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    GPWA Gary's Avatar
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series -- Chris -- pumacat

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    Age: 33
    Hometown: Toronto
    City currently residing in: Toronto
    Favorite food: Hamburgers
    One book everyone must read: Stephen King's "The Dark Half"
    Sites:
    www.samthecasinoman.info
    www.pumaskittenkrib.yuku.com

    How did you first become involved in the online gambling industry? What did you do before that? Are you a full-time affiliate now?
    I got involved in online gambling by hitting a banner for a free $10 at a real time gaming casino called Golden Nile Casino. Free money and a chance to win a big prize sounded great. If memory serves me correctly I believe I spent $700 and tried to cash out but was denied. With that I did some research on the casino and found a few gambling forums with clear warnings about that particular casino. I found the discussions intriguing and decided I would love to get involved in that type of business. Before that I had never gambled and was heavily involved in the music scene as a DJ. Now as I get a bit older I am settled in the retail business full time and in my third year with the same company. I am happy with the way things have turned out.

    Do you gamble online? If so, what do you play?
    I love gambling online. It's a great way to pass the time while getting a chance to win some big money. I play a lot at Grand Mondial Casino because they have some great service and always pay when I win. Gambling online also allows me to do the necessary research I need to promote trusted casinos on my sites. If you are asking when I made my fist dollar you could say the very first month I started promoting. If you are asking when I started earning some real income then I would have to honestly answer never. I get a payment here and there for a nice chunk of change but never has any casino affiliate program consistently paid me from month to month. I never count on earnings when budgeting for the real world. At the same time I wouldn't have many of the nice things I have now if not for being a successful affiliate.


    About your avatar . . . it’s intriguing, but it raises a number of questions. Who’s talking about you? What are they saying? And why do you want them to stop?
    After surviving in this business for 6 years or so it’s clear that people are going to talk about you. It's a fact of life and I welcome it. But at the same time some people would be better off if they spent their time worrying about their own business as much as they worry about the business of others.

    Tell us about your new forum at Sam the Casino Man. We understand its opening was delayed due to a nasty accident you had at home.
    Sam the Casino Man is a project I am currently working on and yes it has been delayed due to a little head injury at home. Rather silly really but I did hit my head hard on a cement towel rack causing me to not be able to be on the computer for hours at a time in order to complete the forum and its portal. However, the building process of Sam the Casino Man has resumed and my intentions are to simply create something different. I have spent hours upon hours visiting other sites and having a look at what they offer. To me nothing really stands out that makes them unique. Nothing makes me want to return, and this is not meant to offend anybody because I know it’s hard to run a gambling related forum and Web site. It simply means that I have to come up with something very special to attract people and get them to return. This is not done overnight; it takes months to set up something like this. The wheels are always turning for me. I hope by its completion to have online gamblers from all over the world saying, "Wow!" and affiliates who visit saying, "Why didn't I think of that?"

    One of the focuses of Sam the Casino Man is slots tournaments. Why did you decide to provide the tournament listings right on the home page? How effective has it been for you? How popular are these tournaments with players?
    The decision to place slot tournaments right on the main page was simple. People love to play slots and don't want to spend a lot of money. Online gamblers including myself want to win as much as possible while spending the least amount of money. This enables my visitors to do both.

    Another big part of Sam’s is the forum. Why did you decide to offer a forum?
    A forum in my opinion is the most important part of any successful gaming site, hands down. It is by far the best way to interact with visitors and get them to return to your site. A forum also allows you to place multiple listings of great casinos while warning players of less than honest casinos out there, all on the same page. Discussion is key in this business and a forum is the best way to achieve this.

    For affiliates who are considering adding forums, what should they know about it before they make that decision?
    If I could give any advice it would be this. If you don't have a lot of extra time to maintain a forum, then don't start one. A forum is the most time-consuming of all aspects of a Web site and requires continuous monitoring to ensure its success. And for the love of God put some time into how it looks. I have seen many affiliates just start a forum without any idea how to make things look great, believing people will just visit out of the blue and start depositing. That's not how it works.


