I was reflecting on the ups and downs of being in the poker business at the weekend, you know – the kind of reflecting best done with a nice big glass of JD in hand… It is well documented here that last year’s changes in the poker business cost me the proverbial arm and a leg. The thing is, I am starting to think that now is actually a great time to be involved in the poker business. Here are my reasons.
1 – Less Competition Than A Year Ago Black Friday and the subsequent shutdowns pushed a lot of people out of the poker business, especially US webmasters, though by no means exclusively on that side of the pond. Many sharp minds have focused on other areas (finance / metals / ecommerce) that I personally know of… and I’ll bet there are a lot more I do not know of too. Sure, poker is still a competitive market – but not half as tough compared to a couple of years ago.
2 – Bad Content Getting Hit Google is making it harder to get away with owning poor sites / manipulating the search engine rankings. This is great news… Google is more and more focused on quality sites and brands. While a couple of years ago you could effectively buy your way to the top of the list… now you need both quality and a way to get it seen. Potential webmasters with fresh ideas and unique content who are prepared to focus on quality can enjoy a somewhat more level playing field vs those with thin content and big budgets…
3 – Too Many People Make Bad Copies Of Poker Listings / Poker News etc We would all love their traffic and budgets, but come on – how are you going to out poker listings poker listings? Many webmasters have gone through the cycle of trying to mimic these sites, failing to get much business and then abandoning their small to mid sized ‘general portal’… just look on page 2 and 3 of the search results for bonus terms – it is a graveyard. This is a positive in a couple of ways… new webmasters can pick up a failed portal cheap and turn it into something different (with the benefit of an established site with some links and traffic). The other positive to take from this is that it shows once again that the competition is not what you think… it is very generic, meaning unique and great quality sites have an advantage! (by the way, many experienced players make sites for people just like themselves... there are a ton of these, all chasing players who are usually have established deals / routines... there is a lot more to the market than 'experts / grinders' you know!!).
4 – International Opportunities If you ever play poker you will see the huge amount of countries which your opponents come from these days. Some of these are huge markets such as Russia, some smaller – think Chile for example. With many countries in the early stages of their online poker engagement there are huge opportunities to be a first mover… how about being the biggest fish in a smaller pond, rather than a minnow among the sharks.
5 – The Future Looks Bright East And West The US is slowly moving towards regulation. Maybe this will not happen until 2013… but when it does there is a lot of pent up demand. I should note that I disagree with many of those who believe that there will be only small CPAs available… as long as there is competition between the operators there will be opportunities for webmasters! The East (as in the large number of Asian / Pacific countries) is also going to explode some day… what an opportunity that could be! Anyway, just feeling optimistic about the future… with Full Tilt due back soon too things are looking bright for 2012 and beyond.
GL at the tables, Mark
Submitted by Planet Mark on