Remember years ago when you had that friend who was crushing it playing Texas Holdem Poker online? I know I did. His name was Eric and he was making like $2,000 a day playing poker online. Meanwhile he was also working a day job for a measly 20k/year.
My friend Eric was the first person I know to have dual monitors on his computer. Back then they were 20″ Sony Trinitrons CRT’s that weighed like 60lbs each and they were beautiful. I should know – I was his “computer nerd” friend who set it all up for him.
I remember thinking damn he has the life. He gets to love what he does and he gets paid VERY well for it.
I really knew nothing about Texas Holdem Poker back then except that I wanted a piece of the action.
I had one missing crucial component to being good at Texas Holdem – Patience.
Instead I focused on a way to “beat the system”.
All of these online poker rooms had “watcher” modes where you could sit and watch people playing for money. There were also programs that would record the games being played and I would later analyze these.
I primarily focused on “10 man sit and go tournaments”. This is where 10 people sit down at a virtual online table and play until one person wins. The table pays out to the top 3 finishers.
I recorded these games around the clock for weeks and then analyzed my data. I stumbled across some really cool stuff. One interesting statistic was that if you did nothing but fold your cards 100% of the time you could place in the money something like an average of 20% of the time. This was because people would knock themselves out playing each other while you just sat and waited.
But this percentage drastically increased and decreased depending on time of day and events.
For instance I discovered that the percentage for folding your way into the money drastically increased if you played 1-2 hours before a major online tournament. This was because players were just killing time before the big event they were about to play in and played balls out “all ins” constantly.
So I knew that if I could write a bot that just did nothing but fold and it played 1-2 hours before a major event I could pretty much break even. But how do I now build on this and increase my profitability.
Well as far as playing cards goes there is tons of data that tells you statistically your odds of winning based on what cards you have and what cards are on the table.
Also if you are the small or big blind you could get most people to fold just by doubling the big blind bet.
So after weeks of tweaking code I built a script that would fold for me for until the table was down to 6 people then play my big blinds if everyone else called (but fold if someone raised) and also would play certain hands based on probability to win.
The script was profitable but there was one problem. I was broke. I did not have enough capital to back it. I was placing in the money a lot of the time but only making about 30$ a hour for the brief time where this was profitable.
The cool thing about it was I learned a SHITTON about Texas Holdem Poker and can play decent if I can keep focused enough (I finished 2nd in the 2007 tournament at the Venetian in Vegas).
One interesting thing about affiliate marketers is LOTS of them are poker players. At almost any event a poker game will break out eventually. Anyway I digress…
I have had many conversations lately with people about how affiliate marketing (specifically pay-per-click) is the new Texas Holdem.
Think about it for a minute.
You could take many aspects of what I said I was doing with poker years ago and apply it to what I am doing with affiliate marketing now.
Make betting decisions based on stats
Build tools to improve profitability
The weird thing now is that I am the guy people know and tell stories about.