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    Default Affiliate Interview Series - Steve (GFPC)

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    City currently residing in:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Age: 38
    Favorite food: Rotties (my friend Ozzy makes the best homemade ones)
    One book everyone must read: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
    Sites: http://www.getfreepokercash.com, http://www.getfreepokercash.net – in progress, http://www.raiseyourpokercareer.com – in progress, http://www.livefreerolls.ca – in progress

    You bring in an interesting breadth of experience to your work as a poker affiliate. One of the jobs that you’ve held is promoting live poker. What exactly did you do?

    Good question. Originally my girlfriend and I used to play poker in pubs/bars in the city with a group known as the Red Hot Poker Tour. We also played at a place called Hurricanes and we developed some good friendships along the way. During this time one of the guys who ran some of the events at Hurricanes asked me if I would like to get into business to run live games for bars across the city. I agreed right away and thought it was a terrific idea. We purchased all kinds of poker chips, tables, and cards for these events, as our goal was to do many throughout the week.. We successfully started out doing them, and yes, we had a great time. We met some new people and had a lot of fun. The bars loved it, as it brought clients, and we learned a lot. However it was a hard sell, and both my partner and I had conflicting ideas, so we decided to sever our business relationship.

    It was at this moment I decided to get into online affiliating, which I wanted to combine with the live events we were doing.

    You mentioned in the GPWA forums that you were learning how to become a poker dealer. What was that training like?

    Oh my God, this was a real interesting job. One of the hardest I have ever done. The learning part was very long. Training consisted of four to eight hours a day, depending on whether you did two sessions or one per day, for four to six weeks. It was best to do two so you could get practice in. It’s very intense; you have to spend hour after hour doing the same thing over and over, such as pitching the cards in seat positions 1 thru 10. You also have to learn to shuffle properly, and cut the cards properly. Then on top of it, be able to calculate the pot, for rake purposes. That was the hardest part. Not that the math was hard, but you needed to do this while making sure you controlled the table – the speed, and the vibe of the table. If you made one single error, the players would take advantage of this. Plus the goal was to get action, so you had to bring your best act to the table, get players happy. Control the betting rounds, be able to read hands in seconds and ship the pot. I was really fortunate to have the best trainers in the market. They were top notch, so I was able to watch them and use the skills they have to make my presentation a good one. I dealt mostly the high-end tables because I was fast, and got the action going. You also need a sense of humor. Really important. Players will call you every name in the book, throw cards, get angry because they are losing. You have to be able to handle this and yet be professional. Controlling the chips was also important, as everything was on camera, everything needed to be seen at all times. There are so many aspects to dealing, not just dealing cards. There’s like 50 actions every hand and you need to control it all and smile.

    It most surely made me a better poker affiliate, because I learned to be humble, I learned how to listen, and most of all how to be patient. Some players by nature don’t trust you or the casino you work for. They think it’s rigged. So often they ask questions, watch you rake the pot. Every chance they get they ask you how much you raked. You must be fast with your reply, and honest. The same goes with being a poker affiliate. We are in this business for the brands we market; we’re the face to the poker sites. We represent them, so we must be honest at all times, and take care of all our players’ concerns. I make it a point to reply to every problem, and when I can’t I take it to my affiliate managers. One of my flaws, I guess, is I have been told I am not support, I am the affiliate. None the less, the experience dealing live showed me you must provide players with some form of support for their concerns. It makes them respect you.

    Dealing definitely made me a better live player, for sure. I am able to read players better. A lot better. I can see common tells, and know when a player is weak. I was able to even know a lot of the time, the two cards a player was holding while dealing, based on his/her body language. Online play, not too much. Maybe just calculating pot odds. Also maybe being more aggressive post flop, i.e., continuation bets, double barrels, and the triple bullet..

    You used to work for BellCanada. What did you do for them? And what experiences from that job have helped you with your work as an affiliate?

    I worked for Bell Canada directly and indirectly for many years after I graduated from University. Most of the time I worked as a manger for an independent dealer. I was responsible for all aspects of the business, such as hiring and firing employees, scheduling shifts for 30 people, doing payroll, taking care of all customer complaints and concerns, and being the middleman between staff and the owner of the business. Part of the job was to keep both groups happy. I also controlled a huge corporate account with our city’s transportation system. We owned the account for all their cellular phone needs. Sort of like being an outside sales rep. Later on I moved on to a corporate location due to some of the business practices my employer was doing. They were unethical, so I transferred over to a corporate store owned directly by Bell. Here I was a sales rep, and worked with 20 or so other top sellers in the market. It was more money and less stress. Plus I loved the people I worked with, and made some really good friends.

