As you can imagine, I get a lot of e-mails from new affiliates every week. A lot of the e-mails are basically the same – “I want to start up a poker review site” or “I want to start up a casino flash games website”.
These ideas aren’t bad – everyone has to start somewhere. However at least once a week a new affiliate contacts me to ask what I think about their “ingenious and unique” idea.
This “ingenious and unique” idea is what I like to refer to as “the oldest poker affiliate trick in the book”.
It of course, doesn’t work.
Let me tell you exactly what this “ingenious” business plan is:
- Affiliate signs up at a poker room which gives a flat fee for every real money player. Ie: sign up at Party Partners, get $75 per real money player.
- Affiliate gives friends/players $25 to deposit onto Party Poker via their affiliate link.
- Player deposits the $25 via affiliate link and plays.
- Party Partners pay affiliate $75 per player, meaning a profit of $50 per signup.
Oh wait. I did. Back in 2004 along with hundreds of other affiliates. Back when money was flowing through the industry and a plan like this was actually viable.
Unfortunately, this business “plan” won’t work anymore.
Please note the word “won’t”. Not “might not” or “probably not”. This plan just won’t work. Period.
Why It Won’t Work
- You give $25 to 10 people that you know. Maybe they are family members or friends, or people you know have an interest in poker.
- These players all deposit, theoretically earning you $750 gross.
- The players play. Based on average rake for a player with this sort of deposit and their general experience, the player will rake a grand total of $5 before going bust, not enough to cover even the deposit fees.
If you get lucky, they may actually do well, however even then it’s unlikely they will rake more than $50.
- Let’s do the math and we will even be generous to the affiliate. Let’s say every player raked a grand total of $20 gross rake. We won’t even mention deposit fees or administrative costs.
So you have brought in $200 for Party Poker. And you expect them to pay you $750?
If you are sitting there and don’t see just how ludicrous an idea this is, then I have a bridge to sell you.
Here’s exactly what will happen: Party Partners, or any other affiliate program will tell you that they aren’t paying you. They’ll either (1) Freeze your account until the players make enough to make it worthwhile to pay you, or (2) Put you on a revenue share deal.
Seriously. That’s exactly what will happen. People don’t believe it…until it happens to them. What this “business model” is, is CPA fraud, plain and simple. And you aren’t going to get away with it.
Of course there are people out there who aren’t yet convinced. I share correspondence with these people on this topic on a weekly basis.
Here are the usual “but, wait…” arguments that I get hit with on a weekly basis:
What if I only refer good poker players?
Sure, that makes sense. Refer players who are good, and then they won’t go bust, play a lot and make enough revenue for you to be profitable. Except (1) If a player really needs $25 free deposit, he actually isn’t that good, sorry. And (2) If you ends up being a top player, then you’d be stupid not to do revenue share.
I have the deal set up with the poker room already.
Of course you do. That doesn’t mean a thing, unfortunately. It’s no-risk for the poker room. If you bring in the players and the volume and it makes them enough money then they’ll pay. If you don’t bring in the volume, then they won’t pay. Simple as that.
The poker room can’t do that – it’s illegal!
Heh. Be sure to re-read those terms and conditions from when you first signed up.
You’re just mad you didn’t come up with the idea first!
Actually I did. Back in 2004. And I made an absolute killing because this was pre-UIEGA, and the money flowing through poker rooms and casinos at that time was unbelievable. Affiliate programs would give money away without a second thought. $200-$500 CPAs were the regular, not the exception. And I also added value. I didn’t do it to make a quick buck, I did it the other way – I used the funds to enhance my players bankrolls as I was focusing on building bankrolls and bankroll management.
That’s the difference between a successful affiliate and an affiliate destined for failure – understanding how important long term is over short term.
In summary, the saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” applies here. Party Poker are going to pay you $75 per player who signs up and deposits $25 even if they rake $2?
Yeah, I don’t think so.