Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tragic New Years in Bangkok

For those who haven't heard the news:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/31/AR2008123103094.html

I am ok and I do not know of anybody who was at Santika, however of the probably 100 foreigners I know who are in Thailand, it would be hard to imagine one of them not being at this club last night.

Santika is a very popular club with upper class Thai's and with foreigners. It would rank in my top three favorite clubs in Bangkok and I have been there many times.

The following videos are disturbing, so watch them at your own risk:





I really hope everybody from 2+2 and from our friends in Thailand are ok. The reports I am hearing now have the number dead as high as 58 with possibly more than 200 injured.

If you have any news please email it to grindblog at gmail dot com and I'll put it up here.

UPDATE 1: Two girls I know were at the club but were seated near the door when the fire started and got out fine, nobody in their party was injured.

UPDATE 2: Everybody from 2+2 appears to be safe. One guy I haven't met reported he was there and got away safe, though a girl from his party is still missing, a friend of his girlfriend, and she is presumed to be one of the victims. RIP.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Top 10 Secrets of Being an Online Poker Super Affiliate

I have contemplated making this post for a long time, and have finally decided to do it. Many people will not like that I have posted this, however for many others it may give them a ticket out of the rat race, as it has done for me. So for all you guys slaving away at jobs you hate, this is for you, read carefully. Be sure to send me a thank you note when you quit your day job.

10 Most business comes by referral. It is hard to build traffic to your site. It is hard to get new signups. Once you get people, you must make them happy and treat them well, so they refer their friends. Once you have a large group of loyal users, it will snowball and grow on its own.

9 95% of your earnings will come from your top 3 sites. Don't waste your time promoting 30 poker rooms. It will take a month to setup all of those affiliate accounts and it will be a huge pain in the ass withdrawing all of that money. Find the top three rooms that work for you, and push those ones hard. You'll get bigger MGR or CPA deals faster and it will cut down on a lot of your work. And no matter how hard you try and how many rooms you promote, you'll never beat the golden rule...95% of your earnings will come from your top 3 sites.

8 Make partnerships The largest drivers of affiliate signups are large poker content websites. You have three choices...you can buy a large content website, and grow it...or you can build one from scratch. Or you can take the third choice and find somebody else who has already done one of those, and partner up with them. You can offer to provide their links, run a rakeback program on their site, run banner space on their site for a share of the revenue and on and on and on. Many webmasters are not great affiliates. Many affiliates are not great webmasters. These people make perfect partners. Go find some! Send sincere emails expressing interest to work together...and list some of your credentials. Keep it short and simple and respectful. Look for some kind of an 'in'. Either you know something who knows them, you know them or you know somebody about their product or service or site.

7 Most people signup to new sites when changes happen. In relatively uneventful times there is just a slow trickle of people signing up at new rooms. However when major changes occurr, there is a short and powerful rush of players to new sites. So stay on top of the news, on what rooms are changing networks, entering and leaving countries and what is happening with the UIGEA. Then when you spot an opening, buy a case of Red Bull and work 16 hour days signing people up until it is over.

6 Be your own affiliate. There are several companies in business providing links for existing affiliates promising you can make more money by providing their links to your players than you could get on your own. However this is often not the case...all you have to do is follow these steps and you can likely get more on your own. These companies make all of their profit because people simply don't understand the system. And they work hard to keep you in the dark. They will also often not give you individual trackers so you have to trust the numbers they give you, causing further problems.

5 The rules are flexible. Such and such site doesn't allow rakeback. Such and such network doesn't allow US players. Such and such forum said this. Nothing is what it seems in poker affiliating. Nearly all rules are flexible, yes that one too. You just have to know how to ask, who to talk to, and above all...you need to learn to keep your mouth shut. (yes, I see the irony).

4 Get a parent affiliate. At many rooms you get a 20% or more override for referring affiliates. No you can't simply create an account for your brother and keep his...both affiliates have to be active and real. However you can approach an existing affiliate and ask them to refer you. They can't give you anything back out of this, but they will have a strong vested interest in seeing you succeed. I have learned most of what I know from the people who referred me and I give all of my sub-affiliates training, advice and coaching, because when they succeed, I succeed.

3 The published rates are for noobs. Every single poker room will give you a higher rate if you contact them privately and make a compelling case for why they should give you one...many rooms you simply have to ask.

2 The top poker affiliates make far more money than the top poker players. And with far less variance. The top poker affiliate sites on the internet are PokerListings, PokerNews and PokerSourceOnline. It is a convervative estimate that the owners of these sites make more than $2,000,000 per month. Every single month. That is more than Durrr, Phil Galfond, Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey or Phil Hellmuth make from poker, by far.

1 You know those ebooks you see advertised, promising to show you how to get rich on the internet in your spare time? They are all bull shit. Poker affiliating is the real deal Holyfield. Nobody makes eBooks about it because the only people who know how to do it don't want anybody else to know how to do it. Well now you know too.

enjoy

Everything I Know About Business I Learned From Poker

This is a great blog post from Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com. Here is his Wiki bio:

Tony Hsieh (pronounced "Shay") is the current CEO of online shoe seller Zappos.com. Prior to joining Zappos, Hsieh co-founded and sold the internet advertising network LinkExchange to Microsoft for $265M in 1998. Hsieh graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Computer Science.
Like Tony, I agree that everything I know about business, I learned from poker. The only area he did not stress enough in my view is networking. That is the one thing which has helped me the most in both poker and business. I was a terrible poker player when I surrounded myself with other terrible players. When I met great players and surrounded myself with them, my game took off.

In business it is well known that relationships and connections, often times, mean much more than how hard you work or how smart you are. Having the right mentors, business partners and advisers in business can make all the difference. Much like poker.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sailing around the world

This is a great, great read. Very similar to my Thailand thread and story. An American sold all of his belongings, bought a sailboat and sailed around the world for a year with his brother.

Very inspiring stuff, whether or not you would be motivated enough to do the same thing.

thread here

pics of sailing around the world

I have the time and resources to try something like this, and it sounds like it would be a lot of fun...the two things that give me strong pause are: I have a strong and irrational fear of dying. I can't even handle flying. I imagine after the first major thunderstorm I would swear never to sail again. I'm also terrible with fixing things. I was never good at working on my cars when I was younger, or fixing things around the house. I even pay the technicians in my building to come change light bulbs for me! Evidently when you own a boat, things are always breaking and you have to constantly be fixing them.

Nevertheless it is an inspiring read and you can't help but want to try it after reading that thread.