Will new 'independent' poker sites ever get a large enough player base?

Buddy

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PKR are apparently going to launch real money play shortly (I'm not entirely sure what their definition of 'shortly' is, but for obvious reasons I hope its sometime soon .):confused:

I'd be interested to hear if you think it will be a success. I've been playing a few other new 'independent' poker sites and notice that there are hardly any players at the tables, which is a real real turn off. :eek:

I can see now why so many gaming companies join a network like Prima (Microgaming) or Tribecca.

What do you think? :thumbsup:
 

winbig

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Buddy said:
PKR are apparently going to launch real money play shortly (I'm not entirely sure what their definition of 'shortly' is, but for obvious reasons I hope its sometime soon .):confused:

I'd be interested to hear if you think it will be a success. I've been playing a few other new 'independent' poker sites and notice that there are hardly any players at the tables, which is a real real turn off. :eek:

I can see now why so many gaming companies join a network like Prima (Microgaming) or Tribecca.

What do you think? :thumbsup:

Unless they fix the compatability issues with ATI cards before they open, they're going to fail miserably.

Other than that, I love the concept of it, and think they'll turn out to be a good room - As long as they have good customer service and offer some sort of rakeback program or other good loyalty system.
 

Buddy

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Loyalty

Yes they do have some real technical issues. I'm not sure how easy it is to sort them out.

I think any poker site needs a constant 24 hour player base of between 4000 - 6000 players to ensure there are enough players and action at the various tables. Technical issues aside, that's a lot for a single independent site like PKR, that's not part of a poker network.

In terms of loyalty, I believe they will have loyalty points which can be traded in for chip tricks and other features to customise players features.
 

pokeraddict

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I am of the opinion that Full Tilt will be the last successful start up. They have been open for 2+ years and no one has been very successful since and I doubt anyone can repeat that success. It took having a massive pro player base and advertising campaign. I have seen some decent ideas but after a few start up disasters many players will not even give new rooms a shot no matter how great the bonus is.
 

Chatmaster

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One thing is for sure... The competition is really tough in the online poker networks, newcomers really need to spend some money to make some. I believe it is really tough these days to compete. However, if I had the budget I would not go for networks. There is to many restrictions on how the games are played, the type of games available and marketing options. the only benefit that you have is that there are consistently players available and large tourneys. To the player however the only difference is in the amount of money he gets for free from the poker room or the service delivery. This means allot of overheads for a newcomer to carry. However to be able to enter the poker market I guess you need to be able to market using innovative ideas, lateral thinking and offer something unique and that is where the networks fail miserably to help newcomers.
 

Buddy

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Mansion

To some extent I'd agree. But surely Mansion are doing ok? They only started their poker site earlier this year and appear to have a number of players.

Their Pokerdome freerolls fill up quickly, and they seem to have, as we say in the UK, "loadsamoney".

:thumbsup:
 

Chatmaster

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That is exactly what makes it so expensive, you cannot give a hint of how little profit you are actually making as no player would want to play with a struggling outfit. I personally would much rather grow a small poker room from scratch in my local town and put away money for the big launch countrywide or statewide, then grow it from there. Reduce the risk of loosing millions of $!
 

jetset

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Buddy said:
To some extent I'd agree. But surely Mansion are doing ok? They only started their poker site earlier this year and appear to have a number of players.

Their Pokerdome freerolls fill up quickly, and they seem to have, as we say in the UK, "loadsamoney".

:thumbsup:

Interesting thread.

In answer to the above:

1) Cross marketing

2) Well capitalised.
 

Chatmaster

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A major concern is the posibility of fraud and also security for your players. You have to have a good system to ensure the safety of your players all the time. I am familiar with the Prima network with regards to this and have always been amazed on the technology they have as well as the amount of fraud attempts there are. That is one HUGE benefit a Network can give to a new poker room.
 

Buddy

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But poker networks have their issues..

Poker networks definitely do have some considerable advantages.

However, the common biggest problem online gaming companies are facing that use them is the issue of having a "common wallet" (i.e a single sign on account for all their products). The network poker sites I've played often require a completely seperate logon name than they do for their casino product. That's a major problem for any cross-selling in my opinion.

While I'm on the subject of new poker sites and poker networks, the following article on my site may also be of interest - URL Not Found / Outdated (apologies if it appears I'm plugging my own site here, but it does make very interesting information given the context of the conversation).

