I have attended quite a few online gaming conferences in my two years and two months in the online gaming industry and I have never experienced anything like this past week in Amsterdam. Each night I was out until 4 or 5am and had to get up again at 8am for a day full of 30 minute meetings and meals. Every. Single. Day. I am a shell of a human being right now, but I will not complain considering I am the one who chooses to spend my time with the crazy late night crowd. Oh, and just so you know- this "crazy late night crowd" does not get up at 8am in the morning like I do- not even close. Life is so unfair sometimes. Anyway, rather than take you through every single detail of my Amsterdam experience, I have singled out the highlights (G-rated only...please contact Jenny for the good stuff) for your reading pleasure.
1)Gambling911 is always watching.
Speaking of Jenny, my sexy little partner in crime, don't ever forget that Gambling 911 is always watching. I know it's easy to have a few too many cocktails and to happily smile for the camera, but you must remember that 99 times out of 100, that very camera belongs to Gambling 911. Oh, and don't fall for the kiss on the cheek picture either! I gave Simon Eaton an innocent little kiss on the cheek and now the entire industry thinks we spent the night together. Nice, very nice. I love Simon, but I stay away from industry men, thank you very much. You know what I really love? When people in the industry call ME in a panic, begging me to contact Gambling 911 and request the removal of their partying/kissing/groping/drunken picture(s). There are a few of you out there that owe me one.
Fun with Caselli and Kate (Aqua Lounge) at Odeon
2)I was not MIA on Friday!!!!!
In an effort to defend myself from yet another online fabrication, I was not MIA on Friday. Michael Corfman, PLEASE BELIEVE ME! Sure, I was somewhat intoxicated on Thursday night, but who wasn't? Regardless of Thursday night's activities (see below), I was awake and ready for my very early breakfast meeting with PlayShare. Ask Lawrence...he will tell you. Following meeting number one, I ran around the Krasvasrkjsbasdlalafetfsaeiy hotel finding my contacts for one 30 minute meeting after the next until it was time to break down the booth at 5pm. MIA my eye.
3)Stay away from Caselli's apartment. It is dangerous.
Everyone knows that Michael Caselli, the editor of 203 online gaming publications in the industry, is very fun and has a tendency to keep the party going until sunrise. At least. Somehow I was talked into an "after party" at Caselli's apartment on Thursday night after the event at Odeon. Not a great idea when you have an 8am wake up call. Anyway, I end up back at his place with about 20 other people (note: this is the crazy late night crowd I was referring to earlier) and proceed to lose my cell phone. In my drunken state, losing this phone was just about the end of the world, and I think I kind of caused a scene. How do I know this? Because throughout the day on Friday, a large number of people- including my CEO- kept asking me if I found my phone. Huh? I saw you last night? Eeek. Oh, and here is the kicker- the phone was sitting at Caselli's apartment the whole time. See what I'm saying? Stay away!!
Relaxing at Mansion for Erin Argue's (BetUS) birthday
4)The Red Light District never gets old.
No, no, I don't mean it like that. No hookers for me, thank you. I mean that the shock factor will never disappear and I don't care what anyone says. The first night in Amsterdam I took a walk through the Red Light with my Bodog, Casino Blasters and Executive Gaming Monthly friends and what an eye opening experience that was. We took a stroll through a transvestite hooker alley, passed by numerous sex shows and sex shops, got whipped- literally- by hookers standing in their windows, and learned that hookers rent their red lit rooms for $300/night. I also learned that the red light district has the best late night food EVER- my god, those falafels!!
5)Euro Partners believes in The Power of Partnership (and the power of SHPRITZ).
One of my very favorite affiliate programs, Euro Partners (formerly known as Casino Partners), is made up of some of the most incredible and entertaining people I have ever met in my life. The Euro Partners team treated me to lunch the last day of the show, and due to our overly delirious state, we completely made a scene in the restaurant. Every person around our table firmly represented a different country with a different accent- America, UK, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, and Scotland- which was pretty incredible in itself. During this cultural and "educational" lunch, I learned more than the entire conference combined: I learned the meaning and the importance of the word "shpritz" (ask an Israeli...they will tell you) and I learned that certain men are so beautiful that the Amsterdam hookers should pay them instead of the other way around. Enlightening. I am a smarter person now.
The Charlie's Angels of Online Gaming
6)The security is tighter at the after hours club than at the airport.
The last night in Amsterdam drained my heart and soul of any energy that was left, but it was worth it. In honor Erin Argue's birthday, the BetUS team hosted a big night out including friends from Bodog, Aqua Lounge Casino, Gambling 911, CAP, Nordic Partners, Club World Casinos and more. We finished off the night at "Escape", an after hours club that sends all patrons through a metal detector followed by a body and bag search before allowing entry into the club. Ok. I have traveled to many countries through many different airports and I have never seen anything like this. I was almost scared to go into this place! I felt violated! A man was frisking me! Regardless of the ridiculously tight security, this club was something else…the place was packed with Dutch on drugs dancing to very loud and very intense techno music. I have never seen anything like it in my entire life. God bless Amsterdam.
So as you can see, CAC Amsterdam was quite the experience. I do need to give some serious credit to Marc Lesnik who put on one hell of a show. Not only were the nights packed full of fun events, but each day provided a perfect opportunity for affiliates and affiliate programs to build new and stronger relationships. CAC Amsterdam was a complete success, as draining as it was for all of us. You know what though? As I sit here back in Boston trying to recover from the lack of sleep and partying, I cannot help but look forward to the next online gaming event. I have a problem, I know.