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2 October 2009
By Rebecca Liggero
Lets face it, it's wayyy easier to come up with a top 10 for the Budapest Affiliate Conference than it is for EiG. Its not that one conference is better than the other, it just depends on what you are looking for. If you want to throw iGaming branded foam footballs at each other across the exhibit hall floor while you discuss last night's crazy party, BAC is for you. If you are a European male and have a black suit to wear all day long while trying to hide the fact you are hung over and stayed out until 5am, than EiG is for you. Ok, I know it's a bit more involved than that- different target audiences, different exhibitors, different speakers- but it is true that EiG is a bit more "serious" than iGaming affiliate conferences such as BAC. Or maybe I should say those who want to let loose at EiG keep it under wraps, unlike at the BAC where it's considered cool if you're blatantly sleep deprived and hung over the next day. Hey, whatever floats your boat. Enjoy!
#10: Conference organizer love
It really is refreshing, isn't it? First we had the Amsterdam affiliate conference shenanigans, and now Asia conference issues, but look at this!! See, we can all exist together, can't we? There is nothing but love between iGaming Business conference organizer, Alex Pratt, and Clarion's Global Head of Conferences, Mark Walker, which is all very convenient for me seeing as they are both good friends of mine. Selfishness aside, keep it up boys, we love to see the love.
#9: The Microgaming Bar
It's the hottest spot on the floor, it's the place to be seen, it's the place to be found, it's the place to network and drink beer. Calvin Ayre is certainly notorious for hanging around the exhibit hall bar, perhaps several bottles of wine deep, but this time we had the very hard working, yet very social Keith of Bodog Europe to cover the slack. When asked how he was able to manage his serious business initiatives in addition to his networking initiatives while enjoying a drink or two, Keith's answer is simple- "In Calvin's absence, we need someone to physically represent the "Work Hard, Play Hard" lifestyle that is embraced throughout Bodog world...I'm happy to do it". And to think, I chalked it up to Keith being Irish. Who knew there was an actual motive behind it!
#8: The Cable & Wireless Dinner
For the first time in my entire life I was invited to the infamous Cable & Wireless and Partners dinner. I feel so important! Ok, so maybe I was filling Calvin's seat because he couldn't make it, or maybe the organizers wanted to desperately help tip the female to male ratio to a more favorable number, but goddamn it I was there and had a great time. Some highlights from the evening include Michael Caselli's red cape, the very entertaining conversations at my male dominated dinner table, several tequila shots with Rob Dowling and company, and Keith McDonnell's "Work Hard, Play Hard" PR stunt which was highly successful, might I add.
#7: Chillin' with the Meister
Spending time with Bryan Bailey is always a very welcomed experience for me, and at EiG, I was able to spend a lot of unexpected quality time with this very special individual. I interviewed the Casinomeister on CalvinAyre.com camera during the conference, we spent time together at the Cable & Wireless dinner, we sat near each other at the Intertops dinner, we saw each other at the EiG party, and best of all, we had a nice, private, and informative chat over a "bier" at Rosie McGees, the Irish pub in downtown Copenhagen. Now I am about to tell you something that may seem a bit shocking at first, but when you really think about it, it makes a whole lot of sense. Over our bier, Bryan told me that his nickname in high school was "Jesus". Why? Because he used to have very long, blond, flowing hair. Ya dude, it's true.
Literally. I had some great cake at this conference! Michl of Intertops hosted a dinner prior to the EiG party and personally served up cake in celebration of his colleague's birthday. Careful with that knife, buddy. Later in the evening, the Cake Poker sponsored EiG party supplied the male dominated crowd with hot Cake Poker models walking around in baking gear and holding trays while serving the crowd, you guessed it, cake! Delicious guys, thanks.
