Today was supposed to be a lot of things. Today was supposed to be Day Three of the ICE London expo and Day One of iGB Affiliate London at the ExCeL. Today was also supposed to be the day after Fire & Ice, the networking party of the year for so many of us. We also learned this week that ICE London and iGB Affiliate London will not be happening this year, news likely all of us expected, yet is still hard to hear.
Rather than lament about the COVID-related situation at hand, I wanted to dedicate today’s column to ICE and iGB Affiliate London by sharing some amazing memories with you. A few of these memories go back ten years and others are more recent, but every reader should be able to relish in at least some of the nostalgia with me.
While enjoying some of the video-induced memories below, I hope we can celebrate “London Conference Week” together virtually, knowing it will return bigger and better than ever when the timing is right.
Fire & Ice 2011 at Gilgamesh
Remember when Fire & Ice used to take place at Gilgamesh in Camden Town? The 2011 edition of Fire & Ice- “Unmask your imagination”- represented the party’s 10th anniversary, meaning this year’s party would have been the 20th! Highlights from this legendary party include midgets, snakes, Sunplus girls and hilarious interviews with party-goers, including the Fire & Ice King and Queen, Michael Caselli and Jodie Thind.
ICE 2012: final year at Earl’s Court
ICE 2012 will always stand out in my memory because it was the event’s final year at Earl’s Court, one of my favorite event venues of all time (RIP). The talk surrounding this edition of ICE centered around the explosion in mobile gaming and the DOJ’s ruling that the wire act only applies to sports betting. Celeb appearances included Darts legend Phil Taylor and promoter Barry Hearn in addition to Hulk Hogan himself, one of my most memorable interviews of all time.
ICE 2013: first year at ExCeL
ICE London moved to the ExCeL in 2013 and has never looked back. Us old timers sometimes miss the more central location of Earl’s Court, but over time, the surrounding area of the ExCeL has developed immensely, allowing for more extracurricular activities to happen in the area. What I love about this video is the annual NetEnt reveal- this time in the form of a South Park slot- a tradition they kept up year after year, ever since.
iGB Affiliate Awards 2013: Just because
The iGB Affiliate Awards have moved through a number of stages since their inception many moons ago. I picked the iGB Affiliate Awards from 2013 because frankly, they were a long time ago and the video is good fun. I loved watching the interviews with the winners and could not stop laughing at Michael Caselli’s antics on stage as he delivers the awards to his friends and peers.
Evander Holyfield Interview: LAC 2016
In 2015 the LAC (later re-branded to iGB Affiliate London) moved from Old Billingsgate to the Olympia and remained at the Olympia for several years until it moved again to the ExCeL. The 2016 edition of the LAC at the Olympia included a celeb appearance by Evander Holyfield thanks to his relationship with RealDealBet. Boxing legend Holyfield took a trip down memory lane with me and shared his thoughts on the RealDealbet brand.
Roberto Carlos Interview: ICE 2017
Next up on my list of amazing celeb appearances is Roberto Carlos, a Brazilian football legend and former Real Madrid superstar. Carlos made his appearance at ICE as Plantwin365’s ambassador and he was an absolute hit! With the help of a translator, Carlos talked on his infamous banana free kick and other gems from his career as a footballer.
Eddie “The Beast” Hall Interview: ICE 2017
Filmed on the same day as the Roberto Carlos interview as you can see from my top, we enjoyed an appearance from the world’s strongest man Eddie “The Beast” Hall at the Betting Jobs booth. In this interview Hall revealed details about his diet, daily calorie consumption and exercise regime. Hall was so popular with delegates that Betting Jobs brought him back every year after, even to their networking dinner at one point.
CoinPoint Blockchain & iGaming Party: ICE 2018
The first ICE networking event aimed at the intersection of blockchain and iGaming kicked off in 2018, organized by CoinPoint. Celebs such as Ronnie O’Sullivan and Dr. Craig Wright were present, alongside a number of gambling industry veterans, making this party a hard one to leave. The infamous CoinPoint party returned to ICE in 2019 and 2020, armed with sponsors dedicated to educating the gambling industry on the BitcoinSV blockchain in particular, as it is the only blockchain that can fulfil the needs of gaming businesses.
“Dani B” interview: ICE London 2020
At the end of the day, its all about having some fun at these events, right? Out of all the personalities I’ve interviewed over the years at ICE, one of my absolute favorites is “Dani B” who makes his appearances with the All-in Global team. At ICE 2020, Dani B entertained delegates with his DJing abilities, while bantering with the crowd and making everybody laugh, as usual. Watch the video below to experience some Dani B magic.
iGB Affiliate London Day 2 2020: Last conference recap video before the pandemic
Looking back on this now, who would EVER think our beloved in-person events would be paused for months and maybe even years after iGB Affiliate London 2020 closed its doors? It will be so very interesting to see how long it takes to get back to what we see in the video below, lets all hope and pray it will be February 1-5, 2022.