Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Full Tilt v Interpoker

Is Interpoker the Serpico of Poker Rooms?

Okay, so the first question will be: Why Interpoker as a comparison?

Interpoker have been around since 2004 – same as Full Tilt – and as I see it we get an interesting view of what Full Tilt have done wrong and why Interpoker have been a steady household name without having to take the sort of risks FT have made and are paying for now, the same reason the Full Tilt Poker Download Now button is strictly Free Play only.

Both Interpoker and Full Tilt established themselves early as leaders in online poker –both companies seemed to grasp that poker would soon become a phenomenon and invested considerable time in promoting their brands (Interpoker’s Extreme Poker Series was one of the most memorable campaigns in online poker history) and making sure they were competitive. But the first big difference starts here.

Full Tilt spent hundreds of millions on sponsorship deals, gave away 100% Rakeback to their pro players, make sure their logos populated as many final tables as possible and pretty much paid above the going rate to ensure they got the airtime. Non-Us players who tried to access the Full Tilt software to find that the Full Tilt problems were not restricted to the US know how irrelevant big name players are when it comes to actually playing poker online.

Interpoker didn’t go down this route, and in retrospect it was a wise decision. Interpoker understood that while having pro players endorse the site and getting big names on board was a good short-term strategy, the real value was in giving online players what they wanted and not depending on associations to acquire players. It is safe to say that while Full Tilt will be opening their doors again soon enough – and have the arduous task of removing all the Full Tilt Server Down and Full Tilt Issues messages too - they will have lost the trust of a majority of their players – and most of them will just withdraw their funds when they get access to their accounts. So do players feel duped by FT? Yes. And they should.

Having the biggest poker names on the site was meant to show that they were trusted enough to play safe-house to hundreds of millions of other people’s cash, but then what happened? Interpoker may not have invested their cash in getting their names on final tables, but where they have been spending their cash is far more worthwhile: E-cash – secure transactions that are genuinely safe and where players have peace of mind knowing their money is in reliable hands. Of course many people will also say the comparison is not legit because Interpoker doesn’t take US players. Well, yes, but what got FT in trouble in the first place?

Players going to their Full Tilt Login to discover the message that Full Tilt is down know what it’s like to find that the biggest site online is not necessarily the safest site. Interpoker, as one of the largest and oldest poker rooms, could have done what many sites did and navigate through various loopholes in the hope they would evade the law forever. But of course this isn’t the case, and Interpoker knew that the way to go was concentrate on legitimate markets. This means that they are not gambling with player funds, whereas Full Tilt were aware that at any time they could have to cease their operations and all player funds could be confiscated.

The Full Tilt payments team has not been very vocal in the past few weeks and there has not been any reliable Full Tilt Update aside from hearsay. Interpoker is still going from strength to strength. It is one of few sites that will not bend to illegal deals in order to hoard traffic, and while this might seem illogical in light of today’s poker economy and ecology it will see them striving forward where other sites lag behind in the future the more they depend on smaller and more illegal margins via Rakeback and under-the-table agreements.

If you are looking for one of the few truly standup sites on the poker landscape look at Interpoker – the Serpico of poker rooms.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Massive BBJ on Boss

The Boss Media/IPN Network currently have the biggest Bad Beat Jackpot in history and it's getting bigger by the hour.

At the time of posting this, the Jackpot stands at an incredible €902,000. Depending on which exchange rate you apply, that is something in the region of $1.3 Million!!

I understand the arguments against the Bad Beat Jackpot tables and the increased rake that they take to add to the Jackpot fund but when the numbers get this big it's pretty hard to ignore.

Obviously, if you choose a Tetleyboy Affiliates deal on Boss then the huge returns will soften the blow, somewhat, when it comes to you getting your rakeback and bonuses.

When BBJ's hit these sorts of heights you are in the realms of having to consider that you probably have more chance of hitting that Jackpot than you do of winning a similar amount in the Lottery.

Remember, there are only a few thousand players on Boss usually and most of those are not even on the BBJ tables so your chances are greatly increased again.

Of course, unlike the lottery, if you 'buy a ticket' by way of signing up and playing on the site, you have the possibility of still ending up with more than you started even if you don't win a prize.

All things considered, if you ever had even the slightest inclination to play on the Boss Network then make it right now!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Still going strong......

Another month passes and the online poker world seems to be settling down after a pretty amazing few weeks.

This tends to be a period of slowdown for sites such as ourselves as players take a break from the grind to go on holiday or just enjoy the weather. (Assuming, of course, you are not based in the UK!)

The quiet periods give us chance to review all our deals to make sure that we are still as competitive as we like to be and we have been pleasantly surprised.

We like to keep up with what the opposition are advertising and we enjoyed the fact that we could not find a single deal that we felt was better than one we already had.

Naturally, we are going to say that, but is a simple fact that our deals really are as good as you can get.

When I was playing online full time a number of years ago, I would always choose my affiliate very carefully and found that I was certainly drawn to the ones with the proven good track record and the familiar names.

