Gerry Poltorak from PokerNewsBoy was one of the affiliates at the London Affiliate Conference who dropped off his business card to enter the affiliate prize draw at the Income Access booth. As it turns out, he is the lucky winner of an Olympiacos Euroleague shirt from Sportingbet, one of the largest online sports betting services, with a full suite of casino and poker games.PokerNewsBoy is one of the leading sources of poker news on the web, with a popular blog and forum, and was also up for an award in the Best Newcomer Affiliate category at the 2011 iGB Affiliate Awards. Gerry’s affiliate business stemmed from his own passion for playing poker, and says as he begins to look ahead at 2011 he sets his sights on going mainstream, promoting casinos, the Super Show in Dublin and maybe, just maybe, a warmer place to call home.
Janice Scrim: How did you react when you found out about winning the shirt from Sportingbet?
Gerry Poltorak: To be 100% honest, I actually forgot about the draw until I got a message from Andreea saying to check out the live prize draw. So was pretty cool to find out I had won a prize.JS: Are you planning to go to any other iGaming events in the near future?GP:This year’s London Affiliate Conference was my first time at any type of affiliate conference. I am planning on making the trip to Dublin come May. I now live in Omagh so it’s only a 2 hour drive to Dublin. I will probably turn up for one day and it would be a shame to go home and miss the partying at night, so I’m sure I’ll stay the night also.JS: We’ll be there too, Gerry, maybe we can connect! So, how long have you been an affiliate?GP:I have been an affiliate for about two years now. I would say about a year semi-full time. I say semi-full time as it’s the only thing I do now, but don’t put in enough hours to say I work full time.JS: How did you get started?GP:I was always interested in poker and played most nights for enjoyment. Then one evening I went bust, and never had the money to re-load. So I started looking at ways to make money from poker. That’s how I got into affiliate marketing in the first place. Then the fact I hated my job at the time gave me the drive to make enough money to quit that job— which I eventually did. JS: What verticals do you promote?GP:I mainly promote poker, however, over the last month I have been trying to launch a few casino websites. I have been working on OnlineCasinoSites.co.uk and CasinoSitesGuide.com. They are still not 100%, but will hopefully be ready to go soon.JS: Good luck with them! What surprises have you found working in this industry?GP:The biggest surprise has been discovering how helpful and friendly people are in this industry. I have made a few good friends now and have some people I can turn to when I need advice. That has been by far the biggest surprise— considering that in the end we are all competing against each other.JS: What do you think the biggest challenge is that you face as an affiliate?GP: I would say that for a lot of new affiliates, it’s sticking at it when you are putting in a lot of work and not seeing the money. My biggest problem was trying to stay focused on one thing. I was always trying to think of the next big thing— trying to think outside the box. The problem is that you can end up taking too much on, and it’s also important to remember everyone is thinking outside the box. Sometimes the best thing is to think inside the box, and stick to things that are known to work— at least while you are getting started. JS: When it comes to partnering with affiliate programmes, what’s most important to you?GP:I look at a few thing when looking at affiliate programmes: how strong the brand is, how good the communication is with the affiliate manager and whether they have anything from their past that might put off affiliates, like non-payments and such.JS: Is there anyone you’d like to thank for their support of your success?GP:Lock Poker for how great they have been to promote, and the recent promo that PokerNewsBoy has been involved in with them. Also I’d like to give a shout out to Kev from ThePokerFish.com, for all the help I have received as an affiliate and for helping PokerNewsBoy become what it is today. And finally, my kids, Mia and Kara—I do it all for you.JS: Do you have a favourite quote or wise words to describe your philosophy as an affiliate?GP:I can’t remember which site I read it on, but I remember reading one of the SEO advice websites that said the best SEO strategy is to build the very best website you can and the rest will follow. JS: When you’re not busy being an affiliate, how do you spend your time?GP:Usually playing with the kids. That’s the best thing and worst thing about working from home. You don’t miss out on anything with the kids. I also try and catch the local team play football on Saturdays, and always find time for poker on Thursdays. Having a large portion of my friends who play poker full time means we always find time for the odd drink—be it a Tuesday morning or Thursday night.JS: Where do you see yourself a year from now?GP: Hopefully with a few more solid websites. I would also like to see PokerNewsBoy go more mainstream and gather a larger base of followers. Plus I would love to move somewhere warm. Northern Ireland just isn’t warm enough for me.You think Northern Ireland is cold, Gerry—you should try Montreal, Canada from about November to April. If you’re looking for the full poker scoop, you can check out PokerNewsBoy by clicking here now. You can also follow Income Access on Facebook for more affiliate interviews, industry news, affiliate programme launches, promotions, contests and more.