The eternal psychological dilemma of the affiliate site owner
This being my very first post on this here site, I think it’s only proper that I introduce myself before I proceed to fill up the page with the mindless rambling, complaints and the whining and B****ing so profoundly characteristic of poker players, so here goes: I’m an online poker player and a small affiliate site owner. I own a small poker rakeback operation, peddling my rakeback and poker prop deals to the couple hundred poker players, link-exchange whores, bonus hunters, scouting competitors and a surprisingly high number of folks interested in Stu Ungar’s nose who bother to visit my pages every day.
I obviously do not represent a threat to affiliate kings and queens like pokerlistings and pokernews.com in any way, but I do get along and I do enjoy sharing a couple of thoughts on the pages of my website every once in a while. There is something however that really puts me off every now and then: the way some of the sites I’m affiliated with treat me: their client. I’m not talking about lack of respect or other such childish shenanigans, I’m talking about the perceived thievery ladies and gentlemen, that I some times feel I fall victim to. There are affiliate deals out here which are still extremely secretive about the number of players I send their way (before you write me off as a fool for having signed up with them: they’re highly popular affiliate programs pretty much all respectable sites have developed relations with), which is an extremely shady practice to say the least. Anyway, one can’t stay excited about something while feeling ripped off all the time, and I want to stay upbeat, so I shoo away bad thoughts about how I have no control whatsoever over what goes on with my business at such sites, and I convince myself it’s just paranoia putting my resolve to the test.
But then again, every now and then, something comes along that shatters my carefully elaborated and built-up belief system in the fundamental fairness of the online poker world and I lose all appetite for action again. Today, I was talking to the new affiliate manager of a site I’ve been affiliated with for a while, and after we straightened out of couple of issues, I made the regrettable decision of asking him a few extra questions. About a year ago, the then affiliate manager told me I had 60 registered players, which was quite a decent haul considering my modest daily/monthly traffic. So I’m like: let me ask this fella, I bet I have over 100-150 dudes toiling away at the tables for me now. He says I have 40. Tough break. Tough year. Not only have I not recruited a single player (all this while decent click-through rates were showing on my stats-sheet), I lost a third of what I had had. Then the guy proceeds to tell me about how my best ever raker was a player called X who had once generated as much as $1.6k in rake. I’m like: what exactly are we talking about here? I had months when I picked up $3k in revenue, so what gives? Who raked for that kind of dough? Well, if you had such a player, he’s gone now, with no record of him ever having been here…he tells me, and the voice of good speaks up within me: maybe he’s looking at someone else’s stats. The all too familiar little red devil sticks his trident into another corner of my mind though, twisting it with a perverted grin and whispering: no, he ain’t…sucker.