2017 is here and upon us! For me personally I’m a huge goal setter, so I always get excited about a new year because it allows me to look back on the previous years’ goals I set and see where we succeeded and where we came up short. Using that information, I’m able to create realistic goals for the new year. The goals I set tend to be focused on 3 categories: Company, Personal Finance and Personal Balance. The personal goals tend to be the easier ones as there are just a lot of constants in my life. For finance, I know my mortgage amount each month and I know my family’s other consumption rates and that tends to be pretty easy to create budget goals using that information. For personal balance, again it’s pretty easy for me to create fitness goals based on the daily routine I’ve established over the long haul. The company goals though tend to be much more difficult. We’re in a constantly changing environment and the goals I set each year tend to be very fluid and change many times throughout the year depending on the direction our company takes to stay ahead of the curve. With that said, I’d like to share just 3 of our internal company goals for the New Year!
-Grow the MTT side of our operation: For the past few years we’ve put a large focus on cash games as we’ve felt that’s where the value has been in the US. During this time we’ve seen the cash games get quite a bit harder each year, but on the MTT side we see the same value as we did a few years ago with the proper focus on the right MTT’s and sites. While focusing on cash games, we actually had tremendous success on a small scale with our MTT players. We feel this is a market we’re not fully taking advantage of and plan on changing that in 2017. Here is how we plan on doing so:
1.) We’ve hired Sean Kraper and Dan Thomson to manage our MTT operation. They’ve managed our cash game operation for many years now and have done an outstanding job. There’s a lot that goes into running a proper MTT staking operation with constant nagging tasks like: Schedule Creations, Special Tournament Scheduling, Monitoring Bankrolls, Monitoring Win Rates and our personal favorite “Listening to bad beat stories”. Sean and Dan are the perfect combination to manage this, which will enable us to grow exponentially.
2.) We’ve hired Jason Stringfield to do some part time coaching for our operation. Jason has run his own coaching operation at 4to1dog for a long time. He’s been a great asset to our team as he’s referred numerous players to our operation. He has a very professional manner that fits what we strive for quite well. He’s going to be focusing his coaching on our high-volume low and mid stakes players.
3.) We are going to be changing up our advertising methods a little bit. Over the past few years we’ve exclusively advertised on 2+2. While we’ve felt in the past this has been effective, we’re looking for new places to advertise to broaden our reach. There are a lot of talented poker players out there that are interested in backing that simply do not visit 2+2. We’ve started advertising on Chicago Joey’s podcast in the last month and will be expanding beyond that for other advertising opportunities in the coming months.
At the end of the day we will measure our MTT growth by volume of players. A higher volume of players will lead to a higher volume of tournaments played, and through our team’s work this will inevitably lead to a higher amount of profits at year’s end. Just 3 months ago we only 6 backed MTT players, we’ve grown that in Sean and Dan’s first 3 months to currently 16 players. Our goal is to grow this to 30 MTT players by year’s end.
-Player Interaction: One of my favorite parts of being a financial backer of poker players is the inevitable relationships you build with your players. 8 years ago, I convinced my best friend from college Eric that we should start Imawhale Staking Group. Over these past 8 years I’ve been able to build even more friendships in our company with great guys. While I feel fortunate to have built these relationships, I want to spend time in 2017 trying to meet more of our players in person. Considering we all work from home and live in different parts of the world, that can prove to be difficult, but many of our players are in Vegas at least once/year and there are occasional times where I’m in a city of one of our players. Last year for example I was able to grab dinner with Andrew S in Chicago, grab beers with Peter J in San Diego, spend some time with Jamin S and his family in Florida, and then met up with quite a few others here in Las Vegas when guys visited (Shane B, Chris R, Nelson B, Andrew F, Tamas B, Jonathan T and James L). This year, I want to put a focus on continuing that. If you’re in Las Vegas, please let us know ahead of time. We want to go grab a beer or lunch or whatever you have time for. Creating these in person relationships, even while we are a cyber business, is very important to us.
-Expansion into other markets: There’s no denying that Bovada Poker has been incredible for our poker operation over the past few years. The games tend to have a reasonable amount of recreational players which is largely in part due to the measures Bovada has enacted during this time (No waiting lists, anonymous tables, no high stakes heads up tables, no HUD, no MTT tracking sites, etc). In the past year though the games on Bovada (now Ignition) have seemed to get a bit more difficult with more regs coming to the site. We will continue evaluating new networks as they come along to try to find the next “Bovada”. We’re looking for networks with a large recreational base, high rakeback, and dependable cashouts. We’ve already started testing out a few sites that meet this criteria and we will continue doing so in 2017.
These goals along with many others are going to enable our company to continue having huge success in 2017. If you’re currently backed by us, thank you for your support, our team is going to put you in a great situation to have your best year ever this year! If you’re not currently backed by us, contact us, I promise you that through our system we will enable you to make more money for yourself than if you were on your own!