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Why you Need to Play Online Poker

InterPoker - Play Now

For those poker enthusiasts, the brick and mortar casino cannot compete with online poker sites. These sites are more competitive fiscally because they have a global reach, and can average more hands per hour than your brick and mortar. The best thing about playing online poker is the ease of access to which you can play. It is easy to sign up, easy to buy-in, and you can play at any time of the day.

One of the biggest advantages to online poker is that, there are always games you can join. To your brick and mortar casino, there are certain hours which are better than others.   When playing online, players come from all over the world, so there are games running 24 hours of the day.  However, if you ask a “pro”, they’ll let you know when the fish start playing.

Another great feature to online poker sites is the choice of games. There are more variations of games available. Many online poker players will play at more than one table to increase their return on investment. The more hands a player can play in an hour, the better chance they have to turn a profit. Many poker sites even offer a tile tool. This will “snap” the tables together, leaving them on top of the screen so you can always view the game.

Another offer is the amount of “Sit and Go” tournaments offered. This offer is a must have for online poker, because it gives players a chance to play in tournaments once the table has been filled. There are also Multi-Table tournaments which offer high payouts to the final table.

I encourage you to look into online poker because of the many options it has. If you are an avid poker player, then look no further to get your poker fix than online poker rooms.  Inter Poker is a site that I’d recommend.  They offer a very generous 200% up to $1,000 welcome bonus.  In addition, they’re going to be offering a €25,000 New Year Challenge on February 12, 2013, where €5,000 goes to the winner.  Check out of the great promotions on their website.

Update.

God, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted.   Let’s cut to the chase.

My golf handicap is at 12.3 right now.  I’m still struggling with my driver, but my overall game has improved.  My bunker game needs a little bit of help and my putting stroke could use a little work.  I did have 27 putts the other day though.  The two chip ins didn’t hurt either.  I’ve put in 56 rounds this year already.  I know others that have played more.

My stock portfolio is nearing my previous high again.  Still down about 15-20k from the all time highs though and probably off about 15k for the year.  Here’s what I’m currently holding:

Shorter term:

  • 10 BBY Sep 2012 $20 Puts at $3.04
  • 200 VXX at $23.04

Longer term:

  • 100 DVY at $53.71
  • 400 ITB at $14.40
  • 100 MGK at $53.23
  • 50 ONEQ at $120.72
  • 144 PJP at $31.43
  • 100 QLD at $55.37
  • 100 SPYG at $59.98
  • 75 XBI at $80.53
  • 300 XHB at $19.78
  • 100 DLN at $49.42
  • 75 IVW at $72.88

I’ve got quite a bit of cash in the reserves right now.  I may add to my longer term portfolio or play some of the seasonality picks.  I’d like to get back into natural gas as well.   I’m still down a little over $2k on that botched trade, but trying to get even always gets me killed.  I believe UNG is one of those ETFs that sends out K-1s too, which means that you get taxed even if you’re trading in a retirement account.  Technically, it’s a partnership in which you are a member of…kinda stupid, if you ask me because most people will not know what the F they are “investing” in.

Work-wise, I’ve still been working somewhat hard on doing a lot of things.  First off, I paid someone $500 to build a new website for my gift exchange site, then paid $80 to have someone slice up the PSD file into HTML.  Now, I just need to go in there and place all of my ASP code into the new design.  This will take me quite a while I imagine, but my goal is to have it done by the end of the July because there’s still a ton of work to be done before November 1st, which is when the hits start coming.  My revenues have been doubling every year since my launch in 2008, so I’ve got even bigger plans this year.

Another thing that I’ve been working on is building out a blog network.  I don’t normally buy other affiliate marketing e-books, but I did recently buy the Blog Network Basics e-book for $5 from http://passiveincomeonlineblog.com/.  She’s got a pretty good blog over there mainly because she lists her actually income and expenses every month. Most bloggers don’t do that. The e-book was definitely well worth the $5 that I spent.  I got a ton of valuable information from there.  She’s selling the book for $27 now, which I think is still a steal.

Anyways, I’ve been on a domain name buying spree, mainly via godaddy auctions.  Believe it or not, I actually spent $225 on one domain.  I don’t know if it was actually worth it or not (probably not), but it was one of those domains which I had to have.  I probably could’ve gotten a lot more value on a different domain name for that $225 that I spent, but oh well, live and learn.

