Poker1 status report #002, goofy ads (Caro blog)

  • By Mike Caro | Exit default content graphicEntry #10 (2010-07-01)

(About the WSOP, Poker1 status, deep development, and Google’s goofy AdWords rules)

Will I see you at the WSOP?

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…

Go figure.

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.

March, 2010 (16th and after)
— Average daily site visits: 714
Average daily page visits: 2,830

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)

April, 2010
Average daily site visits: 1,016
Average daily page visits: 3,249

Total site visits: 30,486

High day: 1,895 (April 12)

Low day: 799 (April 2)

Total page visits: 97,489

May, 2010
Average daily visits: 1,359
Average page visits 5,651

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

June, 2010

— Average daily visits: 1,362
— Average page visits 5,321

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…

  • Open forum and seed with at least three posts from me to stimulate early discussion
  • Add at least three one-minute audios to begin the series
  • Add at least three one-minute videos to begin the series
  • PARTIALLY DONE. Add at least 200 more archived entries (150 to go)
  • Format and add poker statistics from existing MCU tables (only five are complete so far)
  • Put into place a plan for grand opening announcements and other ways to drive traffic to Poker1
  • Contact other poker, gambling, and general-topic sites about link exchanges and offer syndicated columns or audios to generate traffic
  • Plan Yahoo!, Bing, AdWords opening day blitz
  • Add all three Mike Caro vs. Doyle Brunson heads-up videos
  • DONE. Make all indexes work (except for those with asterisks under INDEX tab in main menu)
  • MCU Gym – add explanation of what it is with possibly one or more training exercises in place
  • Add links to next entry at the bottom of all lectures and tests that are in a series
  • PARTIALLY DONE. MCU library in main menu – complete links and indexes for articles and audios (Dictionary page now functioning)
  • Put up free online books, possibly including large portions of the original Book of Tells
  • DONE. Finish making Wiesenberg/MCU poker dictionary fully functional
  • Add rule books from casinos and other entities with permission to use
  • Create a pending section for MCU official poker rules that will be completed one-by-one with public discussion invited
  • Poker history articles – add entries and links to other recommended on-topic sites
  • Poker history museum – add pictures of ORAC (my artificially intelligent poker player, circa 1984) with accompanying explanatory entry
  • Poker history timeline — create and publish
  • Poker people / MCU Monuments of Poker — Add first three entries
  • Poker people / Poker profiles – begin with a dozen in-depth ones at grand opening
  • Yet More MCU – add something to get this started
  • Shop – fill in “about” and add all current products in categories with credit card processing functionality
  • Write and publish page or entry for Brain Trust methods section
  • Call experts  into session to create first new Brain Trust odds
  • Announce and publish first group of current Brain Trust odds
  • Add to older Brain Trust Odds section – legacy articles and audios for historical purposes
  • Write and publish “About” for Zone 2
  • Complete for Zone 2 (starting content): Current events, Press Releases, links to happenings
  • Complete for Zone 2 (starting content): Current News (updated daily with links and short descriptions of stories)
  • Complete for Zone 2: Gallery – Photos submitted by others, subdivide. Include MCU campus photos
  • Create for Zone 2: In Gambling – basic dictionary and say that it’s “going to grow”
  • Create for Zone 2: Gambling encyclopedia – say that it’s pending, but add two entries to begin
  • Complete for Zone 2: Gambling games and rules — descriptions and rules all major forms of gambling need to be added before launch
  • Create for Zone 2: Gambling history – brief overview; link to entries from sites
  • Complete for Zone 2: Gambling odds – create and link, also, to poker odds
  • Create for Zone 2: Gamblers and gambling-related people – capsule bios with possible links
  • Create for Zone 2: Gambling strategy – begin with at least 10 entries and provide links to other sites
  • Create for Zone 2: Inside Mike’s Mind — thoughts from essays, articles, and columns (include “Shadows in the Tent,” not actual title, plus selections from old “Caro on Gambling” book), two new commentaries on life
  • Create for Zone 2: Articles — two new entries
  • Create for Zone 2: Audios — two new entries
  • Create for Zone 2: Videos — two new entries
  • Create for Zone 2: Links — choose ones to add from still-operating sites on the old Poker1 list and new recommendations
  • Complete for Zone 2: MCU Press Package – add questions most frequently asked, link to bio, opinions, quotes (with links to entries discussing what I mean), contact information, artwork (including photos) for download, endorsements of me, MCU, and Poker1, and interview aids (topics I’m ready to discuss, with my likely answers to common questions)
  • Create for Zone 2: Yet More Zone 2 – add various things, including Table Rock Lake description and why I moved to the Ozarks
  • Select and add content or special widgets for right sidebar to make it approximately equal in length with left sidebar
  • PARTIALLY DONE. Fill in all pages, entries, or other gaps in main menu, so structure is complete and some starting content is in place for each selection (Dictionary page complete)
  • You’re up to date through the end of June, 2010. Please stick with us. — MC

    Published by

    Mike Caro

    Visit Mike on   → Twitter   ♠ OR ♠    → FaceBook

    Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.


    10 thoughts on “Poker1 status report #002, goofy ads (Caro blog)”

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    1. Hi again Mike, i just wanted to say that i wish i could come and meet you on your cruise or in Las Vegas,however i am just a humble working man from the country in a remote area in the wilds of the Canadian north.I wish i could make it down to meet you ,i have had a longtime admiration for your honesty and knowledge of all things in all areas of life and much more.I am a part time country recluse also,i took me 3 years just so i could get dial up internet where i live,it takes all day but i log onto POKER1 everyday,anyway,all the best Mike
      I hope to see you win the world series main event
      I know your feelings on tournaments but i still think your gonna win it
      All the best MIKE
      We will be cheering for you.

    2. Interesting! Why would Google
      be partial and utilize negative
      VALUE judgment towards Poker like this?
      Please keep us informed about Google!

    3. Mike:
      With all that work to be done, maybe you should have stayed at home.
      I hope to see you at the final table in November. As a member of your generation I would find inspiration in a deep run by you.

    4. Mike show them how good you are and remember your number one rule BRING YOUR BEST GAME TO THE TABLE.DONT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT.Regards OziMikeCaro.

    5. Wow, Mike. A lot of work involved!
      “I just don’t have the patience for the long delays between sessions — a personally shortcoming.” Think “personal” would work better here?
      I requested to be a friend on facebook. Normally don’t do so with people I don’t know personally, but I like you. (I purposely only have 18 friends on facebook.) See you there!
      Take care,

      1. Hi, Sheryl —

        Thanks for pointing out the mistake in wording. I fixed it and credited you with reporting the glitch in the change log (link at top of home page).

        Straight Flushes,
        Mike Caro

    6. (I’m kind of rooting for myself to get knocked out early, unless I gather a lot of chips.)
      I guess a last longer bet is not possible then?

      1. Funny, Stan. Actually, I do often make last-longer bets. If that happens, it might be a long dance.

        Straight Flushes,
        Mike Caro

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