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Poker: Mini Tournaments May Not Be The Smart Choice

One of the more interesting reads this weekend was an interview in Poker Daily News with Dan Stewart, the very clued-up owner of the independent online poker tracking website PokerScout. In the interview, Stewart makes some astute observations about the introduction of mini-tournaments running parallel with major competitions, and the negative effect this could be generating.
Stewart used major events at the Internet's two biggest online poker sites, and Full Tilt Poker , to make his point.
Apparently the current Full Tilt Online Poker Series XII main event failed to reach its $2.5 million guarantee, drawing only 4 581 entries and requiring a $200 000 overlay. Stewart revealed that the $535 buy-in tournament was the centerpiece of the series, but Full Tilt's decision to run the miniFTOPS alongside, with a much smaller buy-in but a still respectable guaranteed $500 000 prizepool may have backfired.  Pokerstars
The MiniFTOPS main event attracted thousands of players and comfortably overtook the guaranteed prizes with a buy-in one-tenth that of its big brother, which started only minutes ahead. The conclusion is that the cheaper event cannibalised the business of the major tourney.
The level of overall interest in Internet poker remains strong, with Stewart reporting that traffic to Full Tilt is up 56 percent over the year, very close to that of PokerStars which is up 57 percent, and the burgeoning Cake Poker Network which is up year-on-year around 54 percent.
Stewart emphasised to Poker Daily News: “The [need for tournament prizepool] overlays don’t have anything to do with traffic or how well the site or the industry is doing. All you have to do is compare this FTOPS to the last one. They ran a similar schedule and if you look at the ring game traffic, it’s up about 10 percent.
"They’re busier now than they were then, yet you have a different outcome in terms of guarantees.”
Stewart analysed the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) and found a similar practice of offering low, middle and high multiple stakes this year, with similar negative results for the high stakes action.
“The FTOPS schedule came out before the SCOOP ran," Stewart told PDN. "When it ran, it became clear that low-stakes tournaments were cannibalizing their high-stakes counterparts. Both sites are probably learning from the experience.” Nine of the 22 high-stakes SCOOP tournaments did not reach their guarantees.
Broadening his outlook to the wider online poker industry, Stewart observed that despite the global economic slowdown: “It’s quite healthy. All we can do is compare right now to the same time last year. When we do that, we see that the industry is up 30 percent year over year. That’s probably a slow rate of growth in comparison to three or four years ago.”
But some individual operations have not done well, according to PokerScout records. Year-on-year, Bodog has experienced a 30 percent drop in player traffic, while Swedish state gambling monopoly Svenska Spel is down 14 percent.
The largest gain year over year went to the Entraction Network, which soared by 140 percent.
Stewart took a positive view on the overall situation for the online poker sector, telling PDN: “I don’t see the economy affecting online poker too heavily. Some people say that poker is counter-cyclical. A person is laid off, spends more time at home, and gambles online to make money. I don’t see it being counter-cyclical; it just chugs along regardless of the economy.”

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Gambling News :

Wanajump Launches - #Wanajump Spanish online and land gambling operator Grupo R. Franco appears to be emulating the William Hill group, announcing this week that it is to begin a start-up accelerator program for innovative entrepreneurs, which it has titled Wanajump.

Coral Launches player proposition betting product - Digital Sports Tech, a business-to-business software provider of sports betting solutions, has signed a deal with UK online and land sports betting operator Coral to provide an innovative player proposition betting product.

Oshi online casino now accepts fiat currencies - The Oshi online casino, which started just a year ago as a Bitcoin-denominated operation, has described its expanded activity in a statement this week, noting that in addition to Bitcoin it now accepts fiat currencies and has added new game providers to its roster of suppliers.

New Standards for UK Online Gambling - Online gambling service and technology providers, along with operators and testing agencies will be studying the new gambling software and technical standards proposal published by the UK Gambling Commission following a public consultation.

Pennsylvania Gambling Bill 1887 returned with additions - The interaction between the Pennsylvanian House and the state Senate has become increasingly like watching a game of ping pong as the two political establishments wrestle with online gambling legalization and court-ordered tax fixes in the dying days of the current political season.

UKs Advertising Standards Authority vs Ladbrokes - A Ladbrokes Casino email promo has fallen foul of the UKs Advertising Standards Authority who deemed significant terms and conditions concerning bonusing to be unclear or misleading.

Mybet Earnings Struggle - The statement this week reveals that Mybet continued to be hampered by negative trends from historic quarters, making its original performance estimate "unrealistic".

Tom Horn Awarded Malta Gaming License - Online gambling software provider Tom Horn Gaming has been awarded a Malta Gaming Authority license that permits the company to host and manage Malta-based gaming operators.

Calvin Ayre invests in new Antigua Business Center - Ayre joined with government officials this week in a ground-breaking ceremony for a five-story centre on Antigua which will be home for the venture. The "green" building will be solar powered and provide employee-friendly services like catering, a gym and child care.

Attack of the Zombies Slot - Online gambling games developer Genesis Gaming has unveiled its latest game, with a theme based on a horror story of the undead, exploiting the current trend....and just in time for Halloween.

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