About Bryan Hauer
My name is Bryan Hauer and I was born in Minnesota. Although my friends liked to kid me about it I am no relation as far as I know to the actor Rutger Hauer.
I grew up mostly in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Although I was born in Minnesota and lived there and Wisconsin most of my younger years, I’ve also lived in quite a few other states. From New York to Florida to Alabama to California to Nashville, TN and now Las Vegas, NV for the second time. I love Minnesota summers so they’ll always hold a place in my heart, but winters are now spent down south.
While growing up in the Midwest I played almost any sport I could. I dedicated most of my time to basketball, baseball, tennis and golf. While in college I even made the basketball team in LaCrosse. Although I achieved my dream of playing college basketball, my dream was short lived as I tore my ACL for the second time which quickly ended that dream.
After college I decided to move out to New York City to of all things give acting a try. Of course like most that make this ridiculous decision I struggled. A few jobs that I did happen to land though were a “very small” recurring appearance on the soap opera Guiding Light which lasted about a year, a completely embarrassing book cover on a teenage romance novel (which I’ll give $100 to anyone who can actually find it online) and a few other totally random jobs. Although it was definitely hard, I’d have to admit it was fun trying and I’ll never regret giving it a shot. I met some of the coolest people in the world during that time of my life. Some of which I still talk to on a regular basis. One in particular was my first roommate in NYC. He’s an extremely talented actor by the name of Brad Raider. He’s been on a number of ABC shows and also in quite a few movies. To find out more about him check out the Brad Raider IMDB page.
While in NYC trying my hand at acting I like many others had to have a “real job”, so while on the set of Guiding Light I met an actress by the name of Amita Balla. Amita who at the time actually was a “working actress” also had another job. She managed a midtown health club that was in need of personal trainers and as I had some educational background in physical therapy decided she’d invite me to come in for an interview. A week later I was working part-time as a personal trainer.
A few weeks later my client list started growing and it wasn’t long before I was booked 12 hours/day.
While working at this club I was approached by a manager of an elite private training club in the Flat Iron district of NYC called The Madison Square Club. MSC as it’s sometimes known was owned and run by fitness trainer to the stars David Kirsch. I was asked to join David’s team and it wouldn’t be long before I ascended to head trainer and was privileged enough to work with top super models, investment bank executives and Hollywood/NYC celebrities.
Over the next few years I worked hand in hand with David and his team helping shape the minds and bodies of Manhattan’s elite. During this journey I couldn’t help dream of starting my own place in my hometown of the Twin Cities. Fitness had become part of my life and helping shape peoples bodies and more importantly their lives was nothing less than a rush. There was only one problem. How would I get the money to start this venture? Well, one of my clients that was so in awe of how I helped him transform his body in less the 3 months using the Body for Life program offered to help finance the start of my venture. Within 6 months I was in my car driving from New York to Minneapolis with dreams of making the most upscale, private health club in the Twin Cities. And that’s exactly what I did.
In just a few short months I had left New York and had started a small private training business called Central Park Fitness out of my town home/loft in the Twin Cities. It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I left New York, but it was a start and more importantly it was growing fast.
Over the next few months I worked hard along with the help of 4 great friends and of course some family. The business was doing well and I was loving work everyday.
One day I was trying to come up with an idea of how I could really grow the business fast and came up with the idea of putting an ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune with before and after pictures of some of my recent clients. I went ahead and placed a quarter page ad for $2000 and had it set to appear for one day the following Friday. I had no idea what to expect. I actually remember the day it appeared. I went to the convenient store down the street at 6am to pick up a copy. As I got back to the club I got my first call about the ad. Man was I nervous! I completely blew it. The call was a disaster. From that moment on I said to myself that for this to work I had to use my talents, relax and start selling people on what I knew I could do for them. Then, that very moment the next call came in, then the next and the next and before I knew it me and my 4 friends were answering so many calls and giving so many tours over the next couple days that we literally we’re still taking calls Saturday night on our cell phones as we were heading out of town to visit a friend at a nearby college in Wisconsin. In just two short days… we managed to book so many clients that we actually made just over $100,000. I’m 23 or 24 at the time, just made $100k in two days with my 3 best friends and was heading to a college town in Wisconsin for the night. Let’s just say I thought I was Diddy for the night!
Over the next year the business continued to flourish and grow. I then met a client who like my previous client in NY had done so well he wanted to invest in the company and open new locations. Within just a few months I had the financing to build a brand new commercial facility in the western suburbs of Minneapolis.
Just three short months and a few “hundred k” later in April of 2001 we officially opened the doors. The club was a hit and clients were pouring in. The summer was busy, we were all working hard, making money and having a blast doing it. Things couldn’t have been better.
