RB Regarding your “Poker Notes Live” app, tell us a little more about it.
Poker Notes Live allows you to take quick, efficient notes on yourself and your opponents while you're playing live poker, thereby improving your performance.
It's available for free in 9 languages both on Android (Google Play) and iOS (App Store) and it's optimized for both phones and tablets.
The main characteristics of the app are that it allows you to tag and classify your opponents as well as record general tendencies and tells you may notice about them. Plus, of course, it completely removes the stigma and hassle of taking notes the old fashioned way, via pen and paper.
The Premium version of the app costs $9.99. Its main additional features are that you can record and graph out your wins and losses over multiple sessions, import/export your notes database, and save all notes you take on all players in each session – then just add to them when you see the same players at your table again rather than start from scratch each time.
We feel our app is a great tool to help both recreational and professional players improve their poker game. Overall, we're certain that the more you use the app, the more helpful you'll find it to be.
RB How did you come up with the concept of Cardplayer Lifestyle?
Over time, I slowly found my voice as a poker writer and realized the best niche I knew how to write for, namely recreational players. The stories, op-eds, and strategy and lifestyle pieces I write and publish are certainly unique as opposed to "traditional" content churned out by the bigger names in the poker media. I think that's contributed heavily to me being able to grow my audience from essentially nothing all the way up to my current 4,000 monthly visitors.
RB What are you most proud of with your website?
Important "poker people" are paying attention to what I have to say
At the heart of it, I'm just a die-hard poker fan. To an extent then, poker players and poker media people are the rock stars of my world. I'm honored and humbled to have accrued quite the following of poker people on Twitter, including players like Joe Hachem, Ari Engel, Tom McEvoy, Yuval Bronshtein, and Bernard Lee as well as poker media royalty like Donnie Peters, Lee Davy, Jennifer Newell, Barry Carter, Brad Willis, and others.
Many of these poker people engage me in conversations about the articles I write and are kind enough to share Cardplayer Lifestyle content via their social media channels, helping to grow my audience even further. I guess you could say the highlights were when a couple of my articles were retweeted by Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth.
RB Where do you see the future of poker going, and in particular online poker?
I see live poker expanding in general. In established markets like the U.S. it will be a survival of the fittest, with the bigger poker rooms, best-managed rooms, and rooms with the best promotions thriving. In my opinion, the 5-table and under rooms will flop and eventually disappear. Casinos that only allot limited space to poker rooms just don't care enough about the game and tend to favor the presence of slot parlors.
Online poker will continue to spread slowly in the United States. What's most likely for the short-term future is that as individual states realize how key liquidity is to success, they'll band together via interstate compacts to share player pools. WSOP.com will be THE major U.S.-facing online poker site until and unless PokerStars becomes legally allowed to operate.
Internationally speaking, ring fencing of national markets is sadly a byproduct of governmental greed. Many individual countries are hurting for tax revenue and they feel like they can only get it via a closed market of their own country's citizens. For this reason, and the difficulties involved in international cooperation, I feel that the growth of online poker will be somewhat hampered on a global scale.
RB How did you first get into poker?
I think it first started when I was a little kid, back in the 80s, in Los Angeles. Right after the Mirage opened up as Las Vegas' first megaresort, my family started going there for weekend trips about 5–6 times a year. My mom played the slots and my dad played poker. The whole Vegas atmosphere just enchanted me. More than I wanted to play in the arcades and swim in the pools, I wished I was old enough to go play poker with my dad. He bought me one of those little 5-card draw electronic poker games and I was "hooked".
In the wake of the Moneymaker boom, I started playing with my own group of friends and joining occasionally with my dad's group once in a while. I've never looked back since and the game is a big part of my life in many ways.
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