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  1. #1
    GPWA Dan is offline Former Staff Member
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    Default Affiliate Interview Series: RBS

    Name:  RBS-Banner.jpg
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    Age:
    28
    Living in: Europe
    Favorite food: A good steak
    Web sites: RakebackSafe.com, PokerStarting.com and others

    All your sites deal with poker in one way or another. Any plans to launch a site that’s not poker-centric?

    I have played more than 1 million poker hands online, and love the game. I find it very hard to write about things I know little or nothing about, including casino games. I only play games where I think I have an edge, which is not the case when playing against the house in casino games. I did buy a domain which is going to be for casinos, but I haven’t actually made the site yet – I don’t really know where to start. So I’m always working on poker-related sites instead.

    You operate three .com sites and two .net sites. Why do you have both types of sites? Which is better to have – a .com or a .net site? Explain.

    Hmm, yes! When I bought the .coms I also bought the .net versions, and for a long time .net just redirected to the .com domain. I can’t really explain, I just try different things – free bankrolls, rakeback, bonus, rev share and CPA – to see what works and learn along the way. I actually just bought some new domains and will start working on some niche sites, so if any manager from the rooms I already promote has something special for my players I will dedicate a site and make their poker room the featured room!

    What did you do before you became an online gambling affiliate?

    When I was very young I got work in a factory, and stayed there for 11 years. But since I also enjoyed playing online poker a lot and was quite intrigued by affiliating, I simply lost interest in my work. In 2008 I won a RakeTheRake freeroll. First prize was a $5,000 trip to Las Vegas which included hotel and a $2,000 WSOP side event. I was very excited and quickly invited my brother to come with me to Las Vegas. The trip was so cool. We got invited to a party at the Wynn. Karim Wilkins took very good care of us and we had a fantastic night. Unfortunately I was eliminated from the tournament after 12 hours of play. I went all in with pocket queens against another guy’s ace-queen. An ace came on the board and I was out in about 400th place, about an hour before the money bubble burst. The tournament had more than 2,300 entrants, with a first prize of over $700,000! This was the biggest experience of my life and afterwards I was even more hooked on the industry. About six months after the Las Vegas trip I got fired! Since I was in fact spending most of my time on the Internet, launching a career there felt about right to me, and now I am my own boss.

    Why did you become an online gaming affiliate? How did you get your start in the business?

    I started playing online poker around late 2004 when I saw one of my friends play. I knew nothing about the game, but it surely looked like some players at the table had too much money to spend! So I started watching my friend play, and soon I opened my own account.

    Almost right away, I found rakeback while searching for good poker bonuses. I started playing on InterPoker with 30 percent rakeback and a monthly $100 reload bonus. I played low stakes, so the $100 bonus took me nearly all month to clear, but it was very sweet since bonus plus rakeback was 90 percent rakeback in total, plus affiliate promotions.

    Since then I have been a “Bonus/Rakeback” ***** and have accounts on many sites on most poker networks, so I know a lot about how poker rakeback and bonuses work.

    Since my first rakeback deal, I always wanted my own site, but never knew what to do. In 2008 I started with some ugly blogs, and signed up with a few of the rooms that I liked myself. Later I found Poker Affiliate Solutions, which was much better than my blogs and was also very easy, and here we are!

    How long was it before you started making money?


    I sent a few friends right away, so I did earn at the very beginning. I can’t remember but I guess it took about a month or so before I got my first signup that was not a friend.

    What do your friends and family think of your work as an affiliate?


    My close family thinks it’s cool, but they don’t know exactly what it takes on a daily basis.

    What’s the most difficult thing about operating your sites?

    Hard to say. I guess keeping them up to date is the hardest thing.

    What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the industry?


    I am not the best person to be giving advice, but be patient, work hard, be more patient, work harder, be patient again, and read GPWA!

    What do you think the industry could improve?


    The most important area needing improvement is SUPPORT! As a poker player and affiliate it truly amazes me how bad and incompetent much of the support is in the industry, and this includes player and affiliate support alike. I see it almost every day and I simply don’t get it. Players need fast replies; three days or a week is not good enough. I can’t even remember how many times I have asked a question about X and got a reply about Y, or no answer at all! This will and does cost many players in the long run. I mean, come on! The players are already there; just treat them right! Support people have to know and try the sites, games, rules, terms and everything, or they are pretty worthless in my opinion.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? And now that you’ve been a private member for over a year, has this made any difference for you?


    I saw that other big affiliates had the GPWA Seal, and when I clicked I found very good information. The community seemed pretty friendly and helpful, so I joined, and wanted to be a private member if I could. I really love that some affiliates stand up against predatory terms and affiliate programs, as seen lately for example, with BeWinners (oh, I mean BeLosers). We really HAVE to do this or it will happen again and again with other programs! (CFPC, you rock, dude.)

    Your RakebackSafe site now carries the GPWA Approved Portal seal. Why did you apply for the seal?

    My thought was that the GPWA Seal would/could provide some trust in my rakeback site, so I applied for the seal, and I am happy to have it on the site.

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


    Well, if there is a secret or a magic formula, I surely haven’t found it yet! My first advice would be to know something about the games you promote, as players hate to get the wrong answer, and that will cost you money.
    Players can’t wait more than 24 hours for a reply, or they get annoyed, and might leave as a result.
    Again, work hard!
    Read forums!
    Update your sites frequently!

    You recently posted that, while you’re certain that you’ve had players “shaved” from some of your accounts, there’s no way to prove it. Why do you feel that way? Do you think that there might be some programs out there that, in the name of enhancing their “trust” factor, would submit, for example, to “surprise” audits by an outside, independent accounting firm? Please discuss.

