From Colombia to London
It takes a 10-hour flight from Colombia to London to visit the conference. And a massive change in temperature from constant 25ºC to the foggy 5ºC UK weather. Winning Poker Network held the welcome drinks event the day before the event in a bar beside the popular Tower Bridge, where random people like Chris Moneymaker and Phil Nagy (WPN CEO) chased our team to take pictures. A friendly environment is a great way to start a working event. Drinks and live music were covered by Nagy. Nice touch.
The Docklands Light Railway (DLR), a driverless train, took us from the hotel to ExCel, where the conference is held annually. The ICE and iGB are held simultaneously, so we had to walk about 20 minutes between exhibitions from big operators like Playtech (iPoker Network) before reaching the actual conference. At first sight, the bright signs, the “goodies” from the partners (coffee, soft drinks, some gadgets), the warming welcome and the James Bond car shocks you and confirms the industry is healthier than ever.
Everyone is welcome here: poker rooms, affiliates, developers, SEO experts, publishers, in short all the poker industry.
After some short walks around the stands, we had some serious meetings with our partners, always looking for the best deals for our players: Chico Poker, WPN, GGPoker, WPT Global, Everygame Poker, Vbet Poker, iPoker Network, etc. Some unique promotions are coming as a result. If you're curious, online poker is about 5% of the entire e-gaming business, so almost everyone wants to close deals with casino and sports betting sites.
Poker remains an elite business.
We also talked with our friends from GPWA (Gambling Portal Webmasters Association) and we thanked them for a lifetime effort making the industry more transparent.
We dress appropriately for the gala night, following the black tie code for the iGB Awards ceremony. We spent a great time (dancing, drinking, eating, laughing, what else?) inswith colleagues until our company was mentioned in the shortlist along with iBetMedia and PokerNews (the last one eventually won the award). The venue theme was New York City with an 80’s twist, which was funny considering we were in London. The food, the music, and the friendly environment were amazing.
Being among the bests and the trust of our players is all the recognition we need.
The second day of the conference was more about saying goodbye to our partners, friendly chatting about the strategies to increase traffic, drinking Turkish coffee, and taking part in some draws where you were able to win a MacBook Air, but we won a phone case.
Many people have said for many years that poker is dying. After seeing the traffic boom in 2021-2022, the bright stands about our game in the conference, and the industry peers cheering up during the awards ceremony, we can say that poker is well-alive and the cards will be dealt for many more years.
Many rooms told us they will hold “the biggest thing in poker” this year. Stay tuned for more news.
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