My question in relation to this article - Pokerwize - is it technically possible to connect a 3D site into a 2D Prima network? Will the Prima network actually give the technical support and assistence that will be required?

:confused:
 

Chatmaster

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I doubt Prima would be interested in plugging another 3D into their 2D software. They would much rather get their own software a 3D look and field, they definately have the resources and talent to do so. However I must say I do not know if I would like to play on a 3D table. I like fast play and no other factors to influence me when reading other players. 3D anim will definately distract me, especialy in the beginning. Also I love fast play, 3D especially if you are able to pull faces and express emotion in some way will waste time. I mean If I have 2 - 4 tables going and someone pulls faces at me that generates, who gives a damn:cool:
 

Buddy

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Prima

Well, this company reckon they are going to plug their 3D client into the 2D prima netork. I assume it will have to be as fast as the current 2D sites in the network, otherwise it isn't going to work? That would indicate that, unlike PKR, pokerwize will have limited functionality. All you will get is 3D graphics...
 

soflat

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I think the gimmick will wear off real fast. How many times do you want to see someone's image do a chip 'trick'? Is it really exciting? Will you be impressed by the trick?

Also, the established poker networks can develop their own 3d software.

The best thing about the 3d stuff is that it will get the site noticed. So at least it will provide some marketing benefit inititally. And that will provide some new, bad players for the regulars to beat up on for a while.

Most of the newest poker sites have not done well and some of the smaller businesses are currently exploring 'strategic alternatives'.
 

Buddy

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OK I agree..but

One of the interesting things I've noticed at PKR while doing the beta testing is how the added functionality increases the communication and general friendliness of the site. Its nice to see and yes may be a great environment for new players to learn the game. Yes its slower than most other sites, but there's a buzz and friendliness to it. (Then again this could just be a group of 3D poker beta testing enthusiasts sharing a laugh?)

I'm not completely convinced that experienced players are going to "shark" the tables at these new sites. How many inexperienced players are really going to be playing at a decent stake real money table? :rolleyes:
 

Self Made

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I recently did a hand count Hold'em cash traffic at some of the tiny sites, and didn't find any as large as WPEX (the smallest one tracked by PokerSiteScout):
Poker.com 312
Action Poker Network 207
Mansion 159
True Poker 118
Planet Poker 81
GamesGrid 74
PokerHost (networked with other Dobrosoft rooms?) 65

My guess is that if any of them are to succeed it would be Poker.com: the most traffic of the micro rooms, already-good software, and an impressive rate of improvement (e.g. resizable tables added recently).

And maybe Mansion because they have the money (runs CyberArts software, but not on the GamesGrid network).

Can anyone comment on traffic at the other little rooms? I don't have any of the below on my computer:
PokerChamps
Bugsy's
JetSet
Poker Nexus network
Poker4Ever
WPT Online (moving to CyberArts software I think, don't know if they'll be on own network)
Pitbull
RedStar
Cake
Tropical
Jungle
CardCrusade
Full House Entertainment (e.g. Touchstone Poker)
jacksnqueens.com (beta webcam poker)
live3dpoker.com (did it die already?)
PokerMountain (already dead?)
Pharaoh's Poker Palace (webcam poker)
PKR
Red Felt
Stacks Poker (died?)
The3DPoker.com

If you do have any of them installed, could you let me know if any of them have significant traffic?
 

pokeraddict

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Long story short is that none of the below rooms are anywhere near the traffic of Poker.com. You are correct that Poker.com is probably best poised to become a big player. They are a class act and their domain helps them greatly too.

PokerChamps - Recently banned all U.S. players. I believe that Betfair is going to move their players to that software which should help. They bought them out earlier this year. Currently very few games.

Bugsy's - More of a card club type setting. A home game almost. Many of the players know each other and have played there for years. Has some of the best tournament structures available. Still not many players though. The games tend to be good though because there are many rookie players in the low limits. Slightly smaller then Poker Champs but very close, with tournaments it is bigger.

JetSet - A bunch of micro limit games, sometimes 20 in a night but only one or two games over $.25/$.50.

Poker Nexus network - Three tables going at most.

Poker4Ever - 3-5 tables going, recently stopped accepting new US players. Their new primetime is now during UK prime time.