    These jobs with Bell Canada really gave me a sense of organization. I learned how to manage time, set goals for me and the employees, and generally how to be professional.

    In poker affiliating you need all these qualities. Organization is a must, although I am working on this every day. It’s a struggle to keep up. Luckily I now have two employees who are working on our brand-new site, “Raise your Poker Career.” We are doing this from the bottom up, developing our own poker CMS program, hopefully to be able to distribute. I have learned how to communicate responsibly to them so we can have a good business relationship. While working with Bell I dealt with people from many walks of life, and many cultures. I learned how to be open and courteous to all races of people and respect their customs. This experience helps in poker affiliating, because you have to communicate with people all over the world.

    Chess is another game that’s important in your life. In fact, it’s so important that you’re trying to create a game that combines poker and chess. How do you envision combining the games? And why is chess such an important part of your life?

    Let me answer the second question first, as this hits the center of my being. I love chess with all my heart. It’s been in our family since I was born. I had a brother, Bryon, who was one of Canada’s best players ever. He was an International Master and represented Canada in many Chess Olympiads (similar to Olympics). He was believed by some to be one of the most talented players ever, and many books were written on his games. He developed some theories in chess that are considered brilliant. There is also an autobiography written on him by a close friend and teammate, Lawrence Day. Do a Google search and you will see his life story. He’s pretty famous. I am so proud of him. Unfortunately in 2004 Bryon died at 48 in hospital. He was diagnosed with cancer five years earlier but the treatments were very hard on him and he had some heart problems and passed away peacefully in his sleep. To make some type of analogy you could compare him to Stu Unger. He lived a very interesting life, and was truly an insightful, brilliant man.

    And of course I have decided to build a Web site on him in the near future. It’s a work in progress and I am dedicating it in his honor.

    Bryon was also an excellent poker player and loved the game so much. This is how I got into poker, by talking with him and his very good friend Mike.

    In terms of the first question, chess and poker have so many similarities. Chess players who have converted to poker are usually extremely talented and often do very well. It’s documented that some of the top Canadian chess players have switched to poker to make a living, as chess in Canada has turned stagnant. Our Chess Federation is troubled with financial problems and other political issues, so my goal was to help them out in Bryon’s name. One of the things I wanted to do was create a live poker chess match in my city, have players play both chess and poker. How it would work is an event would happen, and players would first play out their chess matches. Based on their skill level they would be paired with certain opponents and would gain points for wins, or ties. These points would be calculated. Then a poker match would happen and everyone would play in the large event together like a regular tournament. They would get points based on the position at which they exited the tournament. The object of course would be to win as many chess games as possible, and of course to make the final table of the poker event and try to win. Based on point totals you would have each of the top 5 or 10 winning some form of prize, such as federation memberships, books, lessons from a Grandmaster, those sorts of things. Or even live poker event seats. Of course some of the money raised would go to the Chess Federation to help them out. It’s a win win situation for both poker and chess. Chess could help make poker more legitimate, less gambling related and more skill related as you combine both games. And of course poker would popularize chess and make it more TV friendly. We’re still working on it, but the Canadian Chess Federation with all their internals issues has yet to make a statement or contact us about it. We’re hopeful!!

    It looks like your site has focused on marketing no-deposit bonuses to your players. Why did you select this niche?

    One of the things I decided from the start was to offer no-deposit bonuses because I didn’t want players to lose their own money and risk their own funds until they were ready. I searched all the no-deposit bonuses around and saw a lot of sites were doing it.

    It seemed at the time it was a popular thing. But I did not want to offer the same ones everyone else did. Also it was very hard to get a deal going of this nature. So I contacted Europartners and asked them if I would be able to offer Tony G. Not to many sites offer it, and I always liked Tony G rants on TV. He’s a controversial player like Phil Hellmuth and a top poker pro in the world. So his popularity I felt would bring in the players. Incidentally I had contacted him recently via email, about an idea to promote his site. I was so pleased he replied to me. He is a genuinely nice person, and very respectful. I think he’s just great. I hope our site can do a lot more for his poker room.

