Five Steps to Destroying an Online Poker Room
THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2009-04-19, by TwoGun, OzoneThis week, we bring you the complete and definitive guide to nosediving an online poker room. For any online poker room out there wanting to crater their site, please follow these five steps to the letter and we promise your site will be bankrupt within a year:
Step 1: Offer Rakeback or Other Incentives to Sharks and None to Fish
There are two ways to allow rakeback to ruin your online poker room. First, you can offer it directly to players. This will incentivize sharks to play on your site around the clock quickly relieving the fish of their money. It is important to make sure that you allow the sharks to play at least 4-6 tables, though. Ideally, an unlimited amount is best since some of them can ruin your games 20 tables at a time.
If you don't offer rakeback directly to your players, there is another way to ensure it spoils your games. Join forces with a few other online poker rooms by allowing them on your network. Make sure these poker rooms leech off of your player base by offering rakeback to their players. This method was effective for damaging Party Poker when they let Empire Poker onto their network, but they decided they actually wanted to make money so they kicked Empire off. However, Cryptologic was resolute in making sure this method ruined them. Are they even around anymore?
Step 2: Hire Too Many People and Pay Them Too Much
This is a popular method for tanking businesses in all sectors. It worked for banks, hedge funds, and Duplicate Poker and so it should work for you too. Figure out the number of employees that you actually need and then hire three to four times that many. Pay lots of people to do random statistical analysis (might as well hire young, hot women with no poker background whatsoever for your visual enjoyment). Also, make sure you have a full time graphic design department on retainer because, you know, it's not like you can just outsource all of that work on a case-by-case basis, right? Why wait for your company to get huge before you start running it like a huge company? We say the more employees the better no matter how small your company is and therefore unnecessary those employees are.
If you really want to amp things up, you can offer company cars to employees who do nothing other than drive from home to the office and back. While you're at it, you can hold a Friday bonfire where you light some money on fire for good measure. Don't forget the hot dogs. Oh, from what we hear, British Pounds burn the prettiest, and they're the costliest to burn too. Win-Win!!!
Step 3: Keep Your Promotions Complicated
Everyone loves a good promotion. What's even better is making your promotions almost impossible to understand. For this, you'll want to hire a team of lawyers to draft up a complicated Terms and Conditions page for each promotion you run. This also creates an ancillary benefit of wasting money on lawyers. Make sure there is a lot of fine print so your players have a difficult time understanding exactly what the promotion is all about. This will also rev up their paranoid streaks by making them think they're going to get a tax audit by accepting a free $5. A simple, straightforward and fun promotion will draw huge interest. Your aim should be to deter that by keeping them guessing to the point of frustration and non-participation.
Step 4: Hire a Bunch of No-Name Poker Pros to Serve as Consultants and 'Site Pros'
Five years ago, people actually gave a crap about Scott Fischman or Phil Gordon, so it made good sense to use them to help promote your online poker room. Today, no one cares about those "pros" and a host of other over-hyped degenerates, which is exactly why you should hire them and overpay them to serve as the face of your poker room. Find some 22 year old with a history of unethical decisions in the online poker community and pay them handsomely to represent your poker room. Punk kids with no moral compass are great for putting doubts in the minds of potential customers as to whether or not your games can be trusted. I believe Justin Bonomo and Sorel Mizzi already have endorsement deals, but there are plenty of others you can pursue for this need. To get started, try calling on the likes of Josh Field or Mark Teltsher.
Step 5: Accept U.S. Players and Actively Flaunt the DOJ
This is the truly sexy way to crash your online poker room. Accept American players and defiantly put it in the Department of Justice's face. If you need any tips, follow the lead of Full Tilt Poker. You should have ".net" advertisements at NBA games, commercials that run around the clock, and high-profile press conferences to announce the unveiling of a new "Team Pro". If it worked for Bodog's ex-CEO and the Neteller founders, it can work for you too. To add extra gamble, make sure you accept sports bets and then shove that in the face of the NBA, NFL, and other sports leagues. It would also be advisable to offer 1% of your company in exchange for sex to a coked-out party girl who might eventually sue you and list all of your company's owners in the public domain.
The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.
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