The last few years has seen a large increase in affiliates offering their services to players and we are delighted to get the feedback that tells us the ‘Tetleyboy ‘ name and reputation are what convince players to not only use us, but also refer fellow players to us.

We are even noticing a subtle change in how affiliate managers at poker sites treat us.

The deals they offer now are just that little bit better than a few years ago and we like to think this is because they know that we can convert the offers to real life new players for them so they are willing to give us the best deal which they know will produce results.

The fact that the sites now contact US to be promoted, rather than the other way around suggests we must be doing something right.

Over the quiet periods of the year we try to contact as many ‘inactive’ players as possible.

When you have over 800 names on your books, a lot are inactive and it’s a challenge trying to keep up with this.

It’s probably one of the most important aspects of the job to make sure it’s a success.

We want to find out if players are inactive because they disliked our service or maybe the deals we offer were not as they expected.

It’s these personal touches that we like to think have helped towards our success and we hope that we will be providing the best service for many years to come.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Black Friday fallout.......

The poker world has had a chance to just take stock of the impact of the now infamous ‘Black Friday’ when the US Department of Justice took legal action against PokerStars, Full Tilt and Cereus.

Initial panic has been replaced with a degree of uncertainty.

It seems that the US Government have granted the sites permission to allow US players to retrieve their balances from the sites.

We are now in a situation of having tens of thousands of US players still wanting to play poker online but unable to use their usual preferred site.

There are still a number of sites allowing players from the US that haven’t been affected up to now by these proceedings. Namely, Merge, Bodog, and Everleaf.

Merge is now cemented as the number one site for US players in terms of player numbers and can only get bigger.

We would expect that the Merge Network, as a result of this, to break into the top 10 sites in terms of player numbers in the next few months.

We have tested Merge software ourselves and found it to be surprisingly smooth and there is technically no limit to the number of tables you can play at one time.

The site we deal with primarily, namely BlackChip Poker, also offer extremely good customer service.

They also do not hold the player balances themselves, which will re-assure more nervous players.

The funds are held by the Merge Network.

At the time of posting this the maximum allowed rake back on Merge sites is 35%, although this is due to stop for any new sign ups after June 1st 2011.

Our particular deal on Black Chip Poker offers a private rake chase that can take player returns up to a total 65%

We would urge anyone that is even remotely interested in playing at Merge to sign up before 1st June and our Black Chip deal is the best one out there.

Now the dust is starting to settle on the poker community, there is no doubt that the US poker players are in a completely un-enviable position.

However, it has also led to sites improving their offers to not only attract the US players (assuming the Network allows it) but also to attract the thousands of players that took their funds off of PokerStars, Full Tilt and Cereus while they waited for this to play itself out.

Bottom line is that there has never been a better time to look for a new deal……

Friday, 15 April 2011

Play against Italians!

We have seen a sharp increase lately in deals on sites that have Italian players among their numbers.

Although we don’t have any direct evidence, we are led to believe by some very experienced online players that the Italian players may not be as tough to play against as a lot of other nationalities.

We are seeing that players are willing to sacrifice a few percent of rakeback in favour of a significantly increased winrate.

For this reason we are delighted to be able to offer a selection of deals which allow players to take advantage of this situation.

One is on the ENET Network, which is primarily for Italian players but software also allows players from other countries to register.

Although ENET do not allow rakeback to be offered, we still have some great deals including deposit bonuses.

Another option is a site called Piranha Poker which is actually on the Everleaf Network.

The great thing is that not only does it include all the normal Everleaf players, it is also the ONLY site on Everleaf to have a license that allows them to sign up Italian players.

These Italian players cannot play against players in the normal Everleaf player pool so the only way to share a table with them is to sign up through Piranha and you will then have access to all the tables where the Italian players are.

The fact is that Piranha has maybe double the normal number of tables running compared to the other sites on the Network and even some exclusive ‘4 seater’ tables.

You also get 35% rake back on this site, paid direct into your account each week.

Sites including Italian players really are extremely popular at the moment and we believe we have the very best options around.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Giant return deals..........seriously

Another month goes by for the fast moving world of the poker affiliate.

We’ve spent the last few weeks making further subtle changes to the website.

We’ve streamlined the way we give the information on each particular Network and increased the amount of information we give for each individual site by devoting an entire page to each deal.

It is while doing this that we got a true picture of just how insanely good some of our deals are.

Obviously we knew they were good but some are really quite exceptional.

Take, for example, the deal we have on an Entraction site called Club4Aces.

Players get 30% rakeback PLUS a deposit bonus that adds another 20% PLUS reloads every second month PLUS rake races that can add between 5-30% PLUS a completely private rake race that can add another 10-20%.

Many players on this site, maybe raking between €1k and €1.5k per month are enjoying returns anywhere between 50-80%

If you just happen to hit the sweet spot with your rake that happens to pay a prize that equates to a high percentage return then you could literally be looking at close to 100% back.

And this is a STANDARD deal. Nothing that breaks any rules.