    Anyway, the goal was to get players to try the site, play well, and generate rake. Along the way we felt conversions would be good, as I am very careful with the selection. We do all the security checks, make sure they are not duplicates or abusive bonus players. It’s a lot of work. As you know, about 90 percent of online players are losing players. Only 10 percent will break even and move ahead. Some will convert and deposit. The hope is these 10 percent will offset the others and a profit will be made.

    So far so good; we have been doing well. Our main goal is traffic. We need a lot more traffic, as the statistics will take care of themselves. This is what we are working on now.

    Our new site, “Raise your Poker Career,” will be more focused on experienced players, players who want to invest in their poker career and make a commitment to do well by depositing their own money. For this we are working on some huge instant cash bonuses, so that a player who deposits will be given an instant match bonus. This will encourage conversions and more serious players.

    One element of your business that many wonder about including is forums. How important are the forums to your business? Why did you choose to offer forums? What about administering the forums was more difficult than you thought? What was easier? What things do you think you need to do to improve your forums?

    Well, for my particular site, Get Free Poker Cash, I have been having some issues with getting people to participate in the forum. I have even offered to do a Pay to Post program to pay players to post. I think the main reason for this is my site is only in English, and many of my players do not speak English. Also the program I use is a bridged component for Joomla, and it’s an older one. I am reevaluating this and most likely will use another forum format like my .net site. That’s a better forum structure. I think in time, with some good moderators and more traffic,the forums will be very important to keep players updated and allow them an outlet for support.

    How important are private freerolls for your business? And what do you think works better in terms of conversions, freerolls or tournaments where you have to deposit some nominal amount?

    Freerolls are of huge importance, maybe not like three or four years ago, but they help with conversions. Let’s face it: freerolls are all over the net, and a player does not need to deposit to play in one. But for us, we like to have a close community of active members who play frequently. Freerolls keep them involved and playing. I have mostly done freerolls with no add-ons, but I think the add-ons are better because they tend to attract more quality-type players who are willing to invest a little money. Players who deposit and pay a little for a game play much better in my opinion.

    Can a poker affiliate survive without offering rakeback? Or has it become such an industry standard that you have to offer it?

    Well, this is a question that’s hard for me to answer. A lot of people will say rakeback is a must. However it takes a great deal of time to develop in that niche. You need a large number of players who are what they call “whales” in order to make something from it.

    We have players who asked for rakeback so we decided to try it. We spend a great deal of time listening to our players and will do everything we can to keep them with us. Rakeback is just one area, but we are still new to it, so time will tell.

    This past summer, you expressed interest in hosting a live poker event in Toronto that was sponsored by some online poker sites. How did you come up with the idea? How exactly would the tournament have worked? Were you able to get any traction with it? And do you think events like that can generate enough new players to make it worth it for online poker sites?

    Well, I have had this idea for such a long time, maybe two or three years now. Part of the reason for this is because live poker games that generate a rake or house cut are illegal in Canada. It is thought that if you have a live game that players do not directly pay into that this will solve the legal issue. One of things that’s important is to attach it to a charity that can get a license to run such an event. The idea is to have the players deposit to an online poker site and play as a new client, thus a conversion. With a large amount of conversions the poker sites would be more than willing to sponsor such an event since Canadian players have good value in this industry. It’s so popular here. Live players also seem to be the ones who, when they transfer to online poker, play better and are generally a more quality-type player. That’s my take on it. When I used to run live events I would hear players talk about online poker all the time. Even when I was a dealer they would talk about it at the table. I really think it’s a good business area to get into and can be rewarding.

    There is a group called “One Deal” and they have managed to run live events such as this for 300 to 400 people at a time. I even dealt in one of their events this year to help out, and I learned how they structured their event. They did an amazing job, and it’s obvious it’s a profitable business venture.

    The main idea is to have conversions from live to online players who deposit and play. In return they get free entry to the live event and no cost is associated with the event. The money that comes from the poker site is used partly for the charity fundraiser, part of it of course would go to a special prize/prizes for players, and the rest for operating costs. It would help bring traffic to Web sites, and generate new income streams to poker platforms.

    We are still working on it, but many of the poker sites seem a bit worried that it will not bring enough traffic, and thus can’t guarantee a specific sponsorship value. So it’s still being looked at as we speak. It will happen soon enough. It will surely generate enough new signups to be worth the cost. I mean, use the affiliate payment as part of the cost, right? We do all the work, and pay for it.

    What is the most important factor for you in choosing a poker affiliate program to work with?