#5: Danish Ayre Heads...of Playboy and Penthouse
Yes, I realize I mentioned the Ayre Heads in my BAC top 10, but this time it's different...trust me. Turns out the Danish EiG Ayre Heads are famous too! The beautiful Barbara Zatler
is the September 2009 Playmate of the Month for the Slovenian Playboy and the lovely Joan Divine has been featured in Penthouse. These ladies were such good fun during my CalvinAyre.com EiG interviews that I chose to interview them myself, and I suggested that we all meet in Boston one of these days for several nights out in my hometown. I'm pretty sure if we actually arrange this trip, both girls will quickly wind up with Green Cards and delighted Bostonian husbands. It's just a feeling I get.
#4: New friends and contacts
Usually I know everyone at these events, but this time I actually made some new friends and contacts at EiG. Shocking, isn't it? Some of the notables include Eddie Saints of Cable & Wireless, "Patman" of Walpay.de (friend of Michael Caselli's...enough said), Chuck Barnett of Mohawk Internet Technologies, Nick of CakePoker Network, Mark Blandford of SportingBet, Jesper Ramskov Jenson who actually said the words "Nudie Bar" on camera, the Danish Ayre Heads, and Marty Reiner of Visionary iGaming who wants to hire the Danish Ayre Heads as live dealers.
#3: Pizza with Pokerisivut.com
It is important to make new contacts and friends at these events, but it is also important to spend quality time with your existing contacts and good friends...over the best pizza in Copenhagen, that is. Pokerisivut.com's Aleksi and I have a long history of pizza dating around the world, the first pizza experience being in Monaco, the second in Helsinki, the third in New York City, and the latest in Copenhagen. I love having a real conversation with a good friend during a conference- outside of the exhibit hall and outside of the noisy club- it is always so refreshing. I also love when a simple pizza costs the equivalent of 30 American dollars. That's pretty refreshing too.
#2: The Pentasia boys
There is only one word that comes to mind when I think of the Pentasia founders...legends! I sincerely look forward to the conferences when I can meet up with these two industry classics, the stereotypical senior level business men who arrive at the exhibit hall in their suits, all business, all serious. Spot them at the dinner party of the evening and the suits may remain, but the "all business" and "all serious" sure as hell do not. Spot them at the post dinner after party and we're talking entertainment that they should be getting paid for.
#1: Bob "Bod" Rains does Karaoke
How can one human being be this independently awesome? And he can sing too!! Unfortunately I did not make the 3am pit stop at the allegedly "gay" karaoke bar that the die hard EiG crew somehow managed to frequent on a nightly basis, but I did hear all about it. According to Adriaan Brink, Bob's karaoke performance came across quite well and was kind of a rapper style song, as he remembers. In reality, Bob chose The Pointer Sisters' "I'm so excited" during which he didn't exactly rap, and describes his performance as "softly spoken on the mic, deadpan". Apparently he's done it before? It's a "thing"? Really. In addition to Bod's "thing", I heard Chris Miller delivered a killer performance of "Teenage Dirtbag", Martin Collins and AJ were both propositioned by gay men, and Dennis Van Maanen "really needs to keep his day job".
22 September 2009I may have a new boss and a new job with Calvin Ayre and Bodogbrand.com, but when it comes to industry entertainment, not much has changed...with the upcoming launch of CalvinAyre.com, and with Calvin's return to the public, it will only continue to get better. I promise. Now enjoy my top 10 from the ... (read more)
18 August 2009In the rapidly evolving world of social media, the relatively "old school" concept of blogging remains at the forefront as one of the most popular online means of mass communication. Nowadays, blogs act as a form of constant communication to the public and act as a feeder and doorway into the writer's social networking sites profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. ... (read more)
The latest addition to the Bodog brand family: Interview with Ian Dunning of Haydock Entertainment, BodogBrand.com's Asia-facing licensee
4 August 2009To finish off my Bodog brand founder and licensee story writing extravaganza, I completed an interview with Ian Dunning, Managing Director of Haydock, BodogBrand.com's Asia-facing brand licensee (www.Bodog88.com). Haydock, the most recent addition to the "Bodog" brand licensee family, is licensed in the Philippines and based in Manila, a city that Ian loves and a city that I am dying to visit. ... (read more)