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Home is Where the Heart Is

by Brendan Murray |  Published: May 01, 2010


Poker for the Homeless returned in Dublin, Ireland during March with Paddy Power Poker as sponsor on this occasion. However a whole host of individual contributors and, indeed, the players who participated in the two events themselves deserve credit.

Not just because these are recessionary times, but also because there are so many worthy causes needing continual support, and charity fatigue affects us all at one time or another.

It helps of course that Poker for the Homeless has always strived to give players added value in terms of entertainment, differentiating itself from other fundraising activities in the poker community by holding quirky integrated events such as Mad Marty Wilson’s uproarious auctions, topical Cheltenham racing festival previews, and hilarious one-hand poker matches against a former world champion.

With over €15,000 banked this time around and the running total over the last few years just a lick off €200,000 congratulations to Padraig Parkinson, Eamonn Connolly, Paul O’Reilly, Ian Langstaff, Margaret O’Connor, Rebecca McAdam, and Phil Baker for making this event one of the most unique and much anticipated events in the poker calendar.
Roll on the next one!

Business as Usual
Eagle-eyed readers will notice the slew of mixed financial results reported in this month’s Industry News section of Card Player. While business is booming for some it is contracting for others, which begs the question why?

There’s no clear-cut answer but most online poker operators will admit it’s getting tougher to earn a buck out there. People still want to test their poker skills online but the evidence suggests that their “value” to poker sites is dropping while the cost of acquiring new players is rising.

In layman’s terms this means people are playing less and at lower levels while marketing budgets are being stretched and to less effect.

To stand any chance of bucking the trend (like bwin/Ongame and Entraction continue to do) they need to box a lot more cleverly than in the past, and while there is plenty of evidence of this among the industry’s market leaders, mid-level rooms need to shake themselves up in order to arrest their financial decline.

Innovation and risk-taking will reap their own rewards and listening more to what their players really want will pay long-term dividends and benefit everyone.

Giving a little before taking a little (much like the corporate supporters of Poker for the Homeless do) will not only add long-term value to their businesses but could engender a new spirit of connectedness and togetherness compared to the all-too-prevalent disconnect between “us (the players) and them (the businesses we support)”.

Leaving for Las Vegas?
Hot on the heels of Full Tilt’s Rush poker innovation detailed in last month’s issue of Card Player, the site is now offering a fantastic World Series of Poker promotion where players can qualify for the main event for $1.10. Actually, players can qualify for just 30c or 30 VIP points via satellite!

Each Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. until June 27, hopeful WSOP participants can vie for one of at least five guaranteed $12,000 packages every week.

And if that wasn’t enough value, if a Full Tilt online qualifier goes on to win the main event in Las Vegas this summer they will receive a $10 million bonus from the company.
So what are you waiting for? Spade Suit