Subscription Poker

Subscription Poker

A little bit of spotlight on my favorite Technopolis online poker room project, in this blog post, which follows the less-known Subscription Poker model, with a unique, dual currency system.

After the UIGEA debacle in the United States in 2006, a handful of innovative entrepreneurs came up with the “Subscription Model” of online poker.

Truth be told, this concept is quite an older one, diligently followed with a few variances in Korea and some other parts of Asia for nearly two decades now; in the US, Pureplay spear-headed the concept over a decade ago, and now sites like the online World Poker News site and the online WSOP poker site are quite well known too.

Pureplay’s successful advertising on Facebook helped them gain a foothold earlier on – I have studied their history up close. This model seems to bypass the UIGEA constraints and works fine preventing any of the hungry wolves out to shoot down any form of online poker inside the US. And it’s a real money model too.

So how does this poker business model work? Well, primarily it is a membership-based model and the revenues are taken care of mostly through advertising. Remember, the UIGEA, in essence, prohibits a business from “receiving deposits for the purpose of unlawful online gambling”.

This premise leaves open the option for players to come and play on a card room where one can essentially play for prizes, points, tokens, coupons and at the end of the day – “cash prizes” There would be cash games, Multi-Table tournaments, Sit and Go Tournaments, Private/Invite Only Games.

The basic membership would be free. For an upgraded or VIP membership fee of $5- $50 a month, players would have access to play in daily cash “real money” games. Players would qualify for these “REAL CASH” tournaments by earning enough “real chips” through play in other “Ring Games”, “Sit & Go Tournaments”, “Multi-Table Tournaments” and through satellite tournaments offered daily.

Entries to LIVE Tourneys would also be successfully processed via a string of online Satellite Tourneys, or max GTD buy-in Tourneys.

The seed for these operations – the player database would obviously have to come from a highly potent tool of viral marketing – social media.

The possible potential of integrating your gaming platform as a piggy-back on a social network-driven website is anticipated to be quite phenomenal – take the example of the awesome database (estimated to be tens of millions!) of the Zynga poker platform integrated with Facebook. And a decade later, it is still going strong!

The real revenue stream would be through advertising, though. For exposure and ad space in the card room, poker tables, lobby, website interfaces, other UI/UX, etc. advertisers would pay. They would also sponsor prizes and tourneys or “Caribbean Cruises” or whatever you will.

The social network and the card room would work hand-in-glove to assure a good turn of concurrent players if handled professionally by the operational and marketing teams.

So, there you go! You now have a way to beat the UIGEA in its own backyard. We cannot expect a PokerStars or a PartyPoker from this model at the outset, but yes, there would be sufficient returns and considerable profits to make the venture worth it.

In a couple of countries, for instance, in Korea, people found a way to beat their anti-gaming laws: where no cash or deposits through payment processors were allowed, the governments allowed gambling arcades to give out gift certificates.

This was a big loophole – the gift certs were promptly utilized for cash exchange after payment of a certain amount of commission to the operators which became their rake!

Well, in my proposed travels to these countries, I am actually going to see this happen; raking in massive profits through subscription-based and certification-based poker models in these places is a no-brainer. also functions on an auxiliary/dual-mode of payment for gameplay, they call this “$wiftcash”, where for the amount that you deposit, you receive an equal amount of $wiftcash, which you receive into your account within 48 hours.

Now, you can get tokens and $wiftcash both, where you can utilize the tokens for prizes and you can play ring games and tourneys on $wiftcash, where the cashouts are converted to real money.

It actually seems less complicated when you get down to the nitty-gritty and actually visit the poker room: it far easier to check out the system, to understand what subscription poker is all about.



Trish Kunath

Business Head at Technopolis LLC, a Florida-based Ecommerce & Gaming Software Technology company that specializes in the development of Ecommerce Marketplaces & Skill Games Software. I help build & promote our Ecommerce marketplaces and my Online Gaming clients with their turnkey online skill gaming business ventures. In my spare time, I guest post on some top poker, gaming, lifestyle websites and my own blog:

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