Lee Davy writes a short and sweet opinion piece on the role that competition plays in poker after watching a refreshing Poker Brief from 888Poker.
Competition is a good thing. I know that. It’s been drummed into my head since I was a kid. Another truism from the ages is that the competitors are not a good thing. You have to beat the competition at all costs. The taking part is fun brigade are a bunch of nancies.
I don’t think like that anymore.
Today, I believe that in almost every situation, competition is a good thing and that means your competitors glow in that same goodness.
If you’re in the business of creating lancing equipment to pierce chestnut size boils, then it helps your business considerably if you have competition. The more rivals you have, the likelier you are to become a ‘category.’
Poker is a ‘category.’
When it comes to live poker games you have the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the World Poker Tour (WPT), PokerStars Live, partypoker Live, 888Live, Unibet, Grosvenor and on and on. Online you have PokerStars, 888Poker, partypoker, Unibet and on and on.
The vastness and richness of the competition create a ‘category’, and that provides you with visibility. Now, the number of people you engage with goes up dramatically.
You need competition.
And here’s the rub.
PokerStars’ competition isn’t 888Poker and partypoker. PokerStars’ competition is esports, cinema, Netflix and porn.
Online poker rooms shouldn’t be competing with each other. They’re in the same rowing boat. Oars in hand, putting in the energy so they can all get to the same place. Only, they’re stuttering.
The Poker Brief by 888Poker
Episode #13 of the Poker Brief by 888Poker landed on my desk this morning, and I have to say, it’s brilliant. 888Poker Ambassador Kara Scott hosts and the video looks polished. But I want to draw attention to the content.
Scott talked for several minutes about the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) and the high profile departures of PokerStars Team Pros Vanessa Selbst and Jason Mercier. In doing so, 888 focused on their primary competitor.
888Poker knows a lot of their customers play poker on other sites such as PokerStars. They also know that anyone tuning in to watch a video about poker news doesn’t want to watch a video focusing on nothing but 888Poker content, ignoring the biggest stories in the poker world.
But this approach is uncommon.
I have worked in the live tournament scene for a decade, and during my time writing about other brands, or focusing on other brand stars, was discouraged. The Lords and Masters would frown upon a simple thing like referring to someone as a two-time WSOP bracelet winner.
It showed me how far apart poker companies are on this issue of competition.
For a great way of how competition works, take a look at the book industry. Phil Hellmuth recently released a book called #Positivity. One of the blurbs for his book came from Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins is an author who writes about the same theme.
Authors recommend other authors books because they understand the importance of being involved in a ‘category.’ They know that their books are more likely to sell when sitting in a bookstore alongside thousands of other books.
In the book industry, Stephen King’s competition isn’t Dean Koontz; it’s I don’t want to read anything, I want to watch Ozarks on Netflix.
It seems 888Poker gets this.
It’s about the spirit of openness and generosity.
Wake up, folks.