We have this deal because we are fortunate enough to have built up a reputation that means that sites that have these exceptional deals contact US so we can promote them.

We don’t necessarily have to go in search of these deals. Often they find us.

Looks like our hard work has paid off……….

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Free iPads for all.....

Microgaming Network which includes, Purple Lounge, Ladbrokes and Unibet have been going to great lengths to make sure that players are treated fairly.

They wanted to avoid a situation that sees sites within the Network ‘poaching’ each other’s players.

This does nothing of benefit for the Network in general and only leads to sites having to work on smaller and smaller margins.

For the last 3 or 4 months Microgaming have actively been ensuring that all of their sites comply with the rules regarding player rewards and returns.

‘Rakeback’ in the sense of a fixed percentage payment is not allowed on this network. They have their own VIP points based system that gives players ‘Loyalty Bonuses’.

This return can be a maximum of 30% of the generated rake.

This means that the only difference between the various sites are the additional promotions that they run.

For this reason we had lengthy discussions with Affiliate Managers at Purple Lounge to try to come up with a suitable incentive to attract new players.

We have just launched the free iPad Promotion.

All players need to do is generate 9000 VIP points within 3 months of registering.

We realise that this is a fairly large requirement but it has to be remembered that this does not affect the 30% Loyalty bonus and anything players win in the site’s own races and promotions.

It is also worth comparing this to some of the other so called ‘Big Affiliates’ where the only way to get an iPad with some of their deals is to meet a rake requirement AND somehow win through in a freeroll tournament.

We considered a similar system but decided that we wanted it to be fairer. You play enough, you rake enough, you win.


We are considering offering this incentive to some of our other deals and would also appreciate any feedback from Blog followers about other similar type promotions they would like to see.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Freeroll Freeloaders

Tuesday 25th January saw the monthly $500 Tetleyboy Freeroll take place on Betfred.

It’s an event that has been taking place for maybe 18 months now and proves very popular with the players.

Even though just over 100 players are actually eligible to play, there is generally a field of around 40 that actually take the time to register and play.

There is no minimum requirement for rake to allow players to become eligible for the event, only that they needed to have opened their Betfred account under our link.

However, this month we noticed a field of around 80 with about 2 hours to go before the start.

We asked Betfred to look into this and, sure enough, they found a number of entrants with ‘suspicious characteristics’ associated with their account.

Identical IP addresses or a sudden extra number of players from a certain country.

27 players were removed and, to our knowledge, only 1 of those maybe should not have been.

At least, only one bothered to contact us to query why he had been removed from the list.

It just goes to show that we need to be vigilant with these sorts of events.

There are sites dedicated to finding these freerolls and publishing them to members to participate.

We knew this sort of thing happened but had no idea that the lowly ’Tetleyboy Freeroll’ would attract so much attention.

In fact, just last month, when the event was posted on the Tournament schedule on Betfred and open for registration, we looked 3 days before the tournament and there were over 350 names on the list!!

iPoker had set no restrictions on the entry and it was basically open to anyone on Betfred to enter.

These names were removed in good time but it did show us that there are an awful lot of players out there looking for the absolute maximum value wherever they can get it.

Next month the Freeroll will be password protected and hopefully that will stop what happened here.

We like to make sure that the most value is gained by genuine Tetleyboy customers.

Friday, 14 January 2011

A look back at last year.....

Welcome to our first ‘blog’ of the year.

It’s a good time to reflect on how we feel last year went and look forward to the future.

The first thing we have to say is a massive ‘thank you’ to all of our loyal customers.

2010 saw Tetleyboy Affiliates pass the 600 player mark in terms of accounts we handle at various sites.

This is no mean feat for an independent affiliate that started out with no customers.

We like to think that this is a direct result of our hard work in making sure that all of our players get the deals and the service they deserve.

Fingers crossed we hit the magic 1000 this year.

Last year also saw a complete over-haul of our website.

We felt that when we started, our layout was just right for the deals we were offering. However we decided that now our selection has grown to such an extent that we needed to make the website more user friendly for anyone visiting.

We feel we have improved it greatly but we are constantly ‘tweaking’ it to make sure we stay at the top of the list of affiliate sites. Any comments or suggestions from our customers is always appreciated.

We also added a number of extra benefits for our players that we are especially proud of.

Firstly, the ‘Grinder’s Bonus’.

This allows us to pass more real cash rewards to our players and also enhance our deals even further to attract more new players.

Secondly, the free Deuces Cracked membership.

In case you are not aware, just about every deal we have qualifies players for a free membership to the excellent poker training site. All you need to do is rake a set minimum amount, usually $500, and the membership is yours.

A number of players have taken the time to contact us to thank us for this service and also explain to us just how valuable the membership has been to them in terms of improving their winrate and also giving them more confidence to move up to the next level.

We are sure that 2011 will bring many changes to the online poker industry but we will do everything we can to stay one step ahead and make sure that the very best possible service is offered to our players.

Goods luck to you all in the coming months and I hope that you hit a permanent upswing!