Putting it all on black: PokerStars marketing Cody style

After Phil Galfond shares his thoughts that PokerStars is becoming nothing more than a casino, a Norwegian poker player wins $1.6m playing the slots, and Jake Cody puts it all on black – Lee Davy pens an op-ed about it all.

I’ve always wanted to hold a sponsored poker player’s Roles & Responsibility Statement in my hand. It’s an itch. No, more like a gnaw. I know there is a headline and then nothing beneath. I know it. It’s the reason those who are supposed to write them never produce one.Putting it all on black: PokerStars marketing Cody style

Isaac Haxton is proof personified.

The former PokerStars darling and new partypoker squeeze is busy doing the media interview rounds, celebrating his new position, giving his new employer some air time, and telling all and sundry that the beauty of his contract is he can do what he wants, go where he wants and play what he wants.

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

And sometimes, one of your trusted steeds shines your brand underneath the eyes of your market, quite accidentally, like a flashlight into the eye of an investigative toddler.

Jake Cody is PokerStars’ best piece of marketing this year (granted, it’s early). Somewhere, somehow, Usain Bolt is supposed to be battling Kevin Hart in a social media war. Who cares? All anyone is talking about is Jake Cody.

I called my cousin last night to discuss sleeping arrangements for my 70-year-old uncle’s party.

“Did you hear about that idiot who put £42k on black.” He squealed down the phone. “You must know him; he works for PokerStars or something.”

Cody’s decision to place his partypoker LIVE UK Poker Championship High Roller first prize on black, and then watch as it came in, doubling his score, has gone viral.

The newspaper is a mighty weapon.

Phil Galfond Wouldn’t Have Done That 

He wouldn’t.

The man is not a degen.

Entrepreneurial. Business-like. Galfond is too busy building an online poker site. He doesn’t have time to wait for a ball to drop into a black number. Needs must and all of that.

Poker’s darling did have time to write a blog post offering his two cents on the Daniel Negreanu/PokerStars/Rake Debate. You can read about it by clicking the little blue line between these brackets (The Discussion on Rake That Nobody is Having)

In the op-ed, Galfond intimates that if PokerStars continues to increase rake, while at the same time, introducing more softer style game types, then they stop becoming an online poker site, and become PokerStars Casino.

I don’t think many within PokerStars will disagree with him.

PokerStars stopped being a poker site a long time ago.

I don’t think they’re hiding that fact.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? 

Seven-figure winners on PokerStars are as familiar as cotton candy at the fair, and they have crowned the first one of 2018. A Norwegian won $1,608,448.03 playing on the $10 per spin Genie Jackpots Slot game. It’s the first time anyone has hit a progressive slot jackpot on PokerStars Casino.

The Norwegian’s name is “zetheriver”, and back in 2014 he finished fourth in the Sunday Million for $120,000, so you can be sure that some of that $1.6m will filter down through the slot and table carcasses and end up in poker.

PokerStars believe they’re giving their players what they want. A recent study by the Australian Gambling Research Centre (AGRC) published a report earlier this month claiming 46.3% of poker players experienced gambling problems in the past year, and they spend more money on average than ten other tranches of gambling groups.

I spoke about this to a high stakes poker player over tea the other day, and he replied, “It’s not that people come to poker and then develop a proclivity to gamble. Poker attracts gamblers.”

Yesterday, I covered another brilliant case of cross-pollination when I told you how BetStars and PokerStars planned to merge marketing muscle to host a poker tournament where the winners win free BetStars bets and get the chance to have a sweat in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in a marketing campaign called the Big Game.

Maybe I’m not giving PokerStars enough credit.

It’s not a secret that a few sponsored pros have recently left. Things are changing. A new direction and all of that. Perhaps, the person responsible for the Roles & Responsibility statements of the PokerStars Ambassadors finally filled in the blanks beneath the headline.




Methinks Jake Cody was one of the first people to get his fresh new copy, and fair play to the lad, whatever you think about gambling, he’s single-handedly showed the world how cool it could be.


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