I’ve also been buying articles left and right on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.  I find that I can get unique 300+ word articles for under $2 per article.  Yeah, most of the articles are not that great, but they are unique articles with my targeted keywords in them and I can reject any grammatically incorrect or poorly written articles.  For $2 a pop, I’m getting work done at less than $5/hour, which is borderline thievery.

I feel like I have tools for everything now.  I just need to see what works and what doesn’t, then I can do what I do best, which is to make money via affiliate marketing.  I have so many ideas in my head to make money, but either procrastination or having fun elsewhere (i.e. golf) always gets in the way.  If I had the dedication like some of these either affiliate marketers had, I think I could be making bank.  One day I will take this job a little more seriously.  Maybe.

Short BBY +$22,588.55; Short SBUX -$24,387.54

bestbuy-bby-short

The thing about the stock market is that it’s hard to consistently win playing it. I don’t care how good you are or how much money you have or how long you’ve been doing it, but it’s hard to consistently make money.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you that it’s easy to make money in the stock market because it’s almost a lock that they are either inexperienced or lying, if they’re telling you that.

So my Best Buy and Starbucks short started a little over 2 years ago in Jan 2010.  I shorted BBY around the mid-$30s, then it dipped and came back strong above $40.  At one point, I was holding onto a $5k-$6k loser.  I shorted more and held.

Two years later, with the help of some terrible earnings and a CEO scandal, I’ve been scaling out of this puppy.  I’m still holding 15 contracts of the BBY Jan 2013 $20 puts at a price of $3.15.  Earnings comes out tomorrow.  Total profit on the trade so far? $22,588.55.  Probably one of my best longer term trades so far, but here comes the bad part…

Starbucks, I initially shorted this puppy because of their stupid Via promotion.  Instant coffee from Starbucks.  I felt like they spent too much money promoting the stupid thing, and the instant coffee sucked, so I guessed that they’d be going downhill, since I was one of the people who stopped going to Starbucks as often because of their expensive coffee.

I started shorting Starbucks near the 38.2% retracement level in the mid-$20s.  Little did I know that it was actually the start of a new uptrend, retracing over 161.8% to $62 as a 52-week high.  During the whole shorting process, I kept adding and adding to my short position, averaging up, thinking that what goes up, must also come down.  The stock is trading at $52 and change now, but I was all out around the $57-$58 range.  I just couldn’t take anymore.  Total loss?  $24,387.54.

Net/Net, I’m probably about breakeven if you added these two trades up, but damnit, if I could only avoid the bad trades and just keep adding to the winners!  The problem is, how in hell would I have known which one was going to be the winner and which one was going to be the loser?  Nobody knows in trading, as anything can happen in any given day.  That’s the truth.

What have I learned from these two trades?  Pretty much absolutely nothing.  I probably should’ve taken my loss in starbucks when I was down 10% or 20%, instead of adding to the losing position, but like I said before, I was down about $5k-$6k on my BBY trade as well before it ultimately made me $22k.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

We’ll see how it goes, I guess.  The Starbucks trade was definitely a painful one, as the stock just kept going higher and higher over the past two years and it was just weighing on me like an elephant on my back.  I hate losing, which is not a good quality to have as a trader and I’m stubborn, which adds fuel to the fire.

I guess, moving forward, I’m gonna try not to add to losing positions and seriously consider taking a max loss at 20%, regardless of the circumstances.  There’s always a reason for holding, even when I’m down 20% on a trade.  Somehow, I seem to convince myself that it will turn back into a winning trade…heh.  The odds of a 20% loser turning back into a winner based on past history?  0%.  That’s probably a fact.

The Quickest Way To Save Money When Traveling Out of the Country

prepaid-cell-phone-plans

There are tons of things you can do when you want to make your vacation or business trip out of the country a little bit better. While a lot of these things are simply stuff that will make your trip more comfortable or more enjoyable, there is also the issue of saving money. While you will naturally spend a good deal of money to travel outside the country, you don’t have to go crazy with it.

In a lot of cases, the simple things like prepaid cell phone plans can help you save a ton of money on a lot of fronts. These include loss prevention, ease of use and the fact that having an expensive phone with an expensive plan might be paying for essentially nothing on a trip where your normal network does not apply.

