Sunday, December 01, 2013

General Updataments

Nothing too exiting to read here, I’m really just updating to keep this blog just a little bit better than completely dead and to link to my latest and greatest over at SNG Planet. That is where I am blogging nowadays. Still have fond memories of the innocent days which went with the start of this blog… poker was shiney and new and not bastardized by business for me back then. Now the fact that I have to think about it every day, and face the brutal realities of how dirty a business it is, taints the enjoyment so much that I sometimes wonder if it is worth bothering!

Sorry, bit gloomy.

Actually, I still enjoy my occasional tournament nights.

Find Zoom PLO to be very relaxing (3+ tables required to properly shut out the outside world).

Latest Innovations Over At SNG Planet

Newest of all is a fantastic new widget. This is our Poker Loyalty Program Calculator, and it compares the loyalty points-collection type schemes at different sites. At the moment we only have the non-US sites in there (Party, Stars, Tilt, Titan, 888 and OnGame’s Red Kings). Phase 2 will follow in the new year and add in the US sites… speaking of which…

US Sites

Lock, ah Lock, I had such high hopes that you would genuinely shake up the US market back towards the start of the year. 

After breaking off with Carbon and becoming their rival, after recruiting some ‘C’ level poker celebs to represent your brand, after showcasing the Stadiums Tour… after all those claims that ‘this time it would be different’.

Alas, it appears it was not to be.

Cashouts were the killer.

Calling it a ‘backlog’ does not really do things justice. It makes this sound like some niggling minor issue, when in fact there are players waiting 6+ months for their poker bankrolls to come back. When there are people who trusted this site with their money who have been left in limbo.

Now Lock have left the revolution network (with some drama) and are attempting to go it alone.
They just lost 3/4ths or more of their players, and are still not paying back the huge majority of people.

I was patient.

I wanted Lock to succeed.

I wanted to write about the payment issues getting solved, and a real rival to Bovada (now the biggest US site) and Carbon (Merge Network, my favorite, with their bigger tournaments / sngs focus).

The reality is that if Lock survive at all it will be as a shadow of their promised self. Just another US site scratching together a few players to get by.

What a shame, a damn shame.

Quick, Cheer It Up Mark – There Must Be Some Good Stuff Going On

Lots of promos in December, as the poker sites bring out their festive best. Some great ideas too Winter-Warmers, turbo SNG races and more… then along come PokerStars.


As far as December promos are concerned, PokerStars climbed up a stepladder, took down their pants and shat, hard, on everyone’s head.

Yep – their ‘December Festival’ is that good!

I will not turn this post into one of the many so called blogs which just mimic the poker news and promos. A couple of words will surely suffice. $5m Sunday Million, Golden SNGs, Missions, Milestone hands and a ‘mini’ tournament series with $10m in gtd prizes (which is far bigger than the biggest events which their rivals can offer!).

I’m going to have my last major blow-out of the year on the 8th Dec, when the $1 million Sunday Storm and $5 Million Sunday million both run… wish me luck! (or even better, check out my PokerStars Review Here, sign-up, and then lose your stack to me at the final table!).

GL at the tables, Mark

Friday, March 15, 2013

Best Online Omaha (PLO) Players

Found this li

Passive Income - A Grand Illusion??

One of the driving ideals behind my poker business is the goal of a 'passive income', that is to have cash coming in while I sit on the beach somewhere nice*. In todays post I will air my concerns that there is actually no such thing - that, in fact, my successes will only lead me to work harder and longer hours to achieve even bigger and better future goals.

* actually get quickly fed up sitting on beaches... but you get the idea!

This thought had been floating for a while and always comes to the forefront when I see some minor poker 'names' writing for other websites when they could have made a killing by now by creating a site or two of their own a few years ago. Sure it is nice to get paid for an article, or a training session (or to play poker!), the problem I always have with this is that as soon as you stop (writing / coaching / playing) so does the money. It is like working for a corporation, only without the benefits of a fat salary and company car - to me this is a lose / lose. Sure, some people enjoy what they do, but it is more like a builder who 'enjoys' making brick walls than anything else to my mind...

Anyway, so I'm mulling this over my morning coffee... and in one way I am convinced that by stopping writing for cash and focusing on building my own 'empire' (thanks for coining the phrase for me Scott!!) that some of the 'waste' that I see others partaking in is avoided. If I wanted to leave the poker business tomorrow then they would probably fetch a decent price tag - far more than the total of payments from p5's / Cardplayer et al would have reached. If I stop working on them now then the player base and continua

Here is the rub for me - my mind is 100% focused on making money long-term, on financial security for when I stop writing / creating / translating / expanding those websites. I have aggressive plans underway that will reap huge rewards this year and even bigger more aggressive plans outside of poker for later which are just starting to become a reality now.

Now I am starting to wonder if I will really ever be able to stop for long enough to enjoy the passive side of the income - or whether this is in fact an illusion...

A Question Of Balance And The Great Rakeback Debate

Rakeback is one of those 'issues' in the poker community which will

New SNG Planet

Almost forgot to come back over to PG Poker and announce the all new SNG Planet!

Yep, a new look, a new back end… and a ton of new material. As well as new languages on the way.
We went with Drupal (for any techies out there), a Content Management System which means we can add articles directly to the site without having to go through the creating in DreamWeaver then uploading with FTP routine which has been part of my process for a long time.

The design was created by a Mexican gentleman who works on a lot of gambling sites (I’ll pass his details if any webmasters are interested) and looks much cleaner and fresher than the old style. There are still some parts I am not yet happy with… small things like blockquotes and some tables. These are the minority though. Overall I am very pleased with the new look and hope that this new template will be with us for a good few years.

One of the side-effects of a very intensive couple of months transferring all the pages and testing the new design is that I got a little behind on my writing.

This has now been addressed, and we have a backlog of strategy pieces going up at around 1 page per day. We had to go through the articles one-by-one while changing the site, and identified a lot of pieces which were glaringly out of date.

I recently put up a list of new articles on my SNG Planet blog (my main blog these days) so will not repeat the whole list here.

Be great to see you over at the new SNG Planet… There is lots more planned, including a new widget, Spanish, updated French versions and more.

GL at the tables, Mark