Lee Davy sits down with the GPTPoker.com founder, Andy Power, to drill down into the detail of how he believes he has a poker product to deliver to the true recreational players around the world.
Define a recreational poker player?
A question that will create a different answer depending on whom you ask.
When Bodog Poker created the Recreational Poker Model the poker world placed them into the stocks.
Yet, today, you can’t read a poker news website without seeing the latest tale of online poker tweaks designed to attract the very thing that Bodog was being pelted with rotten fruit for.
It’s a buzzword.
It’s the new direction.
Andy Power is one man who I think really understands who the recreational player is. Based on the Isle of Wight, Andy has been in the casino biz for the past three decades.
“I was dealing Hold’em back in the 80s when people were saying it would never catch on because it was too much like bingo.” Says Power.
He is now the proud owner of a small British company that has a very satisfying mission statement.
“We want to create the Slumdog Millionaire experience in poker. We want any poker player, at any level, either online or live, from anywhere in the world, to come together in a single tournament without any boundaries at all; and we want the entry fee to be just £5.”
Power intends to achieve his dreams through a steps process called The Global Poker Tournament (GPT) and if you know anything about poker then you will understand exactly how this system works. For those of you that thought this was a personal blog about the life of a playboy billionaire then let me explain.
The GPT want to merge both online and live formats into one huge tournament. To do this they have created a Bronze, Silver and Gold steps process. Essentially, players compete in single table six max formats with the winner earning the right to move into a higher game.
Example: Six players in a local home game all invest £5 each to purchase a Bronze code from the GPT website for £30. They play their local SNG and the winner earns the code. That player can now use that code to play in another six max, one table SNG, at the Silver level. The winner of that tournament then earns the right to play in a Silver event, and the winner will receive a Gold code. The winner of the Gold tournament will win a package to play in the Global Poker Tournament, and it will include airfare, accommodation, meals, spending money and a seat.
That’s not all…
If at anytime you just want to cash in your winning code you can. You can also skip the major GPT event, and instead just play in Bronze, Silver and Gold games that are available on the GPT website.
You don’t have to play online either. You can search the GPT forums for other Bronze, Silver and Gold code winners to create your own home games, or even have the game hosted at your local casino.
“We see our product as a massive player acquisition tool and are in discussion with casinos from all over the world about bringing our players to their venues. You see it all the time. These casinos open up huge poker rooms and cannot find the players to fill them. We can answer a lot of their problems, at no cost to them, and they can also earn extra revenue in the process.” Says Power.
But how are they going to get the players?
“We have a good solid marketing plan that doesn’t need millions of pounds in investment to be successful. We have 22 GPT Country Managers (CM) throughout the world, and each of them have their own Area Management (AM) teams. We want 30 by the time we launch and are well on our way to attaining that number. Each CM has their own website and are responsible for acquiring players and selling codes. It’s like giving each of them a franchise. The AM’s are like the Avon ladies of poker.”
The Avon ladies of poker…. now that’s a blast from the past.
So I can see how the live side of things works, but what about the online side of things?
“This was far more difficult than I anticipated and we are in our third year of development at the moment, “ says Power. “ It took a long time to find a fully licensed and respectable online poker room that could integrate our ideas, and more importantly our systems, but we eventually settled on B3W Live. They are really great guys and we are working well together to get ready for launch.
“From the systems side of things my partner is Duncan Bradford, the owner of Kuki Media in Nottingham. I have known Duncan for a very long time and he knows his stuff.”
So there you have it.
It’s not often you find the words Slumdog Millionaire and the Avon ladies of poker in one article, but that’s exactly what makes it feel ‘Recreational’ to me.
The concept is a challenging one. But it does focus on the working class man and woman, and this is where I believe lies the beating heart of the Recreational Poker player.
Now it’s your turn.
What do you think?