    To answer this with one word, “Honesty.” I want to work with affiliate sites that are truthful and ethical and do what they say they will do. Along the way I have had my share of not getting paid for one reason or another. I am sure from my forum posts you will all know when it happens to me. LOL. Seriously, when a site declares they will honor payment, that promise simply must be kept. Your word is your honor. I always like to follow this in my life. When I say I will do something I do it. So it’s my hope always to deal with ethical affiliate sites that are honest and pay their affiliates. I also like affiliate managers who can communicate daily with me, and share ideas to help our relationship grow. In all my dealings it’s the affiliate managers I contact daily who bring the most rewards. We can work together easily and have better success. One of these affiliate managers will email me every day and always is there day or night, willing to help at anytime. I appreciate this a lot. Timely payments and good stats are a must. I like to see how my campaigns are going daily, so daily updates are crucial for me. Good marketing banners and reviews are also important.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager?

    Think I may have answered this somewhat above. But honesty again. So important. Sense of humor also helps. Good communicator willing to share his/her ideas. And even share a bit about his/her life. I had one AM who had so much in common with me, we would not work sometimes, but just chat all day on MSN. But willingness to share ideas is key since they know what works and what doesn’t. One huge thing for me is contact within 24 hours. I don’t like to wait days for replies.

    How much time does it take to keep your site updated? Do you use a content management system to manage your site? And if yes, what is it -- and what would you change about it?

    Updating my site takes time. When I started I didn’t even know how to cut and paste. Literally. I read a post from a fellow affiliate I think on one of the forums who said the same thing, and I was like yes, that’s me! But now it takes a few hours each day. I have to do security checks on players who sign up for no-deposit deals. Check ID, Ips and cross reference this. Plus send test quizzes and verify if they are real players. And qualify for my promotions. Plus I update links, articles, and blog now. Along with add/remove sites and adding new content. So I would say a good 10 hours a day on all aspects of this. Plus I now spend a lot of time on forums learning and sharing ideas, here at GPWA and PAL. I spend four to six hours a day here and there. I love it.

    I use Joomla right now because it gives me flexibility. It’s all right, and I have added many extensions and modules. I work around things. But I do want to create my own CMS. This is why I hired two programmers to develop a new Poker/Casino CMS with auto updates. This will save on time and effort. All that is needed is content, and it would be so easy to add on many sites. They have been working on this for months now. For new affiliates Joomla is the way to go. Easy to learn and free.

    In an ideal world, how would you divide the efforts you put into your site? What percentage would go to marketing, updating content, managing your books, and other tasks (please list the tasks, include a % and an explanation, please)?

    Marketing 30% - This is important for me because I spend a lot of time talking with my players via email and MSN. I have developed a relationship with about 100 of them already where we email at least one time per week. Like friends almost. But these are the players who will try new sites and convert well. I also email to my database and send out a newsletter. About 30 percent is right.

    Update Content 30% - Of course crucial for SEO. I create articles, add strategy articles, news content. Update banners, bonuses. Links. Everything a normal webmaster would do. Make changes when things are not working, and try and improve things that are working. A lot of trial and error, since I am still new to the business, goes into positioning
    modules and graphics. Something I need to work on.

    Book management 10% - Easy. We all get paid once a month, so I estimate 10 percent is used to track players, payments, and getting all that straight. Included is the hunt for some affiliate programs to pay as well. Sometimes it’s late or not done, and so needs to be tracked.

    Forums and Learning 30% - I added this because I find it’s so important for me to learn more and more. I have learned a lot but find I spend a great deal of time doing things which maybe could be done faster or better. So I read about what other affiliates do.

    How they have started and changed ideas along the way. I find if you follow successful affiliates and use what you can with your own twist, you will make things better for yourself over time. I love learning new ideas, and ways of doing things. This is why I spend so much times on forums. Well, GPWA and PAL for now. It helps me feel connected as well. Without it I would have given up maybe a few times. Plus it’s fun!! I enjoy talking to everyone.

    O.K. -- time to spill some personal details. Single? Married with family? The world -- and your fans -- want to know.

    I am taken!!! I have been in a relationship for three years now with a fine, fine woman. We actually met at a live poker game, and one thing led to another. She would not stop calling me!! lol. But we have been together and are happy. She has a son and he is also a great kid. I love them both very much. We do not live together yet, so our time lately has been limited to weekends when we have time. We both work very hard to pay our bills, and work work work. We hope this eventually will pay off. Then we plan to spend all our time together, hopefully travelling to the Philippines. That’s where she is from. Plus I want to go back to Uruguay. I lived there once, and would love to show her.

