Student entrepeneurs set up free iPod site

Junior Evan Madow may not be a regular at the online poker tables, but he certainly knows how to reward those who are.

From his home in Baltimore this summer, Madow launched iPodsforPoker.com, a Web site where users can sign up to win free iPod MP3 players just by playing online poker. Madow’s site is affiliated with six different independent poker Web sites, where members must play a certain number of hands and bet real money in order to win one of the popular Apple music players.

“If you play a lot of poker you’ll get a free iPod” Madow said. “The catch is to play a lot of poker.”

Although Madow admits that he’s not much of a poker player, he created iPodsforPoker with his longtime friend and business partner, Stephen Conn, to capitalize on the increasingly popular poker and iPod trends.

“I think this is evidence of our ability to sense what kinds of things are about to explode in popularity and focus our energy on those areas,” wrote Conn, a student at Pomona College in California, in an e-mail this week.

After registering with iPodsforPoker, users can choose to play at one of six popular poker sites to win their iPod. Each online poker site has different requirements for each iPod model, and users must rake up enough points or play a certain number of hands to win the music player.

Conn said he looks forward to improving iPodsforPoker.com and continuing his partnership with Madow. The students have already collaborated on two previous online business ventures, including a failed essay-editing service and givemeyourclothes.com, an online marketplace for vintage clothing that Madow and Conn recently dismantled. They’re hoping the third time is a charm.

Madow, who transferred to GW this fall from Ithaca College in upstate New York, declined to comment on his personal profits from the Web site but said that he receives commissions from affiliated online poker sites for referring players to their Internet card games. Madow said he then uses that money to buy the iPods that he ships out.

More than 100 people have already signed up for free iPods on Madow’s site. Adam Rosenberg, a 32-year-old art student at the Art Institute of Chicago, said it only took him two five-hour poker sessions to win his iPod mini.

“(I) figured since I play anyway, might as well sign on, play tight, and get an iPod,” said Rosenberg, who’s been playing online poker for the last four years. “It’s honestly win-win-win if you already play online poker.”

Ipodsforpoker.com is run by low2High Enterprises Inc., a parent company which was also founded by Madow and Conn. Both partners said they look forward to adding new features to the iPodsforPoker site, including a raffle for a free ticket to the World Series of Poker.

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