The power and value of networking
For experienced long-time advantage players (AP's), what I am going to write here is nothing new. For those of you just getting started or relatively new to AP, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to network with fellow AP's as you advance in your career, whether you do it full-time or just for fun. IMO, next to acquiring the knowledge and skills required, it is by far the most important and beneficial thing you will ever do.
For example, several months ago I was a perfectly happy part-time AP grinding red chips at the better DD (double deck) games around Las Vegas and also making a few bucks an hour at 1-2 NL. Then last spring, I got a mailer inviting me to participate in a very lucrative promotion. I knew right away that in order to take full advantage of it, I was going to need a far larger bankroll than what I had. Because I had thrown my hat in the ring and made an effort to get to know several other AP's and vice versa, I was able to go to some of them with the details of the promotion and solicit investors.
Long story short, because other AP's knew me and trusted me, I was able to solicit six figures worth of investments which in turn allowed me to play the promo for nothing but sweat equity. I ended up with a five-figure payday, my investors made a profit, and everyone went home happy. Had I been forced to play it on my own bankroll, I would have been lucky to make 10% of what I actually made off of the deal. Around the same time, I lost my day job. Good timing!
Later, a different longer-term opportunity arose. Unfortunately, the timing of it coincided with some personal obligations I couldn't get out of that required me to travel. Once again, I was able to turn to some other AP's to pursue that opportunity while I was on the road in exchange for a cut of the profit. All of a sudden I had "residual income" coming in... I was literally getting paid to sleep!
In this business what goes around, comes around. Because I was able to get other people involved in my ventures, they are now more likely to get me involved in their ventures going forward.
As a side benefit, the other AP's I work with are not just associates. They are also my friends. You may say, "This is all well and good, but everyone is so secretive in this business and I don't have any clue about where to get started." Granted, it's not as simple as putting up a profile on LinkedIn, or going to a business after-hours function at the local country club. We are secretive not because we want to be, but because we have to be. Unfortunately, the enemy lurks here among us.
Here are a couple of tips:
- Post, post, post. Quality posts get the attention of your fellow AP's. If we think you have something worthwhile to say, we will listen. Just because we bust your chops once in awhile doesn't mean we don't like you or that we want you to go away. Many times the better threads on BJ21.com evolve to private email, where other posters will be more likely to exchange personal and/or contact info with you.
- Identify and get to know other AP's in your geographical area. BJ21.com has members from literally every corner of the country, and also many that reside abroad. Get in with some folks locally, and your network will quickly expand from there.
There is no "magic bullet." Because of the nature of what we do, it takes time and effort to establish relationships with other AP's you can trust, but I can tell you from first hand experience that it is well worth it.
Originally published on bj21.com Green Chip, edited for this format.