    What’s the most difficult thing about administering forums?
    Catching the spammers while I sleep. I've yet to create a sleeping device that will allow me to wake up when a spammer has posted in an attempt to make some money on my hard work. I promise to share when the device is ready.

    What advice would you give someone starting out in the business, especially when it comes to promoting one’s sites?
    When you start out in the affiliate business be sure to do extensive research first before promoting any casino, bingo hall or online poker room. Not all programs can be trusted, and doing a few months of research will save any affiliate a lot of time in the long run. When it comes to promoting any Web site be sure to have a plan. Use places like Twitter, YouTube and dedicated areas in other gambling-related forums to promote your site. You may not see results right away but I promise any affiliate that over time people will come and they will deposit. Under no circumstance should an affiliate starting out spam other sites (forums) in an attempt to get people over to a new site. Burning bridges early will cause a quick exit from this business, and all your hard work will be for nothing. Joining popular linked sites like the Payday Joe's group or finding another link program that you like will increase your traffic as well.

    One thing that seems of critical importance to affiliates is time management. Could you please offer us three time management tips? How about some e-mail management tips?
    I am by far the worst person to be asked that question. I often have 20 Web sites open at the same time while talking with another 5 people on MSN, all while trying to think of the next big idea that will make me rich. At the end of the day I have done have the work I should have. If I were going to give any advice it would be to turn off your MSN and stick to one thing at a time. Don't worry, the people on your MSN and all your other ideas will be there when you finish what you’re doing. Regarding emailing I would say this. Do it the right way. Don't hunt for emails online and start sending spam to hundreds of people you don't know. Yes, these strangers may deposit sometimes but all its takes is one angry person to complain and you risk losing everything you have earned.

    You recently came down hard on free-spin promos that are used for getting new players to sign up. What’s wrong with these promos?
    The free spin promo is by far the dumbest promotion to ever hit our industry. Free is free, right? I don't see anything free about these types of promotions. Every single one of them requires that you deposit. The "Keep what you win" quote found on many of these promos is an outright lie and should not be allowed. Casinos who offer this are misleading their players while at the same time causing affiliates to look bad. To me there is no such thing as a free chip anymore. Let’s take an example: "Billy's Casino" offers all new players $5000 free and one hour to win as much as you can. So far so good. During that hour you win $2000 and according to the advertisement you can keep that money because you won it. But hold on. Now the casino is telling you that that money actually has to meet a play-through requirement of 20x the bonus before a cash-out can be made. Well, OK, still sounds like a pretty good deal. But then here is the kick in the ass. The casino now requires you to deposit $20 or $50 before that money you won can be transferred to your real account. OK, well, a $50 deposit so I can have a $2000 bankroll to play with still sounds pretty good. But then the casino hits you with the real boot to the butt and tells you that of the $2000 you won during your free hour of spins, only $100 can be transferred to your real account. So now the free hour of “win as much as you can” has turned into a simple bonus of “buy $50 get $100 free with a 20x play-through.” Well, why not just say that in the first place instead of trying to fool the player and making the affiliate who promoted such a stupid promotion look dishonest?

    What’s the hardest thing about operating your sites, and what annoys or distracts you the most when you’re trying to get some work done?
    The hardest thing about running my sites is the ever-changing promotions and changes to affiliate programs’ terms and conditions. Things change so quickly it’s often hard to keep up. Banners and promotions on my sites are changed for two reasons. Either the casino has changed the promotion or the affiliate program has created some ridiculous terms regarding your earnings, with the result that I quickly erase them from my site until they come to their senses. Regarding what annoys me. Hmmmm... Well, the most annoying person during my work time is myself. I often get sidetracked and check hockey scores or watch highlight reels or get on YouTube. Then nothing gets done and things have to wait for another day or I end up staying up all night to get what had to be done completed.

    How did you discover the GPWA?
    I think my friend Mojo introduced me to the GPWA a few years back. She suggested I have a look and take some time to see what the site had to offer. I am extremely glad she did. In fact I would be lost today without such a resourceful site to help me. The GPWA has helped me see the back end of how things really work and has provided me with the tools to make me a better affiliate. My thanks to GPWA and its members.

