Interview (Engels) met Korn: It's Hard to Grasp How Massive PokerStrategy.com Has Become

    • Lanfear81
      Lanfear81
      HeadAdmin
      HeadAdmin
      Lid sinds: 04.11.2007 Posts: 25,919
      Dominik 'Korn' Kofert has been living in Gibraltar and running PokerStrategy.com for almost five years. In the first part of our interview, the former StarCraft player talks about the beginnings of PokerStrategy.com, living on the Iberian Peninsula, his job as CEO and his poker career.

      Dominik KornKofert
       
      PokerStrategy.com: Korn, when you look back at the beginnings of PokerStrategy.com, how did you come up with the idea of founding a poker school back then?

      Dominik Korn Kofert: It was really more of a coincidence. I studied Mathematics and Philosophy in England and quickly came into contact with poker through my e-sports background.

      Many former StarCraft players switched to poker at the time. I really enjoyed it and I thought, I can show others how to play this game. That's how PokerStrategy.com came about.

      It's still hard to grasp that it's become so massive now.

      "I started out in my halls of residence"

      PokerStrategy.com: You started out quite small with the poker school. How did it become so big?

      Dominik Kofert: There was no breakthrough moment. I started out in my halls of residence, trained players and wrote articles myself. When I realised the thing had potential, I decided not to pursue a 'normal' career, but do everything professionally in Gibraltar.

      PokerStrategy.com: Why did you come to the decision to open the PokerStrategy.com headquarters here?

      Dominik Kofert: There are two main reasons: one was that the other big poker sites we work with had set up in Gibraltar. This enables us to cooperate on promotions for example, or suggest improvements for the software.

      The second reason of course, is that there's much more legal security here than in Germany. The online poker sector is an important economic industry in Gibraltar and legislation isn't a political football. This means it's also possible to make long-term plans and develop a company in the way we have. We currently have 170 employees and it's important to have a certain degree of stability.

      "In Gibraltar, British and Spanish cultures collide"

      PokerStrategy.com: The British colony of Gibraltar on the Iberian peninsular has been your home for years. What's it like living there?

      Dominik Kofert: Well, you imagine it's like England 50 years ago. That's true as well, it's not terribly modern and it's quite a small place with 28,000 inhabitants. You also notice the British and Spanish cultures colliding, the people speak both English and Spanish.

      The cuisine is a mixture as well. I like it here a lot because of the variety. If things do get a bit claustrophobic, you can always head to Spain and do something there.

      PokerStrategy.com: So it's a mix between fish and chips and paella?

      Dominik Kofert: Yes, exactly. Yet at the same time it's a combination of a small town and a global location, because the locals live in Gibraltar but also lots of companies, which have set up here.

      PokerStrategy.com: You're CEO of PokerStrategy.com. Can you take us through your daily life?

      Dominik Kofert: It's quite mundane. I usually start work at about 10am. I don't live far from our headquarters, only about 1km. I do a number of different things in the office, go to meetings, surf around in the forum etc.

      At 8pm I head home, but that doesn't mean the working day is over. I'm active in the forum in the evenings or answering any one of the roughly 200 mails I get a day.

      "Ultimately, online poker is also an online strategy game"


      Korn
       
      PokerStrategy.com: Let's talk about your poker career. You used to play StarCraft professionally, why do so many e-sports players find their way into the poker world?

      Dominik Kofert: I think it's simply because poker appeals to the same skill set. A successful e-sports player is somebody who is very ambitious and has the ability to make quick decisions.

      If you have a good deal of self-control and discipline, you also have what it takes to be a successful poker player. During my StarCraft days, I said to myself: online poker is ultimately an online strategy game.

      I have a limited amount of time to make the right decisions and I need to be cleverer than my opponent. The only difference from StarCraft is that, in poker, I can actually make money!

      PokerStrategy.com: Do you still play poker at the moment and how do you fit it in?

      Dominik Kofert: I do have the time, well, at least a certain amount of time. But I intentionally don't play. The problem is that I'd have to invest an awful lot of time if I were to start again properly. I think that's the problem with all activities: if you used to be good, you get irritated if you can't play in the big leagues anymore.

      Sure, I still go to the casino for fun now and then, but I prefer to refrain from actual cash game grinding at the moment.