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

    Well, to be honest, they have no clue how it works. My dad thinks I am gambling all the time and I try to tell him, “No, Dad, I am not a player, I am like the house.” I explain how it works, but he refuses to understand. My siblings don’t really ask too much about it. My friends all think it’s pretty interesting. I always help them out, since many are players themselves. But of course along the way some friends were envious and thought I was making tons of cash and not sharing it. I can say this: you do know who your friends are when you get into this industry. The ones who help out and show interest are great, since I need a sounding board a lot of the time. And my girlfriend does get sick of hearing me every day say the same things over and over. So I have a few friends who give ideas and share opinions. Mostly positive so far. And I have developed tons of online friends and associates now who are good influences. I will eventually get my dad to understand I am not gambling. I hardly even play myself as I do not have time.

    I must not forget my cats. I love my cats! I have six with me at all times. They are like my kids in some ways. Most of the time they are unhappy when I am occupied with business and will do anything to get my attention. And they’ll jump on the computer keyboard and turn off the machine when I leave it for a few minutes. I have to be careful LOL.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you? And why is it important to you?

    I came cross the GPWA by way of other websites. And I read what it stands for and was like wow, they actually have something like this? It was great. I felt honored to be allowed into this community. As I am an ethical person, and honest, I wanted to be part of this group. I felt it would help me grow and also give the perception to players and other affiliates that our site and myself are ethical and honest. The people here are truly my second family, and I love this place. I was so fortunate to be invited by the PokerKeep (a member here) one time to his family poker night function back when I first started. It made me realize how nice people are here. It’s a community, and he showed me that. I love being part of this community. I hope I can help others feel as comfortable here as he made me feel.

    What advice can you offer people who are just starting up in the industry?

    Wow, a loaded question. So much to say on this. I guess the very first thing that sticks out in my mind is do not choose CPA. I know many new affiliates will think of the money they can make fast, but don’t get trapped like I did. Stick to Rev Share, and Hybrid deals. Have a plan to start with, whom you want to cater to. Devise a strategy and target them. Along the way be flexible to make changes when needed. Not everything will work the first time; you need to be open minded. Be honest. Don’t try and pass one over another affiliate or affiliate manager. We have heard it all. Be honest and always show respect in your dealings. At times it can be frustrating, and if it’s too much take time off. I did, when I dealt in a live casino. I needed a break, and I came back with more motivation and dedication. It also is good to dream. I mean really dream of what you want, how you want it, and never stop thinking about that dream. If you don’t give up I do believe dreams come true. Don’t set time limits on goals. Just let them happen. These are only a few points, but ones that are important to me.

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

    Be Organized - It’s a big job to take on to be successful. So you must organize your time and set priorities to get things done daily.

    Be Open Minded - I think it’s good to be open to new ideas, as you may have to step out of your comfort zone once in awhile. As you learn ways to be a successful affiliate you may not be used to certain ways of thinking. Just go with the flow. Soak in all the information you can and use what works.

    Engage in Networking - It’s crucial to network and build valuable relationships with your peers and contacts, whether they be players, other affiliates, or affiliate managers. You have to join discussion groups, attend conferences. You will then get known and people will trust you more once they get to know you and put a face to you. This will take time, but it is an important goal to achieve. Working with other successful affiliates who can help you build your own network is the key here,.

    Be Goal Oriented - Similar to dreaming (see above), I think you have to set goals, certain places you want to be and things you want to achieve. Again, no time limits need to be used, but just thinking about your goals and working on them every day will help you get there. Write them down, think about them, and go over them from time to time. Maybe they will slightly change from time to time or you will have more or less over time. It’s still important to work toward something. Think about it constantly.

    Create Your Own Positive Energy - This is one area where I am lacking, but I am working on it. The idea is to constantly think of everything and everyone around you as being positive. Like a positive force. When you feel good about yourself, and everyone around you, you attract success. I see this all the time. People who are positive and make positives out of just about anything can really do well. Take all failures as nonfailures; think of them as a signal to change gears in your approach. Example: one month I had no sign ups. I decided to use positive energy as a tool, and changed some things. The following month I had 50 sign ups. I just constantly thought positive. I believe it works.

    How long did it take for you to start earning money?