WPT Online (moving to CyberArts software I think, don't know if they'll be on own network) - not sure. They use the same software but AFAIK they have no intention of moving to the same network. I do not know for sure though.

Pitbull - Very slow, been getting an off and on bad rep. Mostly from players not reading T&C's on free money but their prop program walked out too from getting slow paid.

RedStar - Not sure

Cake - 2-4 tables max. Very friendly room with great support. Promos are a bit hard to understand for many players though.

Tropical - Not sure but I hear you can get 5 7's there

Jungle - One or two micro limit games

CardCrusade - Rakefree subscription based site. Not much a action. Last two times I looked which was over a month ago there were no games either time.

Full House Entertainment (e.g. Touchstone Poker) - Werent they a part of Pokeround and Cindy's? Cindy's bailed to Tribeca and Pokeround emails bounce. There have been no games for a long time.

jacksnqueens.com (beta webcam poker) - I am not sure they got off ground

live3dpoker.com (did it die already?) - Either dead or still trying to get off ground. When I tried to download it about a month ago it was so buggy I could not get it to launch. Neither could someone else in my office.

PokerMountain (already dead?) - Yes, already dead and has been for over a year. They say that they are reworking the software for a relaunch.

Pharaoh's Poker Palace (webcam poker) - Did they go live yet? I know they had some serious issues trying to get off the ground.

PKR - No U.S. players allowed. I looked today and they had 8 games going, about half were micros. Software was very slow. It also took 30+ minutes to download.

Red Felt - Never heard of them

Stacks Poker (died?) - The last I heard their developer gave up or the investor(s) walked or both. AFAIK it never went live to real money and stalled in its tracks.

The3DPoker.com - Never heard of them.
 

pokeraddict

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How many inexperienced players are really going to be playing at a decent stake real money table?

You would be surprised. The smaller networks tend to be well stocked fish ponds. The reason for this is usually........

1. Multi tabling sharks do not want to mess with lower limit games

2. Multi tabling sharks prefer to play all of their games on one site at a time. Resource wise and screen size are two issues there.

3. New players/fish are more likely to go for freeroll type promos that stock the tables with "free" money. Serious players often could not care less about a $50 freeroll. Other players love them.

4. Smaller sites are often not supported by Pokertracker and HUD's. Many player are hooked on these type of programs and will not play without them.

Of course then you have players like me that go around to the new sites and enjoy playing people who won their bankroll is a few noob freerolls on a small site. :D
 

winbig

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PKR - No U.S. players allowed. I looked today and they had 8 games going, about half were micros. Software was very slow. It also took 30+ minutes to download.

The last email I recieved from PKR stated they were going to allow US players, but have delayed letting them play for real money.


and lmao @ the tropical comment....whatever happened with that? Last I heard they claimed it was a lag in the software when switching tables.
 

ace4suited

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scotland
It is quite an interesting question "will there be another big player in online poker?" or even can anyone new make a profit?

Remember when we thought noone could catch paradise?

The online gaming industry is fast moving and it is hard to say anything definatively. Joining with another network is clearly a good way to go and would make the issue of getting traffic easier

I still feel though that marketing of online poker is still in its infancy and new or better pollished methods could make a breakthrough for a new player.

It is obviously easier for an established brand to have a poker room (harrods etc for casinos etc) and someone with a stake in say sports betting or casinos would be more likely to suceed. In terms of the amount of capital involved it is likely to be a group with plenty of cash.

it is important to remember that many players are happy playing tourneys with small enough numbers (200 or less) if someone wanted to start with that then they could still succeed. Its just a case of not overreaching too soon, having excellent support and a successful marketing strategy. I am not convinced that piling cash into freerolls etc is the way to go.

The standard model for a start up seems to be have 10-20k in freerolls sometimes nearer 100,000$ and then keep piling money into promotions etc. Whilst this attracts some players it is not the sort who will stay for any real time.

I think the standard model is primative enough that there is real scope for new players (will a couple of mill spare to get into the indursty)

Many players who play on the small sites like the fact that you get the same folks each time, can chat to guys each week etc.

The real question is in 40 years will holdem NL still be the BIGGEST game in poker. 40 years ago it wasnt anywhere like the popular game it is today - what will be the next holdem - thats what i want to know!
 
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