The F-word: Schmeichel, Gallacher and three litres of Grey Goose

Every Friday, CasinoBeats is thinking out loud

“WELL DONE,” whispers Danish goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel. CB is leaving the stage at the SBC Awards and the encouraging aside from a three-times UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year is just another interesting intersection on what is transpiring to be an exciting and often unpredictable journey.

As CB processes what has just happened, Kirsty Gallacher name-checks and thanks CB for handing out the latest award. It’s all scripted, of course, but still. Polite and unfailingly professional, Gallacher is simply doing a brilliant job of keeping it all running smoothly. As is the Great Dane (not you, Rasmus), who would also later sign some goalkeeper gloves for CB junior.

As CB nears the table it is hosting at the back of the room (No.53, for completeness), it dawns that maybe Schmeichel was offering congratulations for CB finally managing to open the envelope with the winner’s name inside. Later, others would concede that they noticed a “slight delay – no more than a second or two”. At the mic, it felt like longer. Perhaps a minute or seven. The haphazard tearing of the enveloped amplified, and crisply echoing around the vast marquee in the Artillery Garden.

Stupid thing is, CB had already seen the winner’s name on the trophy base on the way up. But you’ve got to be sure, right? A Slight Delay is surely better than a Right Royal Balls Up?

Anyway, job done. Five inaugural CasinoBeats Awards handed out (Evo, Leo, Play’n Go, Twin, Yggdrasil – hats off) and another minor milestone passed. The first benchmark was to attract a thousand monthly users to the site. Then 2,000 and eventually 5,000. Then 10,000 and before year end, 12,000. Respectable progress.

Then there was the first CasinoBeats Summit, nattily abbreviated to CBS, the reverse of SBC. Neat, right? Unplanned. We just got lucky. It helps to be lucky.

But the harder you work, the luckier you become. Golfing great Gary Player said something similar once: “The more I practice, the luckier I seem to get.”

Wry maxims aside, there is no secret to the solid foundation CB has laid. Be nice, be professional, be transparent, be honest. Tell people you will help them and then help them. Don’t be lazy. There are no shortcuts. The only sustainable way forward is through organic growth. We posted around 2,000 articles to the website this year and not one of them was just pasted in. As Mad Men’s Don Draper would tell those teetering on the edge of a productivity crisis – there is only one solution: “Do the work”.

Fuelled by doing the work as well as we could and with the considerable support of the SBC machine – and a little luck – CBS 2018 was a success. A modest beginning, all about the quality of the content, sure, but an important first step.

Last time we checked, 2018 still had a few weeks to run. Time to reflect, yes, but also an opportunity to prepare for an even better 2019.

Next year there will be another, much bigger, CBS. There will be more awards, and there will be a second event, away from the UK. More on this in the New Year.

After schmoozing with Schmeichel and gallivanting with Gallacher, what did CB do next? Went to the pub, of course. In fact it was a bar in Chelsea the next evening and it was for the SBC family Christmas party. The guys from Poland were over. The ESI boys were there, as were SBC Americas, Oddslife and a growing contingent from AffiliateINSIDER. Around 40 of us in total. There was a sculpted-ice vodka luge, karaoke and a room filled with energy and enthusiasm. Like most things at SBC, it was full on and fun.  

The luge saw three litres of Grey Goose vodka pass through it, the CEO and MD performed a spirited if slightly chaotic karaoke version of Do They Know It’s Christmas? and the new girl fell over, very nearly breaking her arm. Superb.

As another year beckons for the SBC family and CasinoBeats, only a fool would try to predict quite what it will bring. But good advice would be to keep doing the work, stay lucky and try not to break your arm. Well done, everyone.