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Dealer Dan, pictured here with WWE Superstar Mick Foley, has been in internet marketing since 1996. He likes hugs, long walks on the beach, and making money while wearing his jammy jams. For more information, you can read all about Dealer Dan. » Dealer Dans Blog » June 2012: An Interesting Month for Poker Affiliates

June 2012: An Interesting Month for Poker Affiliates

It’s been a rough time for poker affiliates, ever since Black Friday. Hell, even before then things were rough – there wasn’t a lot of growth or optimism within the industry, at least not compared to the years prior to the UIEGA.

Since Black Friday however, being a poker affiliate has really sucked. One disaster after another at the major rooms. Even the rooms that aren’t affected are still struggling to capture the old playerbase, as most poker players are simply avoiding playing poker online altogether.

As a competition, the online poker battle is generally over. Pokerstars are far and beyond the top poker room in terms of traffic, with an average of 22,800. Party Poker and the iPoker network are the next contenders with an average of 3000 each, then the rest of the pack is falling way behind. (Numbers all thanks to

Overall, the online poker world has just been BORING ever since Black Friday. Any news that does come out is generally negative. Instead of looking at the “next hot poker room”, we’re instead waking up to news of new domains being seized. Instead of forum posts talking about all the fish at a poker room, the threads instead consist of comparing how long it took to get a withdrawal.

That’s why I can’t help but be excited for the changes that are taking place in June, 2012. For those unaware, Lock Poker have left the Merge Network. They have PURCHASED the Cake Network, and renamed it the Revolution Network.

And this really IS a potential game-changer.

Oh sure – not on a large scale. We’re not going to see the Revolution Network become the #1 network overnight or anything like that. But from the sounds of things, Lock Poker are becoming quite a big player in the industry – particularly for US Poker Players.

These type of events are what breathe new life into the poker affiliate game. Suddenly you have all these poker players hearing about it, and Lock Poker have a good reputation with conversion and retention.

Of course, for the Revolution Network to succeed, they need to focus more on the best possible partners. A name change and a new skin moving over just isn’t enough to cut it these days.

A lot of people were surprised that when Full Tilt, Pokerstars and Cereus all pulled out of the US market, the Cake Network didn’t capitalize on that. The main problem with Cake, was the partners that they brought in to the Cake Network. For every potential major player like Doyles Room and Victory Poker, they had a huge amount of other skins that had absolutely no idea what they were doing.

I’m one of Cake Pokers biggest affiliates. At least once per week, a new Cake skin would e-mail me, and the correspondence would always be the same:

Random AM: “Hi, we were referred to you by Cake as you’re one of their biggest affiliates. We want you to promote us.”

That was their grand plan. Instead of focusing on new players or new affiliates that didn’t promote Cake, they instead went after Cakes biggest affiliates, and basically said to them “Promote us instead of Cake”. So unfortunately, the skins weren’t bringing anything new to the table at all – they were just trying to effectively steal players from the major site on their own network.

This wouldn’t be so bad if they actually had something to offer. But they never did! They offered the same, or worse than Cake Poker offered, and never brought anything new to the table.

For Lock Poker and the Revolution Network to succeed, they really need to pull out all the stops. They need to get big partners in. They need to convince online sportsbooks to not just sign up with them, but actively promote them. They need to allow the network skins to have freedom in regards to promotions, and help them with retention and conversion. I wouldn’t say iPoker is a huge success story or anything – but at least if you look at the different skins on there – each one gives off a much different vibe to it.

What’s also interesting is how this affects Merge – the Merge Network canceled rakeback for new players on June 1st of last year. They have immediately reinstated rakeback as of June 1st. Whether or not this is just a pro-active move or if they are actually deeply concerned about Lock Poker and the Revolution Network I don’t know.

It’s going to be interesting over the coming months to see what Revolution and Merge do. While they are really fighting over a small playerbase, competition always brings out the best in companies – and competition is something that has been lacking in the industry.

