888Poker inadvertently released a new game called ‘Flopomania’ before removing it, and apologising to players for the ‘technical incident,’ but was it a mistake, or brilliant marketing?
I blame Doug Polk.
Ever since the One Drop High Roller champ reminded us of infamous Bobby Ewing ‘It was all a dream’ Dallas episode, I have been questioning my sanity.
Am I awake?
Am I dreaming?
And I’m not the only one contaminated by Polk’s infectious new I’m a PokerStars Team Pro Dream video. Players at 888Poker have also been rubbing their burning eyes this week.
Midweek, 888Poker players were able to play a new game called Flopomania. The game was a micro to low stakes derivative of No-Limit Hold’em in the cash game lobby next to the Blast games.
Feedback obtained from the 888Poker Community Forum reveals the game removes pre-flop betting, includes a forced ante, and the action plays like NLHE with the starting point being the flop.
888Poker quickly closed down the games, and removed all trace of the new product from their cyber shelves, without giving their players the opportunity to say goodbye.
Within hours of the incident, 888Poker took to Twitter to apologise for the ‘technical incident’ that caused the game to be leaked prematurely and promised a full release in the coming weeks. All the players who competed in the games, temporarily, were allowed to finish.
But was this a mistake, or a brilliant piece of marketing?
The Purple Cow
When Seth Godin wrote The Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable the book arrived on your doorstep inside a purple milk carton.
People looked at it, and said, “What is that?”
The mystique absorbed interest like a Dyson on a cobweb.
Did 888Poker dip into their creative marketing handbook?
Under normal circumstances, online poker rooms launch games like Flopomania amid a broad brush press release to the poker media. The writers try to turn an ugly 300-word bore-fest into something interesting; people read, and head to the tables to play.
The leak has added a layer of intrigue.
888Poker players are now talking about the game, building anticipation, because of the leak. When the game eventually launches, amid a second blast from the poker media, I believe the early numbers will be much higher than the old hat method.
During an interview with an 888Poker representative during my time at 888Live Barcelona, it was clear that 888 was keen to continue changing their product to appease to the recreational players.
“Some players spend 20-30 seconds making trivial decisions; the winnings often go to the same players – this is what we think is unbalanced in our game, and why a lot of people abandoned it. We want to bring them back to play on 888.”
Flopomania helps speed up the game and increases variance to aid the recreational player.
888Poker recently launched Fast BLAST tournaments and became the only live tour operator to include a shot clock for all stages of 888Live Main Event and High Rollers.