    I said “I was pretty sure.” That's not 100 percent sure, but I have had the feeling that some programs cheat me! Since I don’t have any proof I am not in a position to say that much, although I will say that Full Tilt’s deductions are unreal and “seem” like theft in broad daylight. It actually CAN cost you money to send them players!

    Word is, you’re a smoker. Any plans to quit? And how do you feel about smoke-free bars? What about smoke-free casinos?


    Me quit = NO! Yes, I smoke. In my opinion this is a personal issue and nothing else! If I own a bar, casino or whatever, I should be the one to decide if smoking is allowed, not someone else. If staff don’t like to work in smoke they are free to find another job, if people don’t like smoke they are free to find another bar/casino to enjoy. Or at least that's the idea of a free world to me! If the NON smokers need a NON smoking whatever, then go and open it; if there is a market for it you will do well!

    How important is SEO to the continuing success of your sites? And regarding keyword density, how much is OK, and how much is too much?


    Honestly, I don’t know. I just try different things to spread it out. Please give me the secret if anyone has it!

    Do you use Facebook, Twitter or other social networks to promote your sites? If so, which ones and how?

    I use Facebook and Twitter and I have tried many other social media stuff, and have many followers, etc. But honestly I am not sure if it has been worth my time and effort; it surely does not feel like it.

    Time management is one of the biggest issues facing affiliates. What time management tips can you offer your fellow webmasters?


    I have no tips here. I go from my head and what’s in the mail.

    What’s your favorite vacation or getaway destination?


    I love Spain, and Malta seemed pretty nice when I visited, but Las Vegas is the coolest place I have ever been.

    If you could have one “superpower,” what would it be?

    Maybe “Immortality” since I hate to know that one day I will not be here anymore.

    What’s your all-time favorite TV show?


    I like poker shows on TV.

    What are three things that nobody knows about you?


    That will stay with me!

    If you could have dinner with any five people, alive or dead, who would they be? And what would be on the menu?


    Any five people who want to have dinner with me would be good enough. I’d like to have a big lump of meat.

  2. #2
    AWH-Gemma's Avatar
    AWH-Gemma is offline Former AM
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    I have been looking forward to reading this interview and you didn't disappoint

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    RBS (12 May 2011)

  4. #3
    GFPC is offline Private Member
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    Wonderful interview RBS - I really enjoyed the read and was even more intrigued when I saw my name - (GFPC, you rock, dude). That was really awesome and it makes me feel good when other affiliates show they appreciate what other affiliates do as well. You rock too buddy and thanks for all the support along they way mate

    Also reading some of your other comments i notice we have allot in common. I hope one day we can meet up at a conference or something and have a good long talk over some good drink (If i ever drink again - lol).

    Cheers to you mate - excellent interview!!!!

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    RBS (12 May 2011)

  6. #4
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    RBS
    RBS is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AWH-Gemma View Post
    I have been looking forward to reading this interview and you didn't disappoint
    Yeah that took a while I would might have said some things different now, since the interview was made in December !


    Quote Originally Posted by GFPC View Post
    Wonderful interview RBS - I really enjoyed the read and was even more intrigued when I saw my name - (GFPC, you rock, dude). That was really awesome and it makes me feel good when other affiliates show they appreciate what other affiliates do as well. You rock too buddy and thanks for all the support along they way mate

    Also reading some of your other comments i notice we have allot in common. I hope one day we can meet up at a conference or something and have a good long talk over some good drink (If i ever drink again - lol).

    Cheers to you mate - excellent interview!!!!
    Thanks for the kind words M8

    You truly deserved a little comment in there.

    Yeah, if i am ever going to one of the conferences i would love to meet you too. I might go some time in the future, but never went before.

  7. #5
    Puma's Avatar
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    Good read. I read the whole thing and just wanted to comment on the steak.....Now I have to go have one !

    Ps, I dont think facebook and twitter are worth it anymore as they atract alot of spammers.
    Epic Gambler - Reviews, Ratings, Excitement

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    RBS (14 May 2011)

  9. #6
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    rak
    rak is offline Former AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumacat View Post
    Good read. I read the whole thing and just wanted to comment on the steak.....Now I have to go have one !

    Ps, I dont think facebook and twitter are worth it anymore as they atract alot of spammers.
    Great interview - you had me at Steak mmm!!!! If you guys ever make it down to Australia - we should get together for an Aussie Steak... nice big thick piece of beef, medium rare, mushroom sauce, steam veg, bashed potatoes and beeerrrrrrrr.

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    RBS (14 May 2011)

  11. #7
    RBS's Avatar
    RBS
    RBS is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pumacat View Post
    Good read. I read the whole thing and just wanted to comment on the steak.....Now I have to go have one !

    Ps, I dont think facebook and twitter are worth it anymore as they atract alot of spammers.
    Steak is always good

    Regarding Facebook and Twitter: As i said in the interview it might not feel like it´s worth it directly, but i believe google like social media, so a little SEO and branding never hurts, so I keep doing it.

  12. #8
    RBS's Avatar
    RBS
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    Quote Originally Posted by rak View Post
    Great interview - you had me at Steak mmm!!!! If you guys ever make it down to Australia - we should get together for an Aussie Steak... nice big thick piece of beef, medium rare, mushroom sauce, steam veg, bashed potatoes and beeerrrrrrrr.
    I guess the top placement of the words "A Good Steak" is bad just before a long interview

    Australia looks so nice, I have never been there, I will most likely have to visit one day.

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