    If you could change one thing about the online gaming industry (besides UIGEA), what would it be, and why?
    I would regulate the whole system in an attempt to create a more stable industry. Too much time is spent by affiliates keeping track of what is wrong with this business that could be spent improving it. Regulating casinos and affiliate programs would result in more trust and force accountability.

    Besides the opportunity to make money, what motivates you to continue working so hard in this industry?
    I’m a creative person at heart and the task of always coming up with new ideas to better my business is fun and exciting. I enjoy the people I speak to and sharing the challenge of the industry. They say one person cannot make a difference but I believe we all change the affiliate industry every single day we turn on our computers and start working on our sites. This motivates me to continue even in the toughest of times.

    What do your friends and family think of your work as an affiliate?
    They think I own a casino, a poker room and an online bingo hall although I have never once stated that I do. It’s almost as if the word affiliate does not exist in the real world.

    If you had to pick five keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be and why?


    Pick your battles: You can’t do everything gambling related all at once, so don't even try.
    Talk to other affiliates: Other affiliates can offer fresh thinking that can help you.
    Don't spam other affiliates: It’s like going to the bathroom on a neighbor’s lawn.
    Welcome change: If you don't like continuous change this business is not for you.
    Get over to GPWA: Help is only a click away and it's the cheapest support ever. Free!

    What do you see as “the next big thing” in online gaming?
    The next big thing in online gaming is going to be this. People who gamble online will be able to order a slot machine for their home where they can deposit with their credit card or debit card. Funds would instantly go into their casino account and winnings would be paid via a "winning printout" that could be claimed at your local land-based casino. You heard it here first. Let’s see how long until someone uses the idea and gets rich.

    If you could visit any three places in the world, what would they be, and why?
    The first place I’d visit is the Grand Prive offices. I would really like to see their reaction to a pissed off affiliate showing up on their doorstep. The second place I’d visit would be New Zealand because of its beauty, peace and Xena the Warrior Princess. The last place I would visit would be Heaven to ask the Almighty why are we really here. Maybe I should do that one first and save the trip on the other two.


    If you could have one "super power," what would it be? And why?
    I’m a big lover of animals, and my super power would reflect that. My super power would cause any person who intentionally harmed an innocent animal to feel that pain they inflicted multiplied by 10. Too many animals are mistreated around the world and everybody has to step up and protect them.

    If you were casting a movie (with yourself in the starring role), who would play your romantic interest? And why?
    I think it would either be Drew Barrymore or Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler's Mom). Both are extremely beautiful in my eyes and are amazing people in real life.


    And finally, please tell us three things that nobody knows about you.
    Well, well. We finally get to the good part of the interview. Let’s see. Three things nobody knows. OK, here goes.

    I have an E.C.E diploma (Early Childhood Educator) with 8 years experience working with kids between the ages of 2 and 10 years old.

    I have been a DJ at a strip joint.

    My original forum, Puma's Cat, was actually dedicated in memory of my longtime feline friend Puma. If only she knew that apostrophe would cause me so much grief in the search engines!!

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  3. #2
    GFPC is offline Private Member
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    One of the finest interviews I have read. Very good interview Chris. You clearly made some honestly brilliant observations. I really enjoyed reading the whole thing. Awesome....

    I particularly like the part about the animals.. looks like a few of us have the same feeling..

    Way to go Chris it was a well written article. I wish you all the best in your new forum and the name is just so cool.

    Reminds me of the old days hanging around Gould and Yonge St. Playing chess on the side there.. LOL the good ole days.

    Cheers

    Steve

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    TrishOZ is offline Public Member
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    Great Interview! Well done Chris

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  7. #4
    thepokerkeep's Avatar
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    Very good interview! I always enjoy getting to know the people behind the nicknames and sites. Thanks for sharing some awesome insights.
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
    President / CEO - Gambling Affiliates Union

    Casino Affiliate Programs
    Affiliate Resources
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    Email: admin @ thepokerkeep.com



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    systemlays is offline Private Member
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    I agree with you about the free spins. They should be illegal. Many of the claims made by online casinos in signup offers are marginal at best.