Loss Prevention

While traveling outside the country may give you a sense of being away from things like crime, theft happens everywhere, wth examples even in fairly peaceful countries like England. While a thief might not beat you up to take your phone, they might wait until you’re distracted by something, which is a fairly common thing for a foreigner who is admiring classical architecture or the natural beauty of a strange land. Once they have your phone, you aren’t likely to get it back. With a prepaid phone, this isn’t that big of a deal. But if it’s a phone with a contract, you could be in for a serious annoyance if you like actually having a phone.

Ease of Use

A lot of times, the phone you use at home will simply not work as well in another place. If there are different kinds of number schemes, area codes and whatnot, you might find yourself unable to make a simple call simply because your phone is incompatible with the local scheme.

While there are often workarounds you can use, these tend to be complicated and bothersome in the extreme. Wouldn’t it be easier to simply pick up a phone that you can use in the country you’ll be traveling into, and then throw or give it away once you’re back at home? A lot of people find this to be the easiest solution.

Network Issues No More

Networks are a crazy thing. If you like how complicated it can be to get something networked in your native country, you will absolutely love how much of an ordeal it is to get something networked in a country with a different language, different laws and even an entirely different networking structure. Again, using a native phone that already interfaces with the local network is simply an easier solution. Why fight what works when you can simply go with it, and make your trip both easier and cheaper.

Slacking…

So, the stock market has been pretty up and down for me over the past few weeks.  I’m probably about $25k off of my highs right now.  Not great, for sure, but not a dagger either.  I’d much rather be up $25k, but c’est la vie.  It’s almost always one or two trades that “kill” me.  This time, it was SBUX, which I’m completely out of, and I didn’t realize it, but I am down maybe $9k on my UNG trade.  Those two stupid trades have costed me a lot.

One of my problems is doubling and tripling down on losing trades.  SBUX, I just keep averaging up (since I was short), and it just kept getting worse and worse.  I think last year or the year before, it was UYM or something like that.  That bitch took for me like $20k.  The point is, stop averaging down on big losers.  Easier said than done, but it will save me in the long run.  If I just stopped averaging down, then I’m be in the black this year and much more in the black last year.

Okay, so here’s my portfolio as of today:

  • -400 BBY at $36.49
  • 20 BBY June 2012 $28 puts at $4.07
  • 1 GOOG March 2012 $575 put at $6.90
  • 400 VXX at $25.22
  • 15 UNG Jan 2013 $14 Calls at $2.55

Longer term portfolio:

  • 500 PBP at $20.22
  • 100 IHF at $64.70
  • 75 XBI at $80.53
  • 100 MGK at $%3.23
  • 50 QLD at $117.57
  • 75 VUG at $68.54
  • 300 XHB at $19.78
  • 400 ITB at $14.40
  • 50 ONEQ at $120.72
  • 125 IWF at $66.00
  • 48 IYW at $77.23

I actually swapped out my 1500 shares of UNG, which I took about a $9k bath on, for 15 Jan 2013 $14 calls.  Kinda stupid, since I’m kinda risking the same amount for a little less back, but if I would’ve just did that when I initially got in, then I wouldn’t have been down $9k on the trade.  I guess I just didn’t think that UNG would trade all the way down to $14 and change.

So, I got out of my 1,500 shares of UNG at $14.30, the low of the year is $14.25.  Yeah, I near bottom ticked that bitch, but the good news is that I was able to get my options right around that price.  The spread on those options are pretty wide though, so that kinda sucked, but it’s trading up about 80 cents since when I bought, so that’s about +$1,200, whereas my 1,500 shares would be up about $1,600 now.

Okay, so here’s what I’m thinking now.  As of this moment, I’m not heavily weighted one way or another.  I am probably overextended a little bit on my BBY short.  For that trade, I’m looking to swap out my June puts for some Jan 2013 puts probably.  I don’t want it to get too volatile, especially since expiration on those contracts are coming up in 6 weeks or so.

That’s about it for now.  I would like to short SBUX via Jan 2013 puts again, but i’m a little scarred.  I may still do it anyways because I never seem to learn my lesson.  I will wait til Monday.

Deep Linking with VigLink

viglink-deep-linking-links

Recently, I stumbled upon a new website called VigLink.com.  Anybody who’s familiar with affiliate marketing knows that sites like Linkshare, CommissionJunction, Google Affiliate Network, Shareasale, PepperJam, etc., are a mess.  There are literally thousands of sites offering their affiliate programs within these providers, sometimes they’re doubled up promoting via multiple providers.  For example, I can promote the GolfNow affiliate program through both Commission Junction and Shareasale.   To me, it’s mass confusion, especially if I’m working with so many different affiliate programs.  Not to mention the mass amounts of emails that I get from every affiliate program with their latest deals and promotions.  It’s too much.

