After 888Poker offered their players the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fly in a L-39 Albatross fighter jet, Lee Davy ponders the attraction of poker marketing and comes up with five ideas of his own.
What poker promotion would get you heading to an online poker room?
It’s the question that irks the masterminds of most online poker organizations as they huff, and puff, desperately trying to blow the PokerStars house down.
From a personal point of view I have seen very little that makes me want to open a new account. The only promotion that mildly interests me is the chance to satellite into a bigger event, and even those have become unattractive, with a simple $3 satellite now costing in excess of $100 due to the stupid Turbo rules that seem to dominate.
But the minds keep on whirring.
Betclic and Everest Poker have just come up with a great marketing campaign that centers on their recent acquisition: Sam Trickett. The Retford hotshot is giving Everest punters the opportunity to earn the right to qualify for a 10% share of his World Series of Poker (WSOP) winning (minus the BIG ONE for ONE DROP obviously).
Then you have the recent offer from 888Poker that affords you the opportunity to win a flight in an L-39 Albatross fighter jet.
These two impress me.
The rest are all a bit…whatever.
So I have decided to come up with my own quintet.
1# WSOP One-Drop Seat
We need to remember what makes poker so special.
Let me remind you.
It’s the underdog. The knowledge that your seven-deuce off suit can make Phil Ivey look like the John Daly of Poker.
The WSOP have just guaranteed a $10m first prize for the winner of the WSOP Main Event. I say fuck that. Who really cares that the prize pool of the biggest poker lottery of them all has gone up by a few million?
Give the winner a $1m WSOP BIG ONE for ONE DROP seat instead.
And make it none transferable.
Chris Moneymaker turned the world of poker on its asshole when he satellited his way through to a $2.5m WSOP Main Event victory. The heads-up action against Sammy Farha was electric.
Can you imagine what it would be like to see the same thing, only heads-up for a $20m first prize against Phil Ivey?
A mild mannered accountant who luck boxed his way to $20m. Now that’s what I call a story.
I would prostitute myself to get a $10,000 WSOP Main Event seat just to get a crack at that opportunity.
2# Win a Trip to the Stars
Poker is the cool kid that your parents don’t want you to play with.
The one who is doing it doggy style behind the bike sheds, whilst you are learning how to do hairstyles in the classroom.
We will never break into the mainstream until the largest non-gambling companies in the world start giving us some loving.
Poker is sweaty, salty sex.
If only we were a virgin?
Boom! I’ve got it.
What about a promotion that ties us up with Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic (see what I did there)? We could offer the winner of ‘something’ a chance to join Stephen Hawking, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and…Jens Kyllonen the chance to take a trip into space.
3# One Year Sponsorship Deal
I won’t name and shame them, but there are a few professional poker players who have told me that given the right amount of time and money, that they could turn anyone into a professional poker player.
That’s a bold statement, and also a wonderful challenge.
I would like to see the online sites offering a sponsorship deal for a whole year. I’m not talking about an online sponsorship deal where you are hidden away in your bedroom like a crack addict. I’m talking about cracking open the Estee Lauder and Revlon and turning the life less ordinary into the poker superstar.
They would be treated the same as their other ambassadors with photo shoots, roles and responsibility statements, interviews, training, coaching…the whole nine yards.
This gives the winner the opportunity to prove that they have what it takes to earn an extension to their contract.
No gender bias. No age bias. No biases at all.
Just a real shot at the big time.
4# The Life of a Pro
Everest Poker have really cottoned onto something with the Sam Trickett 10% WSOP promotion.
It’s not all about the money.
Think about it.
How many of you remember your Grandfather placing his 25p bets on the horses. Do you think his £5 win was life changing? It had nothing to do with the money.
It’s the sweat.
So let’s take this a lot further and make it a lot more personal.
How about you win the opportunity to choose an ambassador to coach you for an entire year, and you also get a percentage of his winnings.
Imagine receiving one to one coaching from one of the best players in the game. Gaining the opportunity to get inside his or her head. To learn what makes them tick, plus the opportunity to have some of the most interesting sweats of your life.
5# Female Only Satellites
We need more women in the game.
A recent survey by the UK Gambling Commission revealed for the umpteenth year running that there are far more men who are gambling than women, and I expect that this theme will be concurrent around the world.
So I understand why the bulk of the marketing money is directed at attracting more men into the game, but I think for the future of the game, this thinking needs to change.
I would like to see more female only satellites for the right to play in the biggest tournaments in the world. The more exposure that they can get the better. So I’m talking about the European Poker Tour (EPT), the World Poker Tour (WPT), the World Series of Poker Main Event (WSOP) and the Aussie Millions.
If we are going to thrust a poker table into the living rooms of the Muggles then I want to see a female poker player sitting on it.
Is this sexist?
But who cares if it works for the betterment of poker?
And for all you males who are now reading this and complaining about gender bias. Stop fucking moaning.
If this brings more players into the game then what do you have to complain about?
So there’s my two-pennies worth.
Now what about you?
What promotion would you like to see?