Name:  AIS_narciso.jpg
Views: 151
Size:  19.4 KB

(This interview was originally published in the December 2020 issue of the GPWA Times Magazine)

You have a long background in both finance and as a professional poker player. Please tell us how you became an iGaming affiliate.

Working for a digital marketing agency, we had a training workshop where we could create our own websites. I took advantage of the offer, even though I work in finance (Laughs). I decided to use my knowledge and experience as a professional poker player to create a poker training website. The idea was to cater to low- to mid-stakes players looking to develop and earn. After establishing the website in this niche, it seemed natural to move to be an affiliate, too. Becoming an iGaming affiliate has only developed in the last year, so it’s still pretty new to me. is a combination of poker training site and poker affiliate site. Which one brings in more revenue for you and how much of a crossover do you get from visitors who are looking for poker training and then ultimately end up depositing to one of your affiliated sites?

Poker training brings in more revenue. It was the sole purpose of the site whereas poker affiliate was an afterthought and newer venture. Most poker players who look for poker training are already registered on the sites I promote so there is very little crossover at the moment. I hope that poker affiliate brings in more revenue than poker training in the future though.

You work with a very limited number of poker sites. Is this by design? Have you thought about trying to promote other verticals, such as online casinos or sports betting?

To be honest, it’s largely due to time. My website is a part-time project and to produce reviews and push poker sites is a time-consuming exercise. I have dabbled in pushing a few of the “middle” sites, with less success so I guess it’s by design now that I am working with a few. When I have the time and resources, I may promote other poker sites that I endorse myself, and potentially diversify into casinos or sports betting too.

You are very active on your poker blog. Have you always liked writing? How important is your original content to the success of your site?

I am not usually into New Year resolutions, but I set several goals in late 2019 for my website. One of which was to write at least six articles a month. I am pleased to say I’ve met and exceeded that target. I love writing and think it’s a great tool to promote my site and increase traffic. I can reach an audience that may not have even been thinking about poker training but now might consider it. The content on my blog is a way of showcasing some of the poker knowledge I have and a big USP (unique selling proposition) to potential customers. If they find the content unique, enjoyable and learn something, they are more inclined to return in the future and invest in training.

What's your approach to SEO and drawing traffic to your sites?

My approach is pretty basic; keep the site fresh, active and don’t have unnecessary back end items slowing things down. I don’t spend as much time as I would like to (on SEO), but occasionally I get an idea and have to follow it through which might take a few hours at night or over the weekend to complete. I am fortunate enough to have learned things from my colleagues that have sped up progress too.

How have the experiences you had or skills you developed in the finance helped you as an affiliate and as a poker player? Do you hope to someday become a full-time affiliate and leave finance?

Working as a finance professional has helped me appreciate the importance of good record keeping and budgets. I love working with Excel and I am a big advocate of utilizing that for poker records. I have no plans to leave working in finance as I love my day-to-day job. My website will always be second to that, but it’s great to have another source of income.

How much do you think being an avid poker player helps you as a poker affiliate?

I know what poker players want from a site. I haven’t yet made full use of this knowledge but hopefully I will have time to in the future!

When did you start playing poker? How did you learn the game?

I started playing when I was 18 years old with friends. The websites offered free money to register so it was risk free. I knew I was good enough to play professionally within two years as I was taking down tournaments, crushing games and earning a lot of money. It happened pretty fast but was an obvious and easy choice to pursue.

How has COVID-19 affected you personally and professionally? Have you made any changes in response to the pandemic?

Personally, it’s been pretty good, actually. I’ve been able to be at home more and spend more time with my baby daughter. The time you save in traveling to and from work is certainly highlighted when you’re remote working and clock off and go downstairs to your family.

It says on your website that you have “over $700k in online MTT cashes (including a final table in the Sunday Million)” and “undocumented success in live cash games.” Do you prefer online poker or live poker? Why?

I always preferred live poker as it’s more interactive and personal. Poker is a people game and this is amplified in live poker when you can see and talk to your opponents. Online poker is fun and so convenient, but I enjoy live poker more.

What would be your advice to someone who is thinking about making the jump from recreational player to professional?

Give it a lot of thought and don’t go into it lightly. Have a lot of data behind you and a backup plan too. Poker is very beatable but it’s tougher now than it was a decade ago. It’s not just a question of whether you can make money but asking yourself are the risks and costs worth the benefit? To consider going professional, you should expect to earn at least double what you can from a regular job for it to be worthwhile.

What do you do to stay in shape – both physically and mentally?

I try to play football and squash regularly but that has been halted by COVID. I don’t do much to stay mentally sharp but will occasionally play Wordscapes with my wife or watch a documentary.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you and why?

The Bible. I am Christian and this would keep me busy for a long time! A football, to break personal records at keep ups. A photo album of my family to cheer me up and give me hope.

If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?

Jesus, Bruce Lee, Winston Churchill, Gandhi and Jordan Peterson.

Name three things that people reading this magazine don't know about you.

  1. I support Peterborough United football club
  2. I love to smoke Cuban cigars a few times a year
  3. I completed Tough Mudder two years in a row.