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  1. #1
    GPWA Aaron is offline Former Staff Member
    Join Date
    July 2006
    Needham, MA
    Thanked 144 Times in 64 Posts

    Default Affiliate Interview Series: Claudiu | abscident

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    Age: 30
    Hometown: Bucharest, Romania
    Living in: Bucharest
    Favorite Food: Argentine beef
    Must Read Book: Doyle Brunson's Super System, by Doyle Brunson


    When did you launch your sites?
    My first website was created in June 2007. Many others followed.

    Your sites span several different segments/aspects of the industry. Describe the decision-making process that went into the development of your sites.
    I must admit that when I started out I was very excited about all the options, from poker, casino and sports betting to bingo and even backgammon. I didn't know exactly how profitable each could become. I wanted to try out everything, to see what worked best. That's how I decided to build, which was supposed to be the flagship.

    Any plans to add additional sites or consolidate any of your existing sites?
    I actually have many more sites right now, in even more niches. I operate around 30 sites right now, and I may add some more this year. This doesn't give me too much time to consolidate on existing ones, but since Google seems to go easier on newer sites I prefer to start new projects from scratch.

    You promote as "the best poker portal for both sharks and fishes!" Does the site attract more sharks or more fish?
    I actually think it attracts more fishes since people interested in the concept of "poker sharks" are usually new to poker. I hope some of them become sharks one day. does not list PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker or Party Poker in its list of "Best EU Poker Rooms." Why have you decided not to promote the three largest online poker rooms on your site?
    PokerStars never had a good affiliate program, and I personally dislike their software. I tried many poker rooms myself and PokerStars was never among my favorites. As for Full Tilt, I think they are a shame to the poker industry after going bankrupt and putting their players in such an awful situation. For me they are a discredited brand. And Party Poker, well, they are a scam. They are associated with bwin and are well known for scamming both affiliates and players. Several times I had money deducted from my Party Poker account just for not logging in for six months and they constantly reduce affiliate commissions that were supposed to be lifetime. Affiliates know bwin and Party are not to be trusted.

    What segment of the online gambling industry (casino, sports betting, poker) brings in the most revenue for you?
    Historically I earned most from sports betting, but right now I am doing better with poker and casino games offered by poker sites.

    How did you become involved in the industry?
    I started out playing poker and backgammon for real money and after a while I found out about the affiliate programs. As I always thought the rake I was paying was huge, I considered that an affiliate could earn pretty well if he delivered a decent number of players.

    How long did it take for your sites to start earning money?
    It was long time ago, but from what I remember it was about four to six months.

    What traits do you look for in an affiliate manager? How about in an affiliate program?
    I like affiliate managers who answer my questions. I like the ones who can answer an e-mail with 10 questions without ignoring any of them. I don't like affiliate managers who send too much spam and use copy/pasted messages. As for affiliate programs, I like the ones that have a strong history of on-time payments and did not change their terms in the past. Predictability is what I want, and very few affiliate programs offer it.

    If you had to pick five keys to success as an affiliate, what would they be?
    1. ​Luck.
    2. Patience. You may have to wait a long time before earning well, and you can ruin your work if you try to force things too much. I have destroyed many websites just by overdoing things in order to get quicker results.
    3. More patience.
    4. Perseverance. No matter how hard it seems to be, it is possible, so affiliates should keep trying even if they fail.
    5. Experience in the field. An affiliate must understand how players think and what they need.

    What prompted you to join the GPWA? How has it helped you?
    I wanted to join because I liked the Seal of Approval other sites had. I wanted one for my website as well. I tried to join with my first website,, but at that time the website was of very poor quality and GPWA Nancy kindly explained me what I should do to improve it in order to get approved. I made the necessary changes and I got approved. What I learned from this experience was that quality is important, and this helped me a lot afterwards. It changed the way I was seeing the affiliation industry.

    What do you like about the industry?
    I like the fact that I can work from home and I am free to develop my own ideas. The industry offers me a lot of freedom and this is a great thing. On top of that, I noticed that people working in the gambling industry are open minded and have fewer preconceptions. They don't think that gambling will "destroy your life."

    If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
    The first thing I would change is the dishonesty of some affiliate programs and brands in general. Affiliate programs should make more realistic plans and stop offering huge "lifetime" commissions just to find out they are unsustainable in the long run and to cut them retroactively. I'd rather get 30 percent for life than a whopping 50 percent that gets reduced after four months because it caused losses to the company.

    Based on personal experience, what in your opinion is the best way to cope with abrupt, unanticipated changes in affiliate program terms and conditions?
    The best way is to remove them from all websites and never put them back. I constantly receive e-mail from bwin, Party or Ladbrokes telling me about the great opportunities I am missing by not promoting them. From time to time I remind them they are a scam and I will never promote them again. If more and more affiliates would stop promoting those brands this practice would come to an end.

    Why did you decide to go beyond just being an affiliate and launch What are your goals for the site?
    I had some nice experiences with sub-affiliation and I decided to create a website just for that. I think it is also nice to promote the affiliate programs that I use and have helped me to earn money. They may help others as well.

    What surprised you most about the industry?
    I was surprised how developed the online casino industry was compared to sports betting when I started. From my real-life experience I was more accustomed to sports betting shops and I never thought people would be confident enough to play in virtual casinos. I thought casino gambling was about the brick-and-mortar experience only, but I was wrong. I am not a casino gambler so I didn't understand this part very well.

    What do your family and friends think of your work as an affiliate?
    I don't like to talk much about this with friends because many people have preconceptions about gambling and this is not the best subject for a friendly discussion. My family is OK with what I'm doing.

    How long do you give yourself for answering e-mail? What e-mail tips can you offer?
    More than I should. I think it's about two hours every two days. I decided to stop answering e-mail daily and to do it once every two days because I used to lose too much time with e-mail. Most of it is a waste, anyway. A good tip would be to shift-delete spam. Of course there are important e-mails that need urgent attention, and I answer them at any hour of day or night.

    How do you manage your "to-do" lists? Do you use any special software to help you out?
    I write my ongoing objectives on a piece of paper. I don't use software.

    How much time does it take to keep your sites updated?
    Unfortunately I don't have time to keep them updated very well. Many of them are outdated and I prefer to focus only on the ones that get good traffic and generate income.

    How much time do you devote to SEO and/or social networking in order to drive more traffic to your sites?
    I do only SEO. I'm not good about social networking and I prefer to do what I know best. I think SEO is the part of work taking me the most time. It is the core of my business model.

    If someone were visiting you, what's the one place you'd definitely take them to see?
    It depends on the person visiting, but if it was a young person from abroad I would definitely show him/her the best clubs in Bucharest. Everyone is impressed there.

    What's your favorite vacation spot?
    I try to travel to new destinations whenever I have the opportunity because I want to see as many places as possible. So far, the best place I've been to in my life is without a doubt the Seychelles. Everyone should go there at least once.

    What's your all-time favorite movie?
    The 2008 movie Gomorra, directed by Matteo Garrone. I like the realism of it, something you'll never get from a Hollywood movie.

    If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?
    One would be enough, if he would be willing to answer all my questions: Matt Cutts!

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to GPWA Aaron For This Useful Post:

    -Shay- (4 December 2013), louie.wilson (9 December 2013), PromoteCasino (4 December 2013)

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