Originally Posted by Bevo54
From my perspective it seems you are essentially posting this rhetoric, as well as emailing your thesis to the major rooms/networks, to curb your competition. You are the biggest poker affiliate in the world and are trying to throw your weight around to get even more market share.
The reason why we do all this 'lobbyism' is that we believe a healthy poker market is important for everyone who thinks in the long run:
• winning players
• poker operators / networks
• affiliates / other businesses
I think you noticed that the year over year growth of the poker market has gone done to below 10% by some indicators [namely PokerScout.com].
We strongly believe that one of the big reasons for this are market flaws. Big marketing campaigns often bring in a lot of new net deposits - but not a lot of rake, as the rake is generated by another type of player.
Thus, big marketing campaigns don't bring a good ROI if you calculate by rake. A stand-alone room can ignore that or calculate differently - which is why PokerStars and Full Tilt, who do big-time marketing, still took market shares.
But if you are a skin in a network - say a sportsbook on iPoker or Ongame - you cannot calculate differently, as you are contractually paid on rake. If now parasitic skins/affiliates use monetary incentives to concentrate high rakers on their sites, they will never
regain their investments into big marketing / cross-selling campaigns.
So yes - we do all this in our best interest. But also in the best interest of thousands of winning poker players, hundreds of small affiliates who cannot compete with these monetary incentives and dozens of operators.
I find many of your points to be hypocritical. The biggest one being that rakeback affiliates cannibalize traffic by offering something the room doesn't have in house. Well, you do the same thing.
Most rooms don't offer players free bankrolls to play poker with. Therefore, new players must go to your site to receive free poker money. Sure, you bring in fish and liquidity. But you do so in the same fashion that you are scolding rakeback affiliates for. You are offering something that is exclusive and can't be obtained from signing up with the rooms direct.
So why don't you give out free bankrolls? I guess no poker room in the world would hinder you from doing so. You can even start to give your players $1,000 - and we won't care. So one question by me: why don't you give out free bankrolls?
There is just a big difference between "monetary incentives designed and used to poach high-rakers" and any stuff that helps converting loads of recreational players such as free bankrolls or - more widespread - some smaller freerolls.
We also get this argument a lot when talking to affiliate managers at poker rooms. They hear this all day from rakeback affiliates [again, I'm just referring to affiliates that do nothing else than rakeback and try to offer "the best deal" to players] - as rakeback affiliates have little arguments left to defend their cannibalistic business models.
Your company indeed has a lot of power in this industry (i believe you claimed your revenues are higher than Party Poker). However, your recent actions are NOT in the best interest of this industry or in the best interest of poker players. Your arguments and actions are in the best interest of YOU and your bottom line.
It might very well be true that our bottom line will be hurt in the short run. But still, this is absolutely necessary in the long run. Only an online poker industry with healthy market rules will prevail and grow in the long run. That means: ceasing to incentivise cannibalistic business models that do not add any value.
We obviously disagree on several basic theories when it comes to marketing and poke ecology. You have every right to state your opinion publicly on this forum and others. Having a fair and professional discussion is what this community is all about.
I'm not too sure if you really disagree, but you certainly argue against us. And this is absolutely understandable - as I guess your business model depends on it.
I also understand that you need to lead this "counter attack" of implying that PokerStrategy.com is also evil and just argues from an egoistical perspective. But this does not curb the logic behind our arguments. It's not rocket science - it's a comparably simple economical model.