Enter VigLink.com.  They basically join every single affiliate program available through all of the different providers, then give affiliate marketers an easy way to earn a commission through a simple to use link or better yet, through their java api, where all you have to do is add some javascript to your website, and they’ll automatically do the linking for you.  Their cut?  25% of the total commission paid for each sale.

To me, 25% is not that much considering the crazy amount of work that I’ve put into building my own system, the amount of work necessary to apply to all of the various affiliate programs, and the maintenance required to keep all affiliate links current.  I’d probably spend way more than 25% of my profits maintaining my own affiliate links versus using VigLink.  In addition, some programs like Golfsmith wouldn’t even accept me as an affiliate.  Through VigLink, I can promote Golfsmith with no problems.  So, in a way, this is a commission that I would not normally get anyways, so net-net, I’m a winner in the end.

Now, one of the questions that I asked even before I got started promoting was if they supported deep linking or not.  Deep linking is embedding an affiliate link directly to a product on a website.  Not all online e-tailers offer deep linking.  For example, if I wanted to link to a specific book on my blog, I do so on the Amazon affiliate program with ease.  All I have to do is add “&tag=boogsterblog.com-20” to the end of the product link, and voila.  However, if I wanted to link to, let’s say barnesandnoble.com or another book reseller, it’s not so easy.  I would have to login to one of the providers, find the product in their database, then grab the link and insert it into my blog.  Yes, definitely a pain in the ass.  Usually not even worth the time spent doing it, since I’d probably make like a dollar on the sale, if I get a sale.

With VigLink, they make this very easy.  They actually have an API, which took me literally 15 minutes to figure out.  You can view the API documentation here:

http://support.viglink.com/entries/20646001-api-documentation

Generating a deep link is as simple as getting your API Key from the “account” section on VigLInk and then providing a url encoded string at the end of the viglink link.  Something similar to this:

http://api.viglink.com/api/click?key=aasdfasd23423423adsfasdf34234&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.boogster.net%2Fblog%2F&out=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.zappos.com%2F

That’s it.  Since most of my sites has a redirect script, I can easily add an affiliate link to products by preceding the outgoing link with the viglink above.  All of this done easily, and without the person clicking even knowing about the affiliate link.

I’m going to be testing the VigLink service this year to see how well it performs.  I love the idea.  However, who knows how well it will actually perform.  I know how hard a system like this is to implement because I tried building one myself, so I imagine that there is a lot of logistical stuff on the backend that gets pretty complicated.  From what I’ve read though, VigLink has some seed money behind them, so they should have enough resources to make everything work smoothly.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed because this will save me a ton of time and resources myself.

 

Stock Market = Bad; Capitulated from SBUX Short

capitulated-starbucks-sbux-short

I’m probably about $25k off of my all time highs due to my terrible picks.  I finally capitulated out of most of my SBUX position for a pretty big loss.  Let me just bring up a chart here:

I’ve been shorting this fucker ever since late 2009.  We’ve barely had a dip.  That means for over 2 years, I’ve been feeling the slow painful death of watching this fucker go higher and higher every day.  In that “short” time, I was also able to read Howard Schultz’s book Onward.  The founder’s story of how he brought the Starbucks brand back from the graveyard in 2008.

After I finished reading his book, I actually went to a Starbucks and bought my very first cold coffee drink for like $4, but I definitely wanted another cup after I finished that one because it was pretty delicious.

Anyways, I started shorting the stock because I thought the stupid VIA “instant coffee” idea was terrible.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  I think it’s become one of their “billion dollar revenue streams”.  I guess instant coffee is high margin, low overhead, which is why it’s such a profitable venture.

I should’ve sucked it up and covered my short a long long time ago, but that “never give up” attitude cost me this time.  I’m glad to say that I finally gave up.  Heh.  F that stock.

The only good news that I started buying deep in the money options with about an 80% delta, so my losses were actually somewhat limited.  It could’ve been a lot worse if I had shares outright.  I wouldn’t call this a good thing, but that’s about the only positive that I could get from this trade.

I’m finally out of this fucker of a stock though.  I really don’t care what it does now.  As a matter of fact, I hope it tanks, so that I can tell myself that “I told you so”.  Heh.