    For me it was fluctuating. I started making money after two months. Then for several months not that much. Then at six months again I did well. And then for a few months back to almost nothing. This is where I decided to take a break. I worked as a dealer and got out and talked to people who are involved in this industry. I learned everything I could about live casino structures, and how players view online gambling. One of the best things I did. Now I have a renewed focus, and the revenue is coming in again. Still have a long way to go, but I have decided to branch out and build a network of sites. I hope it pays off.

    What was your favorite subject in school? And why was it your favorite subject?

    My favorite subject in school – well, I had a lot of them; I loved them all. Let’s use my university instead. My favorite prof was Hans Baker, and he taught all kinds of subjects related to Anthropology and Sociology. I took an independent study course with him one year. My topic for my paper was a comparison between Karl Marx and Mahatma Gandhi. This related to social transformation and I compared the two ways of transforming society. I loved it. At the time I spent a great deal reading about Gandhi and Che Guevara. I was so amazed at how different they were, yet alike in many ways.

    If someone were visiting you in Toronto, what would be the one place you’d take them to visit? And why?

    I would take them everywhere. I am not the one place kind of guy. I would take them to the CN Tower, famous here in Toronto. Probably all the hottest bars I know, although I do not drink anymore. I would take them to a Maple Leafs hockey game in the Sky Dome (now called Rogers Center). Lots of places: muesems, Science Center. I like being a tour guide, so hard for me to pick one place. But if I had to pick one single place only it would be one of my girlfriend’s family dinners: 20 to 30 people with lots of kids yelling and screaming in the Philippino language, with me not knowing anything being said. It’s so much fun, and crazy all at the same time.

    Do you play poker online? What's your favorite poker game and why? And do you play just for fun, or is there a business reason behind it?

    I used to play a lot more, yes. Started at PokerRoom years ago. Now I play mostly on bwin Poker and Tony G. My favorite game these days is Limit Omaha because the pots get so big and most players are still weak in this game. I win a lot. More than NL. I also play a lot of heads up now and short handed sit and goes. I find I have an edge. No business behind it, but I do play in all my poker leagues with my players and freerolls, and I offer bounties on my head sometimes. I like to chat with them all and have fun with them. They feel more connected to me this way.

    If you could change one thing about the online gaming industry, what would it be, and why?

    I would remove all the illegal aspects of online gaming, and call for the government to regulate this. Maybe others do not feel the same, but there are still ’way to many shady businesses out there ripping off affiliates and players. This must be stopped for all our benefits. With more control, more of the illegal aspects and shady businesses would die off for the most part, in my opinion. The recent dilemmas surrounding Ultimate and Absolute clearly show why more intervention is needed. And now the famous CardSpike problem. It’s sad to see these things happen, and more control is needed.

    What's your favorite vacation spot? And why?

    Well, I love Cuba. I have been there many times. Such good times there. But in my heart I will always love Uruguay. It’s a small Spanish country underneath Brazil beside Argentina. When I was younger I lived there for six months and worked on a chicken farm with a host family. Then I worked building a greenhouse. It was my first travel experience, and I will never forget it. I went back one more time a couple years later and stayed one month.

    I love Uruguay and I dream about that country so much all the time. The food, the people, the dance, the music. Everything about it is me. I felt so alive when I lived there. I would seriously love to buy a house there and live there six months of the year. I can’t wait to go back. For me it’s more of a perfect way of life rather than just a vacation, so I would consider it a permanent vacation spot for me.

    What is your favorite movie? And why?

    Easy!!! “Cool Hand Luke” with Paul Newman, a legend. I’ve admired Paul Newman going back to when I was a child. He had so much charisma and to me was a real man. He had great personality, and his acting was fabulous. Incidently this movie was a favorite of my mother and my brother as well. For some reason we all loved this movie so much and watched it several times. My mom and brother are no longer with us and neither is Paul Newman, but I still watch the movie, and I think of them and have fond memories. I imagine them being with Paul now!! Plus the movie had a wonderful storyline for its time. A must see for anyone. The dialogue is wonderful.

    If you could have one "super power," what would it be? And why?

    For me this is interesting to answer. Not a typical reply, I gather. But I would say “Complete Empathy.” I think this would be such a super power and would help many lives get better. The fact is too many people are selfish and harmful and nonforgiving. Heck, I have been all those things at times, but one thing I always had was empathy.

