- By Mike Caro | Exit
What are you doing on the 4th of July? Me? I’m flying from my hermitage deep in the Ozarks forest to play in the World Series of Poker main event. I registered and paid online, so my seat should be waiting on July 5 — the first session of the four-way split opening round. Groups play July 5, 6, 7, and 8. If you get a chance, come shake my hand or watch me play, assuming I’m at a table near where visitors can gather.
Although I was given my choice of dates to deliver seminars for the WSOP Academy, I decided to stay here and work on Poker1. So, I haven’t been to Las Vegas to participate yet. I’m kind of rooting for myself to get knocked out early, unless I gather a lot of chips. I just don’t have the patience for the long delays between sessions — a personal shortcoming.
To me, surviving the first round and having to wait five days to play again seems just plain nuts. I like my fate determined quickly. When I hosted, designed, and presented the first “World Poker Finals” at Foxwoods, I guaranteed that most events would last no longer than four hours and fifteen minutes. If they went longer (and none did, thanks to my formula for acceleration), you’d get your buy-in back.
“If you get a chance, come shake my hand or watch me play”
Major events should last longer, I grudgingly agree — and my final tournament spanned two days. Still, I think less-important events shouldn’t drag out. The way I see it, there’s more skill in playing a lot of events back-to-back than one single lingering one. The object of stretching tournaments is to maximize the skill element, but luck predominates in a tournament, no matter what — even if it lasts a month. Making money overall in 100 blitz events is a better testimony to skill than playing just 10 very long events. Don’t yell at me. I know I’m in the minority with this opinion.
Poker1 enters “deep development” phase
With only two months to go before our planned September 1 “grand opening” announcement, Poker1 is entering the final “deep development” phase. That means all the functionality has been decided and about 60 percent of it has already been implemented.
I greatly appreciate your early visits here. It has been truly rewarding to hear kind words of encouragement, despite the site’s unfinished state. From now until we officially open, our only public mentions of Poker1 will be tweets (Twitter) of selected entries and similar announcements on my Facebook page.
You can follow me on Twitter
or become my friend on Facebook
If you mention Poker1 when you apply to be my friend on Facebook, I’ll automatically approve you.
I’ve been experimenting with Google’s AdWords. To see if their advertising methods might work in the future, I budgeted $2,000 for the past six or so weeks to see how buying keywords (puts small text ads to the right of searches) would work. The campaign has added about 200 visits a day — at an average cost of about 20 cents per click through. I’m suspending these small ads during deep development. I’m guessing that status reports for July and August will show slightly less traffic than May and June, due to the absence of AdWords marketing. We’ll probably resume that campaign or a similar one September 1, if Google lets me (see below).
Goofy Google AdWords policy
Did you think poker had grown out of its seedy past to become a respected pastime? Guess again.
Google’s AdWords policy prohibits poker advertising! I know, a lot of poker ads seem to slip through, but Google’s prohibition doesn’t just apply to real-money online sites. It applies to teaching poker, too — and that prohibition is clearly stated. Poker1 is an outcast in Google’s eyes, along with terrorism and child pornography. Poker players are bad people, I guess.
Strangely, our first ad was instantly approved. The second one (shown below it) was disapproved, as you can see…
Poker1 traffic during development (update for June, 2010)
Yesterday (June 30) had our second-highest number of visits since opening to brave early guests in mid-March: 2,951. May 25 had 3,461. June’s average daily visits were slightly higher than May’s, but we expect the next two months to show somewhat lower counts during the final “deep development” phase, during which we won’t be pushing for visits (except yours!).
Here’s our latest report on Poker1 traffic.
We opened up the site without fanfare on March 16, so anyone wishing to witness our progress and mistakes could do so.
We had 716 visits that same day, probably generated through word-of-mouth curiosity. (There were 13 visits the previous day. Most likely those were associated with development efforts.) On March 30, we had 859 visits (the highest for the month — low for post-public opening was 595 two days earlier). We had anticipated an average of 200 visits per day during the development phase.
Total site visits (16 days): 22,132 prorated (11,423 actual)
High day: 859 (March 30)
Low day: 593 (March 22 — except for 15th and earlier)
Total page visits (16 days): 87,716 prorated (45,273 actual)
Total site visits: 30,486
High day: 1,895 (April 12)
Low day: 799 (April 2)
Total page visits: 97,489
In May, we began with 847 visits on the 1st and haven’t been under 1,000 in the 31 days since (including June 1).
Total site visits: 42,153
High day: 3,461 (May 25)
Low day: 847 (May 1)
Total page visits: 175,206
In May, we began with 847 visits on the 1st and hadn’t been under 1,000 in 52 days, until June 23 (988 visits).
Total site visits: 40,869
High day: 2,951 (June 30)
Low day: 847 (June 23)
Total page visits: 159,652
Remaining tasks before grand opening
Here is our in-house, unedited to-do list of what still needs to happen before we can announce our grand opening…
You’re up to date through the end of June, 2010. Please stick with us. — MC