Just wanted to say Thank You! to everybody that attended our first ever poker tournament:  Poker Gras.  Think it was a big success.  Definitely looking to continue the positives everybody raved about as well as expand the options a little bit in the future.

Big thank you to Chase Haydel and Harrahs New Orleans for giving us this opportunity and I think they'll agree everybody won after our first time out.  More to come. By the way, check out this article on Chase by Ben Saxton

Also, feel it's important to highlight the tireless efforts by Chase, Robbie Gertsner, Joella McIntosh, Mel Emnon and Timmy Louie.  As TDs they busted their butts to put together an in house tournament and had everything moving fairly seamlessly.  Not to mention just about every one of them asked me to put the spotlight on the hard work of somebody else.  Humble, smart, hard-working, what more could you ask for?

Our first ever winner of Poker Gras, Mihail Karasoulis, is a guy I've battled with in sit 'n goes, MTTs, satellites, and cash games for almost 10 years.  He's a shrewd player and deserving of the title of King of Poker Gras. He battled David Nicholson until they got to heads up chop.  Mihail appropriately drew a King when they high carded it for the title of King of Poker Gras.

Our Queen Katie Pansano also is deserving of the crown.  In fact, there might not have been a Queen of Poker Gras if not for her.  In one of our early social media ads she pointed out that we (embarrassingly) omitted the possibility of there being a Queen of Poker Gras.  So we decided at that point instead of there being a King or Queen we'd award a crown to the last man standing and last woman standing.  Katie finished in the money and earned that title.

We've got a lot of exciting things on the docket for our near and long term future.

Also, wanted to address our Gear or Merch.  We brought some to Poker Gras to solicit opinions and see what people were interested in and decided we'd custom order any thing for folks.  I think there was some confusion about the point of the Merch which I'd like to clear up.  As a site, Gulf Coast Poker.NET has been a hobby/a small side business and in most ways it's been a service to the Poker Community in the South.  We wanted to provide a community and a spotlight for players that enjoy the game we love and we've tried to promote and expand this game as best we could.

Previously, we've given out Merch to promote the site.  Some times people asked for the free gear (which was quite costly to us) and we literally never saw them rep it ever.  Grrr….  Others, have been awesome about wearing our hats, hoodies or T-Shirts.  And lately, patches (also much more expensive than you'd think).  Awesome, we are super appreciative of all of you.

That said, with our limited merch runs because of all the people who just took a hat or hoodie and never showed up to a poker tournament in our gear we decided to make it at cost if somebody wanted it.  Recently, people have told us they wanted to support the site, usually folks who know our revenue streams are limited.  While I have donated to websites that obviously have reflected a lot of work by the operators with a Paypal donation, Gene and I never put one on GCP as it felt almost like begging.  A year or two ago, somebody suggested we make some Merch and follow the PBS model of fundraising.  Mark it up but give something for the people supporting us.  Good idea but we never really acted on it until we brought some gear to Poker Gras to privately gauge the interest in that.

I think there was some confusion as people took the prices and the merch as an attempt by us to get into the T-Shirt or clothing business.  We don't expect to sell a ton of shirts or hoodies and we are not going to price things to be competitive.  If you want just a T-Shirt or a hoodie there are far cheaper versions out there.  If you'd like to support GCP we'll sell you some gear. If you appreciate what we've done for the community that's a nice gesture of support and we are extremely grateful anybody would rep something with our name or logo on it.

That said, more than anything just showing up for our future events is the best way you can support us.  We hope to provide player friendly structures and tournaments that keep the fun in the game and offer value for your dollar.  We will have a store window up in the near future I suspect.


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