      PokerStrategy.com: Many thanks for the interview, Korn.
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    • Lanfear81
      Lanfear81
      HeadAdmin
      HeadAdmin
      Lid sinds: 04.11.2007 Posts: 25,919

      Korn: We're Rolling Out a New Website


      In the second part of our interview with Dominik 'Korn' Kofert, the PokerStrategy.com CEO talks about the TV World Championship and the new coaches. He talks about the effects of Black Friday and shares his plans for the future with us.


      Dominik Korn Kofert
       
      Read the first part of the interview here.

      PokerStrategy.com: Korn, next week sees the final table of the PokerStrategy.com TV World Championship. You'll be playing as well, how ready are you and how excited?

      Dominik Korn Kofert: Well, I'm really looking forward to it. However, there is a problem: I wouldn't say I'm a bad No Limit player, but I'm certainly not as good as some of the top players there.
       
      I'm not the favourite, I'll do my best, then we'll just have to see.

      PokerStrategy.com: What do you think your chances of winning are?

      Dominik Kofert: In tournaments, there's always the chance to win. In my opinion, it's not even a low chance, I can still master ICM and other strategies. I'm certainly not the favourite, however I don't assume I'll be the underdog at the final table. I have enough faith in myself, I'm sure I'll be able to hold my own.

      "I hope the Full Tilt players get their full bankrolls back"

      PokerStrategy.com: Let's talk about the current situation at PokerStrategy.com: you've taken on a few new coaches, such as Daniel junglemandan Cates and Collin CollinMoshman Moshman. How important is it that our PokerStrategists only learn from the best players?

      Dominik Kofert: The problem is always that the best player isn't necessarily the best teacher. It's important, but also difficult for us to find the right balance between people who play extremely well and people who can educate. What is important regardless, is that we always bring in the best people in order to be able to offer some variety as well.

      We want to get the right mix of game variants and coach profiles. I do think we're doing a really good job there at the moment and we don't need to hide from anybody anymore.

      PokerStrategy.com: We had Black Friday. Did this affect PokerStrategy.com as well?

      Dominik Kofert  : Of course it did, definitely. Black Friday definitely affected us as well. Not in a sense that it threatened our existence, but it was a bitter pill for us. Of course, not in comparison to the many, many players who have had to worry about their bankrolls.

      I hope that a solution can soon be found, also for the poker community in general, so that the Full Tilt takeover by the investor happens successfully and the players recover their full bankrolls.

      "I'm very happy that we've come this far"

      PokerStrategy.com: Is PokerStrategy.com still well positioned for the future, despite Black Friday?

       Dominik Kofert: Yes, absolutely.

      PokerStrategy.com: We'll take a look at the future in a moment, but we still want to glance back. When you take stock of the past six years, what's your conclusion?

        Dominik Kofert: That's a good question. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it, I swing from day to day and try to make the best of each situation. I'm certainly very pleased that the whole business has come so far. In my opinion, we shouldn't look backwards so much, but focus more on the future.

      Never be complacent or lazy, that's my motto.




      Korn on the PokerStrategy.com sofa

      "There's no timeline for the new website yet"

      PokerStrategy.com: What plans do you still have for the future?
       
      Dominik Kofert: We try to continually improve when it comes to coaching and teaching offers. We also want to work more on our appeal to beginners - we want to make poker popular, so poker is still successful in ten years' time.

      We are currently working on a new website. There's no timeline for it yet, it could still take some time.

      We have also developed some fantastic software with the SideKick. It might not be to the taste of VIP grinders, but I think it's a really cool tool for lots of users and makes poker more fun. There are also some promotions with it.

      PokerStrategy.com: One more quick question about the new website: what can PokerStrategists look forward to in the future?

      Dominik Kofert: Certain things will be optimised. You might be able to write messages more quickly or have a better overview. There will be other features which will help you learn. With the new website, we want to migrate everything to a new technology, to better incorporate customer requests and improvement suggestions. The whole thing will be getting a makeover as well, including the forum.

      I can't say when yet, but it will certainly be a little while. There can always be delays where IT projects are concerned, although I don't anticipate any at the moment. Nonetheless, better to not name a date than have to keep on pushing back the deadline.

      PokerStrategy.com: Korn, thank you for the interview.

      by Tobias Frey