These last few months have been pretty painful on the stock market front, as everything that I’ve touched has turned to dust.  I got some VXX after reading the FLY’s blog and because I was bearish, and I’m down about $3.5k on that trade.  UNG (natural gas ETF), down about $5k+, maybe $6k.  GOOG put, down about $1.3k.  F me.  And that’s on top of my SBUX short.

Like I said though, I’m down about $28k off of my all time highs right now.  I said $25k earlier, but I lied.  It’s actually probably more like $28-$29k.  This shit happens just about every year.  As I get older and as I’ve been in this game longer and longer, I’m starting to realize that my lack of a plan is really leading to erratic results.  I don’t like erratic results in anything.  I really need a new plan.

Let’s start with not doubling down on losers.  I doubled down on VXX and it’s costed me another $1.5k or so.  And selling my winners too early has costed me too.  I had an AAPL call before earnings and sold it.  I probably would’ve made at least $-8-$10k on that puppy.  Instead, I made $900.  F.

Okay, enough bitching about my losers now.  Time to get back on that horse and start trotting again.  My only saving grace has been my Best Buy short.  I’m kinda loaded to the gills on that one.  I have 20 June $28 puts, and 400 shares short from a long time ago in the 40s.  Unfortunately, it’s not enough to offset all of my losses this year yet.  I do feel like an elephant has been lifted off of my back though with the SBUX short.

The good news is that I still have 9 months to “get it back”.  I wish that I were “giving some back” instead of always trying  to “get some back”.

Alright, I will walk about what else I’ve been up to in my next post.

My First Indoor Triathlon

sprint-tri-training-plan

I’ll be doing my first triathlon on May 27th.  It’ll be an indoor tri with a 10 minute swim, 30 minute bike and 20 minute run.  Yeah, it’s kind of a start tri, with no real consequences to being slow, but I think it’ll give me a feel for doing all three in one event.

I haven’t really been training for this thing, but I have been hitting the gym a few times a week and I’m in pretty decent shape.  I’m going to be following this training plan that I got from here:

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/sprint%20programs.htm

I’m gonna start at week 4 because I can’t do anything for more than 10 weeks, otherwise, I’ll get burned out.

I don’t have any goals for times yet, but I’ll have some as I get closer to the tri.  I think swimming will be the hardest part, but 10 minutes is not too bad.  Doing 10 minutes straight without stopping…well, we’ll see how that goes.  Heh.

If this goes well, then I’ll probably sign up for an outdoor tri a month later, or one in the fall.  And things go really well, then I may try my hand at a real sprint triathlon in open water.

BuildMyRank Shuts Down

Pretty sick, but the latest google update de-indexed all of their sites. Here’s from their blog:

“On a daily basis, we monitor our domain network to check metrics like page rank, indexed pages, etc. As with any link-building network, some de-indexing activity is expected and ours has been within a permissible range for the past two years. Unfortunately, this morning, our scripts and manual checks have determined that the overwhelming majority of our network has been de-indexed (by Google), as of March 19, 2012. In our wildest dreams, there’s no way we could have imagined this happening.”

BuildMyRank is a service that allows users to build their google page rank by giving them links from high PR blog sites.  The problem is, most of these blog sites were just dummy sites optimized with high PR.  In a sense, BMR was kinda asking for it, but it was a great service for people like me who don’t have the time and resources to create a blog network myself.

In the end, if there’s anything that’s certain about SEO, it’s to never rely on Google.  Quality content sites are still king, and will always be king in the long run.

Update

I noticed that some of my keywords dropped off as a result of the BMR de-indexing…

Snowbird, San Francisco, Vegas – The Stock Market

original-apple-logo

Gosh, it’s been a while.  A lot has happened over the past month.  First off, I went skiing for the first time out west.  I went out to Utah with a buddy of mine and some of his family members.  The great thing was that it snowed quite bit when we were there.  We actually had two “powder” days, which was great, but it also caused some crazy traffic due to avalanche control, and everybody wanting to get in on the “powder” action.  One day, we actually sat on a bus for over 2 hours trying to get to the ski resort.  You know how much I love waiting.

Anyways, the skiing was ridiculous.  They have these things called “bowls” on the mountains and basically, they’re huge areas for skiing where the layout is like a “bowl”.  Everybody is skiing downwards towards the center of the bowl.  Of course, there are trees and moguls and tons of other shit that you gotta avoid, but god damn, these things were pretty cool.  Scared the crap out of me for sure.

