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Hello everyone - from ThePOGG

A place for a new face to tell us a little about themselves!
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thePOGG
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Hello everyone - from ThePOGG

Post by thePOGG »

I guess if anyone's going to make the first post in this forum it should be me.

For those of you who haven't spotted it on my google+ profile yet, my name's Duncan. I'm in my mid-30s and have done loads of different things over my life. I did mathematics at uni and some work in music journalism while there. The music journalism never paid the bills but during those student days got me backstage at just about any concert I wished and ensured that I had more free albums through the door than I had time to listen to.

After that I worked as a delivery driver for a time and trained as a Maths teacher, a profession I engaged with for 5 years.

I became interested in gambling after reading Ben Mezrich's 'Bringing Down the House' maybe a little less than 10 years ago. Since then I've played offline on a regular bases in many locations (though sadly never in Las Vegas) and online as pretty much a daily routine. I certainly engage with some form of gambling media online every day.

A couple of years ago - due to frustration with the affiliate industry advertising what I feel to be thee best venues for themselves rather than the best venues for the players that are using their sites - I made the decision to set up my own site with the objective of offering comprehensive online casinos reviews that compile the background research that players should be doing before they sign-up to a casino, in one easy to use resource. Alongside this, I wanted to make sure that the venues that were genuinely treating their players best got the best placement.

A long the way I've spent a small fortune getting everything together and made just about every mistake I could have made with regard to the physical construction of the site. That said, the site as it is today is something I'm really proud of. Beyond taking a different approach to the casinos that the site advertises, I think that we're offering resources that simply can't be found anywhere. From our terms and conditions monitoring service, through the Slots RTP figures that we compile and through to the approach we take to casino complaints, I'm confident that there's plenty of very good reasons for player to come back here time and time again.

If you think there's things we could improve though, I'm keen to hear them!! ;)
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UK-21
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Post by UK-21 »

Do you still teach maths to make a crust?

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thePOGG
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Post by thePOGG »

UK-21 wrote:Do you still teach maths to make a crust?
I am still a qualified and registered teachers, so if I wanted to walk into a classroom as a substitute I could. I haven't since I left full time teaching (before I started the site).

I left teaching having saved a substantial sum to make my way via gambling. This is what I want to do and as long as the site's results continue to improve at their current rate I should be able to attain a level that I can sustain myself without having do any additional work. Right now I'm still running at a small loss (July was the first month where there was a substantial profit after all expenses, though it still didn't nearly approach my teaching salary), but we're certainly moving in the right direction.

It may surprise you to learn this, but running ThePOGG.com is currently a full time+ task. Given I'm about 6 years behind the sites that are dominating the market right now, I'm playing major catch up on the content front. Between the various house keeping tasks, dealing with the player complaints that come in, updating the terms and condition alerts and trying to get as many casino properties reviewed as possible, I'm usually pushing somewhere around 10-14 hours/day 7 days/week. I haven't even looked at the slots review section in months and I've probably got hundreds of RTP figures to add to the lists. I'll get back to that once I've bulked up the casino reviews section (currently sitting just short of 250, start of this year we had 79, target for this year is 400+, target for next year is 800+).
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"Those who do not gamble do so betting that terrible things will eventually happen to those who do"
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Post by UK-21 »

thePOGG wrote:I am still a qualified and registered teachers, so if I wanted to walk into a classroom as a substitute I could. I haven't since I left full time teaching (before I started the site).
A great loss - as there's a national shortage of teachers specialising in maths (and the sciences I believe), with no letup due in the foreseeable as a consequence of more and more teachers approaching retirement age.

Many years ago I was a school governor (Primary school) and the school went two full years without a maths coordinator and couldn't recruit one for love nor money. I did suggest increasing the pay as a means of generating some interest, but that one got stonewalled as the HT and LEA rep didn't want the school to be seen to be offering advantages pay to other local schools. So the children at the school went without . . . . and when I resigned from the GB (I moved away from the area) they still hadn't found one.

Glad the site's starting to pay for itself (assume it's affiliate income that comes in, or do you charge a commission on recoveries?). :)

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thePOGG
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Post by thePOGG »

The truth is I really enjoyed teaching and have many fond memories of specific students and classes. What I didn't enjoy so much were the parts of the job that were outside of the classroom - I found the bureaucracy very frustrating and it ultimately tainted many of the positive aspects of the job. I miss the classroom and working with the kids, but ultimately I'm happier being my own boss.

The site runs off of affiliate income unfortunately. If there was another viable way to make enough that I could work on this full time I'd consider it, but the only alternative I've seen is donations and Michael Shackleford tried that several years ago with soul destroying results.

I have pondered running off commission on recoveries, but that creates a conflict of interest that's more substantial than the affiliate model. When a player approaches me with a complaint, the party with the more to lose is almost always the casino. By and large I'm either going to agree with their conclusions or ask them to return the player's money so this is at best a break even proposition for them whereas the player is either going to either going to get their money back or nothing - they essentially have nothing to lose. If I take commission of of recoveries, when I'm advising a casino that they should return funds that they've confiscated - something I feel I've been quite successful in achieving - any casino that put any thought into it are going to see a conflict of interests; am I advising them to return the funds because that's the right thing to do or because I get a pay day every time a player gets money back? This would make them less likely to take my advise, which would result in less players getting paid money that's rightly theirs and that's the primary purpose of the service.

Alongside this, there would be two other serious issue so the commission on recovery model. Firstly my direct competition all offer their services for free, by charging for mine I would make this site the last port of call for players with problems - they may as well take a shot with the free services first. Secondly, I would then have to spend a lot of my time - time that could be more valuably spent helping players - chasing payment, many of which could end up in the 'bad debt' column. That doesn't seem like a good use of time to me!

I do feel I'm far more selective regarding which programs I'll provide links to than anyone else on the market though. Just did a quick tally and at the moment I think that only slightly over half of the casinos listed on the site carry any direct links. Due selection bias at the start (I already had a good idea of which casinos I would be willing to work with ;) ) I expect that proportion to drop dramatically in the next 12-18 months to somewhere around the 10-20% level.
Auditing Service

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POGGWebmasters.com

"Those who do not gamble do so betting that terrible things will eventually happen to those who do"
Ian C. Esslemont

"If anyone needs me I'll be in the Angry Dome"
Professor Farnsworth

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Post by xalksx »

Ive been a gambler from the age of 13 , the old fruit machine places in town etc , then as i got older started betting online but never new use guys excited even tho i was reading reviews via this site i didnt think to read further into it , however when i did find it i started reading and all i can say is 1. what an eye opener and 2.you put some work into this site ,and how you keep all that knowledge stored in your head is beyond me lol ..Have you ever considered taking on volunteers to do certain tasks to take the pressure of yourself ?

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