It was announced earlier today by Cake Poker and Poker Listings that the two companies have entered in a “strategic partnership” – Pokerlistings basically have a stake in the Cake Network at this point.
Now before I go any further I should point out that I have strong ties with Cake Poker, and so I’m always going to be biased towards them 🙂 If there’s any room or network that I’d like to see succeed more than any other, it’s the Cake Network.
This is great news for the Cake Network who have had their more downs than ups over the last year. Payment processor issues, store issues and of course traffic issues, with a lot of the key Sportsbooks at Cake up and leaving.
Cake attempted to remedy this by focusing on the network more, and adding more and more skins. Unfortunately practically none of the new skins had any idea about marketing. I honestly believe some of these skins simply asked Cake who their biggest affiliates were, then contacted those affiliates asking us to promote them too, while bringing nothing new to the table.
Of course the one skin that did join and make waves among the industry was Doyles Room. This move was short-lived however as Doyles Room soon left for the Yatahay Network. Doyles Room handled the move in a disastrous fashion, and worse is that they allegedly left without paying debts of millions of dollars. Doyles are a room you should REALLY be staying away from.
2011 looks to be a very good year for Cake Poker though. First is I know they have been working very hard to get the payment processor situation sorted out, and it wouldn’t surprise me if by Summer they’re the easiest choice for American poker players to deposit to.
The Cake/Pokerlistings deal is also phenomenal news for the Cake Network. Pokerlistings are the biggest poker affiliate site online, and they can drive poker players to specific rooms with ease. Everyone associated with Pokerlistings are super smart when it comes to practically everything. I mean hell just look at this snippet in the press release:
A notable aspect of this partnership includes an ongoing commitment from PokerListings.com to drive a minimum of 2,000 new depositing players per month to the Cake Network which will have a significant impact on the number of recreational first time depositors
To me that’s nothing more than a “buzz” paragraph – designed to get people talking, and excited about the Cake network again. And it’s working like crazy too. What’s the biggest problem at Cake right now? Easy: traffic. What’s the first thing that Pokerlistings are saying? That they’re going to bring at least 2,000 new depositing players per month.
In one simple paragraph, they’ve managed to get players excited about Cake Poker again. That’s how freaking awesome Pokerlistings are, and it shows the power of affiliates. Affiliates and players alike are focusing on the “2,000 player” portion of that press release. FYI back in May 09, Bill Rini wrote a great article on affiliates trumping online poker rooms which I’d recommend reading as it still applies today.
While this isn’t the first case of an affiliate portal owning a poker room or owning shares in a poker room, it’s the first notable one. Sure, there are some rakeback networks that own shares in certain poker rooms, and also some affiliates that own their own skin on networks like Boss. However they really bring nothing to the table as they simple push the skin on their existing playerbase, usually with higher rakeback or rake race deals due to their ownership.
This is an affiliate taking a stake in a poker room that knows how to do it right – they know how to market, they excel at it, and they’re going to have a huge effect on the poker landscape. It’s going to be very interesting to look at the next year and see how things change at Cake and the power of Pokerlistings.
This is also good for other affiliates because Pokerlistings deal isn’t just with Cake Poker – it’s with the Cake Network as a whole. They’ll be pushing other brand names and increasing the strength of those brands, so it would be a good time to start focusing on poker rooms on the Cake Network, as this deal will breathe new life into them.
Rooms like Juicy Stakes and Broadway Tables will actually become known to the casual poker player now.
All in all, this deal is simply fantastic news for the online poker scene, both for players and affiliates. I haven’t focused much in promoting online poker in 2011, but a move like this sparks motivation.
BTW, if any affiliates are looking to sign up at Juicy Stakes or Broadway Tables just contact me and I’ll make sure you get hooked up with the best deals. I don’t have sub-affiliate links at this time but will soon.