I ended up getting this thing called “shin bang” on my second day out on the slopes.  That really put a damper on my skiing because “shin bang” hurts like hell.  It’s basically your shin banging into your ski boots due to improper fitting boots.  It kinda sucked.  Actually, it really sucked.  Imagine trying to ski down a huge mountain with a big fucking welt on your shin…

I made the best of it.  I ended up buying this shin pad thingy and cutting a hole in it where my bruise was, and putting it over my shin.  It helped a little bit, but it was still pretty painful.

The mountain definitely got the best of me this time, but I’ll be back for sure.  We ended up skiing Solitude, Snowbird, and Alta and we visited Park City on the last day there.  I’d like to go back some time to get revenge.

My second trip was to San Francisco and Vegas.  I did the wine country thing in San Fran, but instead of the well known Napa Valley, we ended up staying in Healdsburg for 2 nights.  I must say that it was such a lovely town.  Venturing outside of DC just makes you realize how nice people are outside of the DC area.  Or maybe I should say, it makes you realize how rude and busy people are in the DC area.  I swear, everybody that we met on our trip to San Fran/Healdsburg were so nice to us.

In San Fran, we did a little bus tour, hit up Alcatraz, and ate some great food.  Alcatraz was a little bit of a show.  It kinda sucked, to be honest.  I’ll never go back there again.  I don’t know, it’s just nothing that I couldn’t have gotten from watching a video of the place on youtube.  Not to mention that we had to catch a ferry over there, then wait for a ferry to come back.  It was just a little bit of an ordeal for not that much excitement.

The bus tour was pretty cool.  We got to see a quick and condensed version of the city in about 3 hours.  Much more than we could’ve gotten done ourselves in that same time.

The last stop was Twin Peaks at night.  One of the coolest things I’ve ever done.  Twin Peaks is basically one of the tallest “hills” in San Fran.  Only a short drive from the city…less than 15 minutes.  And the view was amazing.  The entire city lit up from up there.


It was pretty damn cool.

After San Fran, we ended our trip in Vegas.  Stayed at the Bellagio.  Did a little gambling, a little betting on NCAA basketball, and ate and drank like little college kids wanna-bes.  I’ll be honest though, I didn’t last long.  I definitely can’t drink like I did 10 years ago.  Old as f’k.

I did play some poker on my trip to Vegas.  First time in months, and I’ll tell you, it felt great.  Most likely because I won, but I felt comfortable banging it out with with the other donkeys at the table who wanted to take my money.

I did lose in $1/$2 NL (-$180), but I got it back in $2/$5 NL plus more (+$440).  I played for maybe 3 hours total, so it wasn’t a long session, but I felt like I had my game.

There was this one dude at the $2/$5 NL game that kept talking shit to pretty much everyone at the table.  I guess he had the right to, since he had most of the chips, but no more than an hour at the table, I could already tell that he had some flaws to his game.  First off, he had some of the biggest tells.  In one hand, he bluffed another guy on the river, and as the guy was contemplating on whether to call him or not, he lifted his cards up and acted eager to show the cards to his opponent.  I know that he didn’t know it, but that is one of the most obvious tells out there.  His opponent mucked, and he showed a bluff.  About an hour and a half later, he tried to do it me and I called him down with Ace high.  Dip shit.

Another tell that I love is when players take a sip of their drink immediately after raising.  That is instant weakness.  I wish I had a few more hours at that table.

I played a little $25 craps too.  I didn’t last very long though.  Lost $220 playing that.  All in all, I think I just about broke even with all of the sportsbetting, craps, poker, roulette, sic bo, war, etc.  Yeah, I played war.  Two hands to be exact.  The first hand, I got an Ace of clubs and the dealer got a Jack.  The second hand, I thought that I was done as I got a 3, but the dealer ended up pulling a 2.  Hah, dumb bitch.  Of course, I was drunk as shit, so it made it even more fun.

The stock market.  God, it sucks watching my pile of money dwindle pretty much every single day.  I swear, I think I’ve lost about $15k on paper in the past week alone.  Everything that I touch is in the red.  I’m actually pretty close to capitulating on my shorts.  I will hold my Best Buy short, but SBUX, i’m already cooked with, and my Google put is not looking good….VXX…not good.  I can keep going, but it really sucks.  My Natural Gas play, I’m down a few Gs on as well.  Everything…down, down, down.

