Regardless of the results indicating the contrary, it really doesn’t seem all that hard running a successful poker platform. At least not in theory. Sure, the the amount of money required to start is an obvious barrier to entry, and turning a profit month over month is likely even tougher, but, conceptually-speaking, the game doesn’t even seem to be about the money (I know….stay with me); from an outside perspective the game of poker-operating appears to be much more about growth, longevity, and brand loyalty.
And although certain poker-operators have elected to increase their profits in the short term at the expense of their most loyal customers, the reality, for any successful business, is that in the end the only thing that matters is what the market dictates. So while shareholders of greedy operators may celebrate the next few quarterly-reports, if the people at the top of the food-chain continue to ignore the well-being of their most loyal customers, all three pillars – growth, longevity, and brand loyalty – seem destined to come crumbling down.
Are Poker Operators Too Big To Fail?
When discussing the need for poker sites to deploy empathy towards their customers, there are those who dub Pokerstars certain poker operators “too big to fail”, but it’s important to recognize that they wouldn’t be the first, nor largest, market-leader to doom themselves by failing to execute on their customers’ desires. If you don’t believe it, ask a young person if they know what a “Blockbuster” is and then marvel at the realization that this once-great behemoth, with more than NINE THOUSAND LOCATIONS and absolute domination of the marketplace, disappeared from existence in less than a decade!
“At its peak, almost half of the families in the entire USA were going in a video store every week.”
Because the reality of the marketplace is that it doesn’t matter how much money you dump into advertising, celebrity endorsements, or gimmicky tournaments, if you’re always trying to squeeze out every last penny, the market will sense it; if fewer and fewer people are able to improve their lives using your product, the market will react to it; if the dream of mastery and heroship dies, so too will the market. It’s all really quite simple.
That’s why it is brands like Partypoker, brands who are actively listening to their user base, brands who are constantly innovating with the player in mind, brands who understand that the value of having customers who will champion your product is far greater than squeezing out an extra couple of percentage points, who will ultimately succeed in the games of customer acquisition and, most importantly, customer retention.
Partypoker Rakeback Brings All The Boys To The Yard
Much to the delight of hard-working grinders everywhere, Partypoker recently announced the reintroduction of direct cashback, otherwise known as Partypoker rakeback, a glorious throwback to the golden years of online poker that shifts the power balance between the poker room and the poker player back to a more equitable position.
Additionally, Partypoker has made a great partnership with Patrick “Plenopads” Leonard, a well-respected veteran tournament professional and poker-staking owner who has long championed for players’ rights. More important than the signing itself however, is the fact that Partypoker has clearly taken Patrick’s input to heart and implemented many of his suggestions within the extensive list of recent improvements below.
— partypoker (@partypoker) April 18, 2016
Partypoker Rakeback & Other Recent Changes
- Loyalty System including Partypoker rakeback / cashback
- Introduction of the Diamond Club
- Software Upgrades to make long grinds more enjoyable
- Tournament Schedules & Structures being more player-friendly
- Introduction of Leaderboards and Prizes
- Inactivity fees being returned to players
- Increased transfer limits
- Faster cashout times
Calling The Heroes Poker Needs
The fantastic results of Plenopads’ partnership with one of the world’s largest poker operators speaks volumes to the direction the company is taking and is a type of relationship that ought to occur more frequently in the poker world.
As is the case with Partypoker and Plenopads, it’s time for poker sites to partner with the right type of players, the ones who have engaged audiences made up of people who love the game, the ones who both talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes to respecting poker, the ones who are connected to the community and are giving back in a positive way, and trust them enough to value their input in matters related to player satisfaction. There are many such players out there today, and it’s time for someone to offer them an opportunity to take the Great Game Of Poker to a whole new level.
So, if nothing else, this is our call for someone to offer a player like Fedor Holz an opportunity to have a voice in the direction of a growing poker site. This is our call for someone to provide someone like Doug Polk with the added leverage necessary to drive even greater numbers of new players to the game. This is our call for heroes like Phil Galfond & LuckyChewy to join forces, both with each other and with other high-profile players, and create a poker site that will make the current system seem as archaic and outdated as…well…renting videos off the shelf of a brick and mortar. Because, much like those days, the times of prosperity for those who refuse to listen to the market are fast approaching their end.
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