Then September 11th happened. The stock market crashed, people weren’t spending the same amounts of money and at the same time our overhead had grown tremendously. Without the same growth in revenue things got tight. Spending went way down, no advertising and cutbacks were needed. I was even forced let my best friend go who had helped me start the whole thing. Life just plain sucked! To top it all off I was getting blamed for numerous false accusations and eventually decided it was time for me to move on. I had options at the time… some legal and some that involved different partners or different ventures, but really the best thing for me at the time was to just leave. I’ve never returned to the world of fitness to this day although knowing what I know now… I have aspirations of returning to the fitness world and helping people change their lives and bodies. The whole venture was bittersweet. I was young and inexperienced and had a lot to learn about the business world and was really learning it on the fly. Although I lost a number of close friends and overall a ton of money… I truly believe overall it was a positive experience. It taught me a lot about business, business with friends and what to do and what not to do. It’s too bad it had to end the way it did, but to this day I say it was one of the best things that could have happened to me. Without that experience I would have never entered the profession I’m in today.
Well, fast forward a year or so to 2003 and while sitting around playing poker with friends we happened to catch the 2003 World Series of Poker on ESPN. You know… the one that crowned Chris Moneymaker the world champ and catapulted poker to the media giant it is today. Well that night I went home and started thinking about how I could make money from poker. I loved playing it, but thought there had to be a more stable way of making money from it than just playing.
Soon after that I started researching online poker and came across Party Poker. At the time it was the largest online poker room and while searching their site I noticed a link at the very bottom in the footer that said “Affiliates”. I clicked it and began my journey as a successful online poker affiliate.
At the time I knew absolutely zero about web design, search engine optimization or anything that related to online marketing. So what did I do? I learned. I read as many books and online forums as possible. I got involved in the top forum for poker affiliates called Poker Affiliate World. This was a great resource of information and the members were great in helping new affiliates learn the ropes.
This was the real beginning of the online poker boom so success happened quite quick. A lot of people who got in early made quite a bit of money as long as they weren’t an idiot. To give you an idea… I actually was the 48th affiliate ever at Full Tilt Poker.
Over the next year or so I worked on various sites I created and made decent money, then in 2004 I created BroadbandPoker.com which originally was created to hopefully one day host high speed, broadband only online poker games. It ended up being my main affiliate and poker news site, but in itself was a huge success and had made a name for me in the online poker world. I have to say my success at the time couldn’t have happened without a chance meeting with a fellow Minnesotan named Dan Moravec at a poker conference in Vegas with who would eventually turn out to be my roommate in Las Vegas and longtime friend.
In late 2006, President Bush signed into law the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) of 2006 which basically made it extremely difficult for off-shore online gaming companies to send or receive money from US banks. It basically crippled the industry and in one day wiped billions of dollars off the London stock exchange.
After that many publicly traded companies like Party Poker and Pacific Poker decided it was in their best interest to leave the US market and focus more on the international market.
At this time I had gotten really fed up with how the industry was progressing. Dealing with these foreign companies had become a pain, advertising online gaming in the US was almost non existent except for the .net loophole. So, I decided it was time to move on and leave the industry. In October of 2006 I sold BroadbandPoker.com and began exploring my next venture.
While the world of online gambling got me into online startups I eventually decided that industry was too volatile and that a more mainstream industry would not only be a safer choice, but also more lucrative as it would appeal to a larger audience. That industry turned out to be an extremely fast growing industry with a ton of opportunities. That industry is Premium WordPress Themes.
While working on a project I had the chance to meet at the time an unknown, up and coming WordPress theme developer/designer by the name of Brian Gardner. Although at the time Brian was an unknown I could definitely see his talent and continued for months to work with Brian on various projects. We even partnered for a short time on one WordPress project and years later he and his fast growing company would purchase my theme company ModThemes.
Over the next 6 months Brian’s premium WordPress theme business was starting to take off and eventually would turn into one of the largest and most successful premium theme companies WordPress has ever seen called StudioPress and my passion for the world of online gambling was quickly fading. During this time Brian and I had become friends and our talks soon went to the fast growing industry of theme development and I soon noticed the explosive growth and potential that premium theme development had.
Since then I’ve started and sold two premium WordPress theme companies and numerous tech startups including Creative Pixels Media which is a technology driven media company that pushes the limits of platforms like WordPress by offering industry leading small business WordPress Hosting along with website design, development and management services.
I’m currently exploring new adventures and opportunities related to the travel and poker industries while living in Las Vegas most of the year, but still spending summers back in Minnesota.