I’m probably down about $25k or so from my all time highs right now.  Something has to give for sure.  I don’t know if I’ll capitulate, or just stick tight.  The only good news is that I can’t lose any more on my SBUX options because they are only worth about 30 cents now.  F me…I guess it’s still better than holding 1,400 shares of SBUX short, cause I’d be down a hell of a lot more if I still had my shorted shares.

BTW, I just finished reading Howard Schultz’ book Onward, and I gotta say that the guy is pretty smart.  If you don’t already know, Howard Schultz is the founder and current CEO of Starbucks.  He basically brought the company back from the dead in the mid-2000s.  Since then, the stock has nearly quintipled.  Of course, I’m sure the uptrend of the economy has also had an effect on Starbucks’ stock price.

I’m reading Steve Jobs’ book now.  The Walter Isaacson one.  I think the general theme of this book is that Steve Jobs was a dick.  A big one.  A stinky one (rarely bathed) who only ate vegetables, rarely wore shoes, labeled people in two groups (shitheads and A-teamers), and overly-detailed oriented perfectionist.  You really gotta read this book, if you haven’t already.  I’m about a third of the way through right now.

Reading about Howard Schultz and Steve Jobs really gives me a sense of how I compare to these two brainiacs in terms of running a business.  It’s funny how different masterminds run their businesses completely differently, but they all share one trait, which is greatness.  No doubt that Steve Jobs was a “visionary”, but Isaacson makes it seem as though 98% of the people that worked with him, absolutely hated him.  It’s mind blowing.

BTW…here is the original 1984 Apple commercial that aired on Superbowl XVIII:

F, it’s bed time now.  2am…and I’m still on West coast time.

Diversifying My Business

I’ve been working on quite a few things lately.  Everything from my golf game to building up new domains and even setting up some trips.

Let’s get to the important stuff first.  I’ve already played 13 rounds this year due to the 50+ degrees weather that we’ve been having almost every day.  Unfortunately, my game has been struggling bad.  Seems like everything is failing me.  My handicap is now 16.5.  Probably higher than it was at any point last year.  My driver, my irons, my short game, my putting…everything is going in this shitter.  Whatever I’m doing, it’s obviously not working.

I need to find a different way to learn.

Not everybody is like Bubba Watson where you can just figure out the entire game of golf by yourself; no coaches, no books, no videos.  That’s kinda what I’m trying to do, but I feel like I’m just repeating the same mistakes over and over again, which leads me to Albert Einstein’s saying:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. 

That’s how I feel about my game of golf.  I need to come up with a new game plan.

On the business front.  I’ve been spending quite a bit of time playing around with BuildMyRank and MechanicalTurk.com.  I find that I can get some cheap articles through Mechanical Turk.  Roughly $2.50 for about 300+ words.  Then, I’ll use these articles in BuildMyRank to get some links back to my site based on the keywords in the articles.

So far, I’ve posted about 40 articles on various subjects.  Most of the articles were linked on PR1 and PR2 websites.  I had a few PR3, and one PR5, but that article was never indexed…DOH!  BuildMyRank just cut off access to their site for new registrations.  I can see why now.  Their “blog network” is seriously being devalued due to the crazy amounts of junk posts that come through their site.  I mean, who really wants to pay for PR1 and PR2 links?  I’m paying $59/month for 5 domains right now.  I don’t know how long I’ll keep paying this amount for these low quality links.

Another thing that I’ve done was to go to WarriorForum.com, and I purchased a few “web 2.0” links packages through one of the guys selling their service.  I paid $47 for 1500 links back to my site, which includes a spun article.  I’ve done it twice already for two different domains and it definitely worked for one of them.  I was #2 in google for my search term, and immediately after they finished building the links, I moved back up to #1 and I’ve been there since.

Long term, it may be better to try to build my own blog network, but that will take a long time.  So, I think for the short term, it’s better to just paying for these links packages, and using BMR and MT.  I’m gonna give it a few more months to see what kind of results I get.

I’ve also been looking to redo some websites.  I’ve been shopping around looking for a designer, and I’ve gotten quotes from $600 to $15k minimum…heh.  My guess is that I’m going to get what I pay for.

Health-wise, I’ve been trying to hit the gym about 3-4 times a week.  The diet is definitely a little bit hurting, but I’ve been maintaing my weight around the 155-160 range, which is still about 10-15 pounds less than what I was in January 2011.  I don’t think those 6 pieces of chicken from KFC that I ate yesterday is helping the cause…Heh.

