
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.
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
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
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.
I am finally starting to recover from all the partying and sleepless nights during my short visit to London for CAP Euro.Â All I can say is WOW, what a trip!Â 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 learnÂ what happened on theÂ 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.Â 2 hours later, we are on our way to London!Â Some old Indian dude seems to fall in love with Kyle and keeps staring at him on our flight.Â 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.Â Turns out alcohol is free on the plane… this thing is off to a good start!Â 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.Â I don’t know if it was Kyle… so I am a little cautious with him for the rest of the trip
We land at Heathrow around 7am.Â 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.Â Our thoughts are, “WTF that is $130 CADÂ which translated toÂ ”this is gonna be an expensive trip”, or “fuck this guy – let’s take the tube”".Â 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.Â By about 11:30am they still weren’t ready, so we figure, screw it, we are in England, where’s the pub!Â After almost falling asleep while drinking our beers we decide to go back to the hotel… FINALLY… the rooms are ready!Â We get the first key only to find out the room is still being cleaned.Â We then head downstairs and after a 30 minute wait are told that the room is fine and to try again.Â I do that, only to find out that there are now 2 people in the room…. serenity now!Â 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 theÂ stress a little).Â 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.Â The room we got at the restaurant was seriously balling… I haveÂ been in a fewÂ private rooms before at some really amazing restaurants, and this is probably up there as one of my favorites!Â Â Here are some pics:
PAPÂ Crew atÂ GauchoÂ (from left to right): Darko, Nick, Carly, Jeremy, Boarderman23, themike537, Beanie, Greg Powell, GoodKarmaKid, Kyle, Brandon and WAZ.
Missing: JohnG, Myself, ArnoldPalmer
Gaucho Grill Appetizers
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.Â (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.Â 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.Â Regardless, we still had a blast and I got to meet Chris (lifeofsports), scrawnybobÂ and many others at this event.
Here is a pic of Picaddilly Circus:
After a bit more partying, we decide to head over to the Casino where they held the WSOPE.Â I played a little roulette and ended up around $120USD.Â It was really scary betting in UK Pounds as you quickly forget that they are really doubleÂ and a bitÂ in my own currency.Â 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.
One thing that I see a lot of affiliates missing out on is capturingÂ their visitor’s email address.Â For example. I was looking at aÂ thread on PAP, and wonderedÂ how this guy was gonna make money, if he was giving everything away for free.Â Â
This is one of the best things you can do with your traffic, because this gives you a chance to continuously sell toÂ your visitors over and over again.
Otherwise, if you don’t capture their email, they may never come back!Â Chances are they found your site doing some random search on Google, which they are unlikely to search for every again.
I am sure many affiliates don’t do this, because they think this is something hard to implement.Â WRONG!Â If you use a software such as Aweber, you can set up a nice littleÂ autoresponder (basically this means a program that automatically sends an email when one is sent to it) similar to the one that Kyle and I have set up on the homepage of FuzionPoker.com.
Here is a graphic for those of you that don’t want to click out:
There are a few different autoresponders available, but AweberÂ is the most well known.Â Their Unlimited Autoresponders plan includes:
- Unlimited Autoresponders, Unlimited Follow Ups, Unlimited Broadcasts, Stores 10,000 Leads Free, each additional 10,000 is $9.95,Â Unlimited Campaigns,Â Unlimited Customer Support via 800#, Live Text Chat, and Email
All for about $170 for the entire year!Â I used to think this was a lot of money, but now that I am using it I realize it is worth every penny.
If you would like to try it out, they will let you sample the product before you decide to buy it. Just click here for the FREE demo.
I suggest giving some incentive for their email (such as a free book, or special poker strategy video).Â That way you ensure that they are giving you their main email address, and you are both getting something in return.Â By capturing your visitors e-mails you will be able to let them know about your latest promotions (whether it be a freeroll, or new bonus code) making your job 10 times easier and allowing you to sign them up over and over again!
I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and New Year celebrations, but now its time to get back to work. I have been really lazy with work over the past few weeks (mostly due to all the rich food, and good wine), but all that has to come to a stop now. Its 2008, a new year full of tons of amazing opportunities. All the mistakes I have made are now in the past, and I can only look towards the future.
I think this is gonna be an exciting year for me, and I expect it to be a crucial year for me in my overall life. I plan to stop being so complacent in my life and start DOing a lot more!
I have already bought a few books, which I plan to have completed by year end. I will write more about them as I read them, but right now I am on The 4-hour Work Week.
I plan on working on all my sites even more, including a few redesigns and reviving some projects that were put on the side.
I plan to start responding to my emails more, as I have been getting pretty lazy responding them all. To accomplish this, I purchased a new Blackberry.
I would like to start giving back more. This idea still needs to be worked on how I will do it, but hopefully I can inspire some people on this blog.
There are probably a few more things that I am leaving out, so I will add them later as I think of them.
Its a new year, and I can’t wait to play this one out!
As you may know, I have been asked to judge the PAP Contest where a lucky affiliate will win a trip to CAP Euro.Â So far I have not been very impressed by several of the entries so I thought I would share some tips in my blog for those that really want to win this thing.
1) Stand out from the competitionÂ -Â Make yourself memorable.Â When the judges are looking back on all the entries, if yours was very similar to all the others it may get lost in the mix.Â Check out Jeremy`s entry for the Shoemoney competition.
2) Sell yourself – Tell the judges why they should pick you, and what makes you better than the rest.Â Pretend its a job interview and let them know you REALLY want this job!
3) Make Use of Technology – Similar to the first point, why not make use of current technology.Â Video is hot, and everyone likes videos… why not try that!Â Some other things you could do is make a flash movie, a comic strip, a song, anything to show how bad you want this thing!
4) Go Overboard – When I won the Poker.com contest to go to the CAC I completely overhauled my site and put Poker.com as the main sponsor of the site.Â I had their logos all over the place, and banners where appropriate.Â This all goes back to showing how bad you want to win this thing!
5) Be Entertaining – If you make the judges laugh, then you are one step closer to getting their vote.
6) Use Pictures – The last thing the judges want to do is read a 1000 wordÂ boring essay on why you are so great.Â Mix in some pics to keep them interested.
7) Easy to Read – Make your key points stand out. Â I like the format of this list where I state a main point, then explain it in detail after.Â It keeps the reader`s interest much longer.
The winner of this V.I.P. Challenge will enjoy the following:
Free roundtrip airfare to CAP Euro
Paid Hotel at the Olympia – Jan. 24th – 28th
A killer dinner and night on the town courtesy of PAP (could get crazy)
Entry to and Dinner at the prestigious 2008 CAP Awards Dinner