    I wish I had complete empathy. I feel this would take me to thenext level of self-awareness and help me grow more than even I realize as a human being. If everyone was like this our world would be a truly better place to live. If we could feel what everyone was feeling and use this to help out one another we could accomplish so much.

    If you were casting a movie (with yourself in the starring role), who would play your romantic interest? And why?

    Well, another easy answer. Pia is my woman now! I could not dream of having another romantic interest, as she is everything a man could ask for. She’s just simply perfect for me and I doubt anyone could fill her role. She’s all mine and I am all hers. Plus she is good at acting! I mean acting out! When I spend too much time on this affiliate business. I will leave it to your imagination what she acts out about.

    And finally, what are three things that nobody knows about you?

    First thing is Pia and I have a dream to get married on 10 10 10. That’s October 10th, 2010. And our wedding will be revolved around a poker theme. She’s actually doing all sorts of designs for tables, making our own custom cards and all sorts of things. We plan on having a poker tournament for all the people in attendance. After the big ceremony, that is, with live dealers and hopefully a professional player to be a guest speaker. This is how we met the first time, and we want to tie the knot the same way.

    Second, at one point I had 16 cats. I had saved the lives of two mother cats from the winter cold, and they were pregnant. They were also only kittens it seemed. During birth I had to help them, by pulling the kittens out. One of them was really sick. I spent days with no sleep nursing them back to health. Then the other one had kittens a month later.
    Same problems more or less, but this was a wild cat. I had to wear oven gloves. The eyes of one of the kittens were not opening due to some problem. So I used an old trick: a tea bag placed on the eyes. And they finally opened.

    Now I only have six cats, found homes for the other kittens, kept four, and one of them died outside from an unknown cause. I love cats so much. They have been a part of my life since I was a child. I just can’t live without a few cats around. The six I have now are like my own kids!!! I feed them better than I feed myself.

    Third. This more or less revolves around goals. I would like to become wealthy, and very comfortable in life. For my own pleasure, yes, I must admit, but also to be able to help others. I would like to open a foundation of some sort under maybe my family name in honor of my mother and brother. I would like to have this foundation help the neediest of the neediest in the world. Similar to what Barry Greenstein does in a way. But I would like to travel to every country in the world, or as many as possible, and help at least one person who is in despair. A dream I have!!
    Last edited by CityGuard; 8 December 2011 at 2:09 am. Reason: removed surname from header image

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    giggles7p (15 October 2009)

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    wagerprofits is offline Public Member
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    I read this interview in the magazine when it came it, great interview always good to find out people in the industry.

    All being well i might be able to meet you on Amsterdam this time???

    Shaun

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    Great article Steve!

    I can relate to the part about pets being just like kids. hehe

    Good job on the interview. Thanks for sharing.

    It makes me miss playing poker before they took my skin back in 2006 after UIGEA. I could spend all day playing so I'm king of glad that I no longer have it. hehe

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    Great interview Steve!
    I can relate to your love of your cats as I am an animal lover myself.
    Sorry to hear about your brother - it sounds like he was a wonderful person.
    I am going to read his story now...

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    Awesome job Steve!!
    We'll have you and Pia over for another home game soon, promise!
    Will see you in Niagara in July too, can't wait... we're going to have a blast!

    Terry
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
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    Hey Thanks guys!!!

    I appreciate the kind words from all of you guys. It means the world to me. I certainly enjoyed doing this long long interview and it was very important to me.

    I owe a ton of gratitude to GPWA for allowing me to do this interview.

    Being here as a member and communicating with you all is such a pleasure to do and i have so much respect for this community..

    Thanks so much guys!!!

    Steve

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    Nice read....I'll play you in checkers one day
    "CasinoJack"
    Skype:brianrocksit


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    Quote Originally Posted by casinojack View Post
    Nice read....I'll play you in checkers one day

    Haha ok anytime mate. You name the place i will be there. Mind you I play Chess and Backgammon better, but Checkers i can hold my own.

    Maybe after i get over to Terry's home again and play some more poker like last year.. LOL

    Terry I think that was the last time Pia and I got to play a live home game..

    Was so much fun!!! Cant wait for this year!!!

    I wont get lost like last time I promise.. I i will let Pia Drive!!

    Steve

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    Don't know how I came here, but this guy rules.
    I'm currently trying to understand Karl Popper, Adorno and Co.
    PONYS ARE GAY

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    Well done Steve, respect!

    Let's grab a lunch one day !



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