I’ve been swimming quite a bit at the gym.  I think I’m finally getting the whole breathing thing. It was never endurance for me, as I’m able to run 10 miles with no problems, but I was having a hard time swimming two lengths of the pool without coming up for air.  Anyways, swimming freestyle is all about timing your breathing pattern.  I’ve got that down packed now.  Breathe every two strokes.  My next goal is to swim faster.  Old fat guys are still lapping me, which I don’t understand.  I’ve watched some Youtube videos though, and I’m starting to learn that it’s all about reducing friction, and maximizing efficiency.  It’ll take some time, but it’s taking me about 30-40 seconds for 25 meters right now.  I signed up for an indoor triathlon in May, which calls for a 10 minutes swim, 30 minutes bike, and 20 minutes run.  Taking the lower range, I should be able to do 10 full laps (500 meters) in ten minutes.  That’s my goal.

Building a Website with Godaddy, WordPress, & Mechanical Turk

ufc-lines

I’ve been experimenting with a few things lately. Mainly, trying my hand at building sites and increasing page rank, and ultimately, making money from these sites. Although I’m not new to affiliate marketing, I am fairly new to SEO and the Google’s Page Rank (PR) algorithm. Gosh, there is so much to learn and I feel like I am so behind.  I feel like I have a ton to write about.  Where do I start?

First off, how does one get started with affiliate marketing and “building websites” and making money from these sites?  That’s really the million dollar question.  But after digging into it a little bit, you’ll realize that it’s not as hard as you might think.  Nor, is the market as saturated as you might think.

Sure, there are ton of websites out there already, most of money-making domain names are already taken, and there are a ton of SEO guys who know a lot more than you do, but the truth is, there’s plenty of room for everyone.  I mean, you really just have to find your own niche, or something that you’re familiar with,  and  start from there.  That’s kinda what I’ve been doing.

What are my interests?  Well, that’s pretty easy: golf, poker, sports, stocks & trading, gambling, MMA, etc.  So, naturally, I’ve been trying to figure out how to make money from these interests of mine because these are the easiest topics for me to build upon.

Let’s start with MMA.  MMA stands for mixed martial arts.  I probably read more about MMA than any other sport out there.  And MMA is still a relatively new sport in terms of search marketing.  Naturally, I do Google searches for topics that I want to learn about.  About a year ago, I did a search for “UFC lines” to see if I could get the odds on the upcoming UFC fight.   Well, to my surprise, there were only a handful of sites listed on my google search results that gave me what I wanted.

From there, I went to my Google adwords account and used the Keyword Tool to see how many global searches were taking place for the keywords “ufc lines”.  If it’s something that I think I can get on the first page of Google for,  and there are enough searches for the keywords, then I will continue with building my website.

Another important thing to take into consideration is to figure out if you think you can make money from the site.  I mean, I can create a website about diapers, but if there aren’t any affiliate links to diapers, then it’d be kinda pointless to build the site.  Or if affiliate sales for diapers are at a 1% commission, then it’s probably not worth my time.

With the MMA site, I knew that I could link to my sportsbetting affiliate sites, where I could make hundreds of dollar for each registered signup, so it was a no brainer for me.  Just FYI, the main ways that affiliate marketers make money online are from the following affiliate sites:

For gambling sites, just visit the site and go to the bottom and look for the “affiliates” link.  Yes, there are ton of other affiliate sites out there, but I’m just listing the most well known and most used sites.

So, after coming to the conclusion that I can make money from these keywords and knowing that I can probably get near the top of the search results with a little work, then I go through the process of building a site.

I’m not going to go into too much detail on how to build a site, but I will list some of the easiest ways to get started.  First off, you need a domain name and hosting (somewhere to house your website).  Godaddy is what I use for all of my domains.  I would suggest signing up for a month-to-month Deluxe Linux hosting account, which costs $6.99/month.  Hostgator is another well known hosting website.  I’ve never used them, but a lot of SEO artists do.

After you sign up for that, then you’ll need to register a domain name.  Mine was easy because UFCLines.com was available.  It’s not necessary to do the exact keyword match for the domain name, but if you can get it, then always go with that option first.  For US traffic, I would recommend ALWAYS going with a “.com” domain name before anything else.  If you find a great domain name, but the “.com” is not available, then go with “.net” or “.org”.  Dot com domain names seem to rank better than the others.