Audley Harrison & Stalked By BT

It’s amazing how naked one feels when you have some recent technological innovation you didn’t even use two years ago taken away from you. I moved house two weeks ago (Very nice new place, very expensive move) and amongst a catalogue of errors from furniture suppliers I also went two weeks without internet, due to a string of errors from BT.

I had a pre paid dongle which kept me going, but I had the shakes throughout because I missed….YouTube, Twitter and TheOnion. Oh, and it was stopping me working too, but mainly TheOnion.

The funniest thing about the whole affair was that once it was fixed, I log onto twitter to find that BT have found me and tweeted me to see how it went. What a unique rubdown, they don’t seem to have a decent infrastructure for resolving customer problems but they do have budget to stalk their customers on twitter.

The dog is now fine and allowed off the lead since his op, back to his normal self minus two huge swingy sacks.

This month, as soon as I hang up my journo gloves, I got a rare poker & boxing scoop in one which forced me back into the game for one more time. Eddie Hearn contacted me to say he only wanted to tell the story of how the WSOP helped create the potential Audley Harrison vs David Haye title fight and he was giving it to me because we have had some really good chats about boxing in the last year.

I must say, Audleys poker story has really conflicted me. Because I really admire the fact that he has bagged two big live MTT results but purposely stayed under the radar about it, when 99% of celebrities would shout from the rooftops and sign a deal with PokerStars for getting a min cash on the Sky Poker Tour.

However there is the other side of me who has thoroughly enjoyed booing him for the last 10 years. He has been the dullest fighter to watch I have ever seen and I am always routing for the other guy, until now, part of me wants to cheer him on because he plays poker. I also tend to go for the underdog too. The one thing I will say is that pre interview with Eddie, I still wanted to see the fight happen, it’s a decent clash of styles and a potentially big fight from a fight/British public point of view.

Anyway, welcome back the Onion

Fat Kid Successfully Avoids Ridicule By Swimming With Shirt On

The Mutts Nutts

Although I loved my time as a full time poker journalist, one thing I was looking forward to by taking this marketing role would be that I would no longer have to interview 20 year olds who have been playing for a year and managed to turn a microstakes bankroll into millions.

So one of my first assignments is going to be to interview a 20 year old who have been playing for a few years and managed to turn a microstakes bankroll into millions.

I mentioned that poker journalism and marketing are closely intertwined and this is a good example of it. One of the best ways of marketing something is to create something people would want to read anyway, which is why I have opted to do a series of interviews with successful online players that also promote some of our brands. So coming up over the next few weeks will be a series of interviews which include people like Dusty Schmidt, Bodo Sbrznesy and hopefully man of the moment URNOTINDANGER2.

Also coming up next week you can see my first crack at viral marketing, sort of. I produced a short video of me signing up to one of PokerNews’ biggest promotions, which is one where you can get a $50 bonus on PartyPoker without having to deposit. People are naturally suspicious when you are offered free money for nothing, which is why I produced the video to show it was legit. CardRunners quality it aint, and you will see me stutter, errrr, mumble, extended pause and whoops my way through the whole thing. That’s kind of the point though, idiots guide in every aspect.

Elsewhere unfortunately I had to take Charlie in to get the snip yesterday. He is such a gentle dog I didn’t want to do it ever, but the few times he has seen a dog in season he has gone nuts. This week we met a stray dog in season and he chased her out of the park and over a mile away onto a main road, running in front of several cars along the way and narrowly missing being hit. I know because I ran the whole way and was quite impressed with how I kept up with him, though I looked a horrific red faced sweaty site as I did, screaming ‘stop that dog’ all the way.

He rarely even goes more than 40 yards away from me no matter how much fun is having on our walks, so for him to run away like that and put himself in harm’s way was a real eye opener. He seems OK post-op, very whiney but up to his usual silly antics.

This is him btw:

Finally we move house (again, sigh) this weekend to a nice new bigger place, which once again is one road away from the last place. I have lived in 4 places in the last 5 years and all of them have been in the same postcode and all of them one road away from the last. At least if the dog does another runner we have a first place to look for him while he searches for his balls.

This week I am loving the Onion btw:

Breaking News: Some Bullshit Happening Somewhere

I'm a Marketing Tosser Now

Big changes afoot, well, big for me, to an outsider looking in I would wager it doesn’t look like a single thing has changed. I have had a big career shift away from the murky world of poker journalism and into the murky world of poker….marketing.

Huge difference right?

Not really, well, kind of. Poker media is so heavily reliant on advertising from online poker sites I would say that the journalism and the marketing sides of things are very closely intertwined. If you don't believe me, you try and write something critical of an online poker room/sponsored pro for a publication with an advertising deal with the same room. Anyway that’s a discussion for another day really.

I have been wanting to get into marketing for a while now, I always thought I could do a good job of it and in fairness I have been doing it for a while and just not getting paid for it. The last two years I have helped so many people promote their brands as ‘favours for mates’ and I often get people asking me for advice on things like advertising/sponsorship/getting editorial in magazines etc. When I say ‘mates’ I don’t just mean people down the pub I actually mean sponsored players, online poker rooms, live card rooms, TV companies and publishers (Who are also mates who happen to have those jobs).

My main role will be for the entire PokerNews network and will be primarily coming up with new ways of pushing their exclusive promos. This is not difficult, in that we have bigger and better promos than anyone else (See, I’m doing it already). Ironically the first thing I do after casting off a career as a writer is a shit load of writing. I would never stop writing altogether, I love it, but from now on anything non marketing-y I write will be out of pure enjoyment. Hopefully It will mean I update this blog more often now I won’t feel as knackered from writing 4000 words a day. 

The great thing about this opportunity is I will learn so much from such a big company like PokerNews, which is great for the book I am writing with Jared Tendler (Yep, that’s still happening, nearly done, I promise). Always very nice to have more than one thing going on at a time.

As for my baby, the UK Pokernews site, not sure what the plan is. I love it very much and it certainly won’t disappear, I am still updating it at the moment but that won’t be forever, your guess is as good as mine but it will continue without me.

Some other stuff I will be getting up to will be playing freerolls. No I’m not busto, it’s just that as part of my job will be to push our freerolls I want to understand them from a player perspective. I have already qualified for a 10k and a 5k freeroll on Winner Poker and it will be interesting to see how quickly I get bored. It’s sad, but I cant envisage enjoying playing that low.

Normally by now I would get excited about the footy season started tomorrow but unfortunately Wednesday have been relegated and the World Cup was so bad in every way, not just for England, that I kind of detest football players. No doubt the Owls will have a solid win tomorrow lulling me into a false sense of hope for the season.
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