While on a grand scale it really doesn’t mean too much, as a poker affiliate I can’t help but be slightly excited by the potential battle. And one of the best things about being a poker affiliate? No matter who wins – we win.

Well, as long as it doesn’t break out into a triple threat match with the Department of Justice, that is.

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This article, as are all articles on, was written by Graeme aka "Dealer Dan". Graeme currently resides in Kingston, Ontario and has been running his own internet marketing business since 1996.

This article was written on May 31, 2012 however all articles are looked at on a monthly basis and updated to keep them relevant.

If you need to contact Graeme, please see his Contact Page. If you are an affiliate manager wanting promoted please see this page.
  • USALegal

    Dan, I’ve following you for just over a Year, and your spot on. Cake never did anything to grow themselves….

    I do however disagree that the Last Year has been “boring” since Black Friday, the stories and sub plots of every thing Poker online has been a wild roller coaster ride, and everything that has happened has just grown interest!

    Lets hope “The Revolution” and Legalization in the U.S. makes all of us even stronger than before.

  • DealerDan

    Maybe “Boring” isn’t the right word for it. But – especially with the US audience – everything has just been more demotivating and depressing. Just so much more bad news than good news, false truths, scandals etc. I could see looking back on it in a few years and it being an incredibly important year in terms of the online poker industry – but since Black Friday, I’ve lost a lot of motivation and interest in the poker affiliate industry and feel like I’m only going through the motions.

  • Felt Media

    Glad to see something is moving, I can’t image shit getting much worse than it’s been. I was lucky enough to sell out in Jan, and like any good addict I’m back in already.

    Something needs to happen though. My big concern is that I’ve seen first hand the poaching and other shad stuff Lock has done, we all know this happens at ALL rooms, but still.

  • USALegal

    I considered the entire Black Friday scandal and it’s aftermath a challenge,

    Keep in mind I am not a major force in promoting Poker, But I have been able to take what many considered a Bad Thing and grow a successful web site from it.

  • Jeremy

    Nice write up. I think this is probably the best possible scenario for Cake. The previous acquisition of Cake from Plistings was obviously a bust. In the end I do agree, it is going to be great for both players and affiliates to see Cake and Merge competing against each other.

    The Stars/FTP announcement could be a game changer too. If all the owed money gets back to players and affiliates and starts re-circulating around the poker economy again, this will be a positive step forward.

  • DealerDan

    Thanks J. Yeah – this is a huge facelift for the Cake Network. “Revolution Network” is a cliched but powerful name, so I like it. Cake/PListings – man, funny how that worked out. I remember people speculating it’d bring in tens of thousands of new players to the Cake Network haha. I think numbers actually dropped.

    Stars/FTP announcement will be interesting. I like your optimism about it too – many people are just saying “monopoly” but more money in the poker economy, plus a level of trust gained would be good.

  • DealerDan

    I was surprised that Lock was the – I don’t want to say “powerhouse” but in todays poker world I guess it is close – that they are. When I heard they were buying the Cake Network and rebranding it etc I was surprised – to see Merge react by bringing back rakeback really reinforced that.

    I was really shocked by that because yeah – I haven’t heard good things about Lock. I’m up for trying them out for myself though – the Revolution Network being a success would be a good boost for the industry(at least in the short-term).

  • DealerDan

    Oh yeah I agree – I wrote an article about it and how it can be used as a motivational tool. I can’t seem to find the specific article, but I wrote an article with similar sentiments here.

    But all the motivational quotes and optimism in the world don’t replace losing $xx,xxx-$xxx,xxx a month though 🙂

  • moi

    I am recently out of work would you say for a beginner with little webdesign knowledge or seo knowledge would it be interesting/profitable to start something with gambling affiliate in Europe?

    thanks in advance,


  • DealerDan

    It CAN be. It’s not something I’d bank on 100% or anything – like you’re out of work, I wouldn’t be sitting there deciding “Okay I’ll just be an affiliate now” as it can be very hard, and take a lot of time to make money. Follow it’s set up for people in your situation.

  • moi

    Thanks will look into it