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    Good stuff pumie. I agree on the msn too. It can steal your time!

    You did forget to add what a great friend you are.

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    Hi Puma

    Thank you for the wonderful read! And thanks to GPWA for putting it up here for us to read and learn more about our friend.

    Great story, wonderful answers, and of course i think your beautiful for thinking of the animals in the world.....and on your trip to Grand Prive....can i come?

    Lol

    Pat
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    Grab a cold one or a cup of coffee and relax with gambling industry professionals!

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    tomh is offline Sponsor Affiliate Program
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    Isn't it great getting to know the people behind the avatars?

    Great idea, GPWA. In an industry that has so few faces, it great to know even a few. Now all we have to do is get all affiliates and affiliates managers to pay a similarly personal level of attention to their visitors and clients.
    Tom Hill
    Affiliate Manager
    ChipSplit.com

    email:
    tom@chipsplit.com
    twitter: @chipsplit

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    Hey Chris,

    Been great to get to know you over the years! Thanks for the read my friend.

    Joe

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    Connie B's Avatar
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    Hello Chris,

    Great interview!

    "I have an E.C.E diploma (Early Childhood Educator) with 8 years experience working with kids between the ages of 2 and 10 years old"

    Amazing! You will hear from me very soon.

    Cheers,

    Connie Burstin
    Burstin Marketing Group Inc.

    Services:

    * Copywriting
    * Human Translation & Localization
    * Creative Services
    * Marketing Consulting

    Products:
    * www.excelife.ca


    Gmail: cburstin@gmail.com
    Facebook: Burstinmarketing
    --

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    Excellent interview, very well done, and I totally agree about the "free spins" that are not free.

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    Topboss is offline Private Member
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    Wow Chris - That was a great interview.
    I enjoyed reading it - I especially agree with you about animal abuse and the free spins bonuses. I have always maintained that if all casinos stopped the "free money" - everyone would be on a level playing field and it would save a lot of headaches.
    With regards to your visit to Grand Prive offices - I honestly suspect they don't even have a proper office because I am based in JHB and they are in Cape Town, and in the past ( before all this debacle ) they used to regularly fly to Joburg and come to our offices, and a few times we suggested coming to them instead and they always said No, they will come to us.....I would have thought they would have liked to save the air fare.....unless they had no offices for us to visit....

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    casinobonusguy is offline Private Member
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    Chris
    When do i send the money to start off your grand prive office trip visit fund?lol

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    Hi, I found the interview interesting, but nothing new...

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    GFPC is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecobika View Post
    Hi, I found the interview interesting, but nothing new...
    Not very nice dude!!

    Chris is very valuable here at the GPWA and has brought many new ideas to us all, perhaps rephrasing your tone next time would be in order.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by GFPC View Post
    Not very nice dude!!

    Chris is very valuable here at the GPWA and has brought many new ideas to us all, perhaps rephrasing your tone next time would be in order.

    Steve
    Hi, yes, I am new in this forum, but I am not new in the industry, if this is your forum, you can delete me. Unfortunately for you, I am not an *s*-licker, I have my own ideas and thoughts and I will never change my tone...thnak you for your time!

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    GFPC is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecobika View Post
    Hi, yes, I am new in this forum, but I am not new in the industry, if this is your forum, you can delete me. Unfortunately for you, I am not an *s*-licker, I have my own ideas and thoughts and I will never change my tone...thnak you for your time!
    Your certainly welcome to your views and thoughts but your completely ignorant when it comes to etiquette. Good day to you.


    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by GFPC View Post
    Your certainly welcome to your views and thoughts but your completely ignorant when it comes to etiquette. Good day to you.


    Steve
    Hi dude, thank you for your time! Have a nice day! I do not care etiquette.

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    GFPC is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecobika View Post
    Hi dude, thank you for your time! Have a nice day! I do not care etiquette.
    Your welcome!

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