Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

iGaming Supershow Wrap

Something confuses me about the Dutch. Now, I love the country and have spent a lot of time there over the years… great people, top hospitality and easy to get around and all that… My issue is with the music – specifically the tunes played in bars and restaurants in major cities.

Do the Dutch really love that horrible 80’s / 90’s pop mixed with a generous helping of the worst ever soft-rock ballads? Or is it some kind of insider joke, where they turn it off as soon as the foreigners leave??? With contributions to the world of music including (wait for it!) 2-Unlimited, Venga Boys and, erm, Golden Earring, I suspect they actually do like that stuff – hmmmm.

Anyway, the iGaming Supershow.

I Just got back to Budapest after a long weekend in Amsterdam, though I only checked out the show last Wednesday.

The quick version is that I went with low expectations and ended up having a great day!

Sure, the conference venue with all the stalls and trashy gifts was the focus, but it was chatting with some cool affiliates and a couple of operators which tipped the balance. Great to meet Lutz in person after seeing him build a great business from scratch over the last couple of years. Also great to catch up with long time affiliate Giorgio and meet another Dutch affiliate Jeff. We had a fantastic Thai dinner to wrap up the evening, all the better for missing the ‘show parties’ which always feel like the office xmas party (only much worse) to me. There were some more names I recognized around from the PAL forum (from the days before it turned into a scammers haven / argumentative wannabes hangout), unfortunately I did not get to meet them.

Here I am at the 888 stall, enjoying a beer.

  Planet Mark at iGaming Supershow 2013  

A few random take-aways:

-          There was no operator I could think of offering poker on its own with a stall at this show, everyone had a hand in casino and (mostly) sports betting too. This tied in with the consensus from several separate affiliates that poker is getting harder and harder to pull off on its own these days. I have to agree – though I will not abandon poker (in fact the opposite, I’ll grow!) – I have put off diversification way too long.

-          Fewer Affiliates: Sure, there were a lot of us… it just felt like the red badges (operators) were outnumbering the yellows on the floor. In fact, at around 4pm on the Wednesday at least there were probably more promo girls in tight dresses roaming around than affiliates… not that I’m complaining about that of course.

-          Beer was very popular at the stands, everyone and his dog was giving away beer (Paddy Power get my vote for bringing Guinness, oh and a giant inflatable pair of pants. Skrill energy drink? hmmm, not a bad concept, only 888’s pick’n’mix kind of trumped you for me….

-          Great to chat with Farrell from Europartners -  despite what some older affiliates say I think they are a great operation with some top people behind them. I actually had to go to the stall myself and say hello this time… This was a big change-around from the conferences of old, where they used to have a team out there ‘catching’ affiliates and dragging them in!!

-          Lots of Binary Options / forex operators around… not something particularly on my radar at the moment though I did take a few cards and leaflets (whether I wanted them or not).

-          Gift Quality down a little compared to my last conference. Though my father in law (who speaks no English, let alone understands iGaming) is still very happy padding around in his extra-fluffy Absolute Poker bathrobe and making his toast in a dedicated Cake Poker toaster from a couple of years back… so I guess we will survive until the industry picks up again.

Ending With a random thought on Amsterdam:

I love the city, and will admit to feeling sad that the association with the red light district and smoking the green weed is so strong in some people’s minds. There is so much more to the place than that, and I’d love to have an apartment there someday soon overlooking one of the quieter canals. Right, with the prices of houses there still sky high there despite a general EU downturn… if I want one I’d best stop blogging and get on with building out my business!

GL at the tables, Mark


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