Raven's Poker Invitational 2012: Thank you

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Raven’s Poker Invitational 2012: Thank you

Planning the Raven Poker Invitational is a bit like planning a wedding.

Both involve invitations, guests, RSVPs and if not cake, then at least plenty of booze. Everyone should have a great time no matter how long they stay or what their seat number is.

Raven does it because we like to get to know our customers, our partners and new faces in this industry. We don’t have a sales staff — the Ravens who played at the tables or mingled with you are the ones who write our code, dream up cool ways to make Raven better, market our tools and help you when you need it.

We like smart, friendly, entertaining people, and we like to surround ourselves with them.

Our CEO, Patrick Keeble, is extraordinarily generous about all things, including every detail of the tournament like buy-ins, drinks and prizes. Cheers to him for thinking of a poker invitational in the first place, and for handing over a cashier’s check to pay for it.

And cheers to all three of Raven’s founders — Patrick, Jon Henshaw and Scott Holdren — for building this company with their own time, work, stress and money… while still finding time to play poker.

OK, but who won?

Raven Poker Invitational 2012 Winners
Grand prize: Steve Boymel, center, of Farlex in Huntingdon Valley, Penn., took home the grand prize of $1,000, plus two bounties worth $100 together. (Yes, there were two Ravens at the final table. In fact, a Raven played the final hand with Steve, losing fair and square).

Second place: Marcel Heinkens, left, of InstantMarketeer in the Netherlands gambled there would be a no-show or two and enough room for him to play. Well played. He won $250 to boot.

Third place: Dave Vogelpohl, right, of Marketing Clique in Austin, TX won $100. Mostly, he told me, by sitting there and blinding in. (Hey, whether you play high-risk or low-risk, we don’t judge.)

Also at the final table of nine players:

  1. Scott Holdren of Raven
  2. Jonathan Moreland of Raven, otherwise known as @RavenTrialGuy
  3. Dawn Wentzell of SpeakFeel, for the second year running!
  4. Liz Grimes of Overit, who learned to play with a cheap handheld game on the airplane ride to Pubcon
  5. Robert Brady of Trafficado
  6. Ciprian Oltean of Scoompy

Thanks to Michael Dorausch, our hired gun, for shooting photos this nice and offering impromptu chiropractic adjustments at our booth. For a complete set of his photos — nearly 200 — check out Raven’s album on Facebook.

One last thing

As the final few guests walked out of the Wynn Poker Room last week, the tournament manager stopped me.

“I want you to know that in all the time I’ve been doing this, this was the best group I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Yeah, you guys were loud, but you were having a great time. Smiles on every face. That’s nice to see here.”

Thank you for that.

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Arienne Holland is the Director of Marketing and Customer Experience at Raven. She divides her time between outreach, writing, teaching and understanding developers. Before Raven, Arienne spent more than a decade as an editor and graphic designer for Gannett. She was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for team breaking news journalism. She likes bread, books and bourbon.

More about Arienne Holland | @RavenArienne

Tell us what you think

  • Arienne Holland

    I keep on wondering when you’ll start practicing… ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Dixon_Jones Dixon

    I keep on wondering what happens after the first 30 minutes…

  • Arienne Holland

    THANK YOU so much. We sat and talked for a while but it didn’t even occur to me to write down his name – there was no way at that hour that I would remember someone who wasn’t on the invite list that I’ve had memorized for weeks.

    I’m glad you attended, Alex, for more than one reason.

  • Arienne Holland

    I thought it was fantastic Liz made it! She told me about the handheld game… what a great story. And I’m glad there were women at the final table. You’re welcome :)

  • Arienne Holland

    I’m beginning to understand just how little you know about poker ;)

  • Arienne Holland

    Honestly, I was scared, too. Last year I didn’t play. It’s different from the player’s seat – fun, though. You’re welcome!

  • Arienne Holland

    So happy to hear that! Making it to the final table probably helped :)

  • http://twitter.com/alexvolk Alex Volk

    Thanks for the invite, Arienne! Even though I busted out fairly early I had a good time.

    Oh, and the person who came in second was Marcel Heinkens – he made it pretty far with me in the tournament last year. http://www.linkedin.com/in/marcelheinkens

  • http://righteousmarketing.com robertbrady

    This was the most fun I’ve ever had at Pubcon. Thanks again!

  • http://twitter.com/saffyre9 Dawn Wentzell

    I had such a great time playing again this year! Thanks soooo much to the Raven staff for putting this on again!

    I’m actually going to learn how to play poker now, so watch out for me next year ;)

  • http://twitter.com/LisaBarone Lisa Barone

    What Kristy said. I was a little nervous to attend but it was definitely a Pubcon highlight. It was great to be surrounded by so many awesome people. The Overit team had a great time and my colleague Liz made it to the final table. W00t! :D

    Thank you guys so much for putting this together again this year. I know everyone really enjoyed and appreciated it.

  • http://twitter.com/kristy Kristy Bolsinger

    I have to admit, I was scared to play. I know next to nothing about poker. But I went anyway and had a BLAST. Seriously one of my favorite parts of pubcon this year. I know these events are a beast to organize and involve way more work than anyone could ever imagine – but thank you, seriously – THANK YOU. Had a ton of fun!!