Wow, what a year 2008 has been… and it moved by so fast. Lots of things have happened, most positively, but also some negatively. As every year, in the end you look back and so do I.
For me personally, I have been able to travel quite a bit. I traveled to Miami to meet with friends, stayed at a luxury hotel at Sunny Isles and had an amazing time. Later that year my favorite niece got married in Forza d’Agro (near Taormina, Sicily) in the actual church where they filmed one of the Godfather movies. Then there was another wedding in Philly, where I happened to be best man!
CAP Euro 2008
The CAP conference in Barcelona was my first conference outside of the country. I finally met Kurt from MaxPokerBonus.co.uk. We have been friends for many years, all the way from the good old EuroSlam basketball leagues, but never happen to meet in real life before. We both stayed at the Barceló Sants Hotel and shared many Conoritas in the lobby and Monte Christos just outside.
At this conference I also spoke to a lot of interesting people and closed many great deals for Poker For Free. Besides business, we had dinner in the best restaurants and went to several VIP parties, including high class clubs as the Joker and Mundo. Before flying home, we ended our stay with a guided bus tour throughout Barcelona.
CAP was a great experience, just like the Casino Affiliate Convention where I went earlier in 2008.
Only a couple of months ago, I had the highlight of my life poker carreer so far. In October I took my dad, who turned 75, to see my brother in Sint Maarten, which is one of the beautiful Dutch Caribbean islands full of casinos. That was actually one of my best poker vacations ever! I played live poker almost every night at the Casino Royale, just across the street from where we stayed.
Poker For Free
Well, thinking of Poker For Free, the website has gone through a lot of changes. First and foremost we introduced the leader board in March 2008. Until now there have been six episodes. The current leader board is the biggest prize wise, with over $1000 in freeroll and added money + $354.40 in APT tokens for the top 3 finishers. With one more tourney to go we haven’t crowned a winner yet, but there’s a big chance that it’s going to be Maciej Kasior.
Of course, the biggest change was redesigning the whole website and next to that we were able to introduce some kick ass features, such as the dynamic tournaments schedule, an improved Poker Club as well as this blog. Poker For Free has grown amazingly since version 2 and keeps growing. We’re looking forward to great deals because of this in 2009!
More recently, Poker For Free said goodbye, but not farewell as it stays part of the PFF network, to the Dutch version of Poker For Free. The site has been moved and is now on it’s own domain: PokerKamers.nl. There are several reasons for this, but the main reason is that in the end it will help our company grow, thus helps us get bigger and bolder deals for our visitors.
Unfortunately the forums never grew to the size we hoped for, but we’re not giving up yet! Just the other day, small changes to the look and feel were made to make it look slightly better and maybe some day we will see more loyal members like Sean and Rob.
Talking about loyalty, did you know we give away money to our most active forum members each month?
Big plans for 2009
Our plans for 2009 are big, but we are not able/allowed to reveal everything yet.
The leader board shall continue, but we are getting rid of the freerolls. Too many people are disgusted with the bad behavior of some players who only join PFF to steal – and share our passwords! We sincerely believe that it’s the right time to switch to a buy-in only league and that it will help mature Poker For Free as a whole.
Since the future looks so bright (as long as we manage to stay out of the financial debacle the world is in now) we are planning to introduce some new strategy writers. Since these people cost a lot of money and we don’t want this to suddenly end, we will start out on a low pace and see from there.
Personally, I am looking forward to become a father of our second child in March of 2009. This will of course be my personal highlight of the year and makes everything else looks tiny. This also means that, besides PFF, there’s a lot more work in the house (like changing diapers) to be done… sigh :)
Poker wise I hope to be able to play a lot more live games, be it cash games with my friends, games at one of the Dutch casinos or a major tournament overseas. Heck, if the situation lets me, I might even try to qualify online for the 2009 WSOP, else ways maybe some other major live tournament as the European Poker Tour would be cool. In fact, I am already practicing playing double-up tourneys at CakePoker and haven’t lost one yet!
Coming to this point, I think I have mentioned the most important things regarding the past and the present. I am pretty sure I have forgotten something, so if it comes in mind, I will edit this blog later on and add it.
Rest me to wish you and your loved ones all the best for 2009 and a prosperous poker year!