Toronto, Canada

Email: darren.keyes@pokerminds.ca




Founder and Senior Consultant

Poker Minds Inc

June 2009 – Present

Toronto, Canada

Founded this boutique iGaming consultancy focused on helping startup companies wishing to enter the online poker space from conception and planning to implementation and operation. Our experience in online poker ranges from ad-supported play-for-free poker, to subscription, to real-money rake play.


We also work with existing online poker companies revamp their customer offering with site/client redesign and rich poker content providing.

Poker Strategy Column Writer

WPT Magazine, North American Edition

September 2010 – Present

Toronto, Canada

Contracted to write a monthly poker strategy column aimed at experienced poker players for the North American edition of WPT Magazine.

Director of Business Intelligence / Product Manager

True Poker Network / Doyle's Room

August 2009 – May 2011

Toronto, Canada / San Jose, Costa Rica

As Director of Business Intelligence:
My department designed and developed a complete back office suite including CSR, Skin, Affiliate, Prop, and KPI portals. Designed a unified data warehouse to power all reporting systems. Created a complete set of financial reports for balancing player liability and cross-cage reconciliation allowing accounting to produce the first set of financials in over two years. Delivered accurate reports to all department heads as necessary including the analysis of marketing campaigns, skin performance, prop performance, and point valuations. Developed a system for tournament cost sharing across skins. Overhauled the manual transaction system to give greater transactional itemization for accounting. Worked with all department heads in developing SOPs for all areas of poker operations.


As Product Manager:
Redesigned the client main and tournament lobbies including complete product requirements documentation (PRD) and graphics development with a third party graphics team in Houston, TX. Maintained product lifecycle document for feature additions and bug tracking. Introduced project management software (5PM) and PRDs to the entire team.

Operations Manager / Challenge Designer

Full Tilt Poker Academy

December 2008 – August 2009

Toronto, Canada

As Operations Manager:
Introduced proper project management policies to the video production department including the implementation of project management software (@Task) and training the Project Manager.


As Challenge Designer:
Designed and oversaw development team in Dublin, Ireland in the creation of online poker challenges to accompany video lessons from the Full Tilt Pros. The goal was to take poker strategy lessons and engage the players in competing to complete challenges based on the lesson materials.Recruited and led team of online poker quality assurance testers scattered throughout the globe in rigorously testing all challenge tasks prior to public release.

Senior Consultant


December 2007 – December 2008

Toronto, Canada

Served as a marketing and business model consultant to Strategic iGaming Solutions Inc. for the development of a business plan for a startup advergaming poker room and redemption site. The revenue stream and player points models were overhauled to increase controls on player monetization.


As a consultant to a US travel website, validated player monetization models for a proposed subscription based online poker site. The revenue stream and player acquisition models were redesigned to match the performance of existing subscription model competitors.


Acted as lead operations consultant to major European corporation interested in starting a country specific online poker room. Consulted on operations procedures including fraud and collusion, product management, customer service and requirements for the organizational structure.

Vice President Operations

AdGames Network LLC (Score Poker)

April 2007 – December 2007

Toronto, Canada

Led our twenty person team in the Philippines on the development of Score Poker, a custom online advergaming poker room skin for our strategic partner Score Media (The Score Sports Television Network). Our decision to use offshore resources reduced development costs by 75% and the poker client launched on schedule on May 8, 2007.


Acted as General Manager for Score Poker overseeing all operations, marketing and analytics. Regularly reviewed player metrics on acquisition, retention, peak concurrent, average session time, and monetized eCPM projections.


Optimized ad serving configuration and revenue from multiple affiliate and advertising network sources to fill our monthly 50 million banner impressions inventory. The most recent reconfiguration reduced ad serving costs by 80% by implementing a multi-tiered, third-party ad serving solution. Designed an incentivized CPA targeting and tracking system for affiliate programs. Score Poker continues to be a success with 100,000 Canadian players and 40% month over month revenue growth. Worked with affiliate partners to find suitable but rapid technology solutions for real time validation of completed offers.

Director of Quantitative Research

Last Atlantis Capital Management LLC

March 2005 – February 2007

Toronto, Canada

Led team of seven programmers in developing C# browser-based trading platform. Hiring manager for planned India based quant group to be housed in Pune/Mumbai. As primary DBA, designed, optimized, implemented and maintained several high volume SQL databases. Extensive data mining of raw flat file trading and order routing logs, as well as MSSQL databases. Analysis and assessment of internal and third party trading systems utilizing VB6 and Matlab. Analyzed and optimized trading strategies for internal hedge fund share class. Designed and programmed multiple C# tools for futures trading program including multi-threaded, real-time quote server, bar builder, auto parameter selector, job manager for cluster and data conversion tools.

Chief Executive Officer

Urban Cellars

August, 2003 – March, 2005

Toronto, Canada

Founded and managed all operations and development of this commercial wine storage company including designing a web based wine inventory management system for our clients. The decision to convert and utilize commercial storage lockers allowed for modular growth and a reduction of startup costs by a factor of 10. By employing guerilla marketing strategies such as passing out brochures at wine events and vintage wine releases, offering cellaring services to charity wine auctions and becoming members with wine tasting societies, Urban Cellars was able to outgrow it’s first 5,000 bottle cellar within the first year with virtually no marketing budget. Oversaw the sale and transfer of assets to Iron Gate Cellarage through 2006.

Partner and General Manager

Metropolitan Wines and Spirits

October, 2003 – March, 2005

Toronto, Canada

Concurrently with Urban Cellars, founded and managed all sales and operations of this wine importation company, including approaching wineries for representation, wine buying and direct sales to local restaurants. Oversaw sale and transfer of company assets to Hatherell Wines in March, 2005.

Early Career

During university, worked as a research assistant analyzing white dwarf spectral data from Mount Palomar Observatory. Instructed first year physics laboratory course and proctored exams. Between third and fourth year accepted a 16 month internship with Bell Northern Research to conduct research into the electromagnetic radiation properties of various telecommunications products.


Founded Mediascape Computer Centres Inc. immediately after graduation from the University of Toronto and operated the proof-of-concept model for four years until 1999.


Enrolled in an equities trading course in June, 1999 at Swift Trade Securities in Toronto and subsequently traded equities and equity options with several different firms in Toronto, New Jersey and the Bahamas, concluding back in Toronto as a Senior Proprietary Trader and Mentor with Duncan Street Capital LLC until 2005.

Educational History


  • Master of Science – University of Toronto : Graduated in 1995 with an MSc in Experimental High Energy Physics.
  • Bachelor of Science – University of Western Ontario : Graduated in 1993 with a BSc in Honours Physics. Awarded th Donald R. Hay Prize for best senior thesis.


Skills and Experience


  • Financial Markets: Extensive knowledge of equities, equity derivatives and futures markets. Experience with most trading indicators.
  • Programming Languages: C#, Visual Basic 6, SQL, Matlab, Fortran, Pascal
  • Software Experience: MSSQL, TradeStation, Realtick, ESignal, Matlab, MS Office, Photoshop, Goldmine
  • Poker: Extensive knowledge of gaming theory, all poker games and tournaments structures.


I have excellent references available upon request