Yes, two days in a row for posting. I'm already way ahead on my own expectations.
Now then, I wanted to do a little post about what I consider the 'minor leagues' of online poker.
You see, we are all very familiar with the "Big Two" of online poker (Full Tilt and Poker Stars). What I am referring to is the 'little guys'.
What has prompted this little foray was an e-mail I had received from another poker forum, who was pimping their weekly tournaments. They used to do all of their tourneys on the "Big Two", but now they were using some other minor sites that I had never heard of. Sites like, well, apparently Phil Laak now has his own poker site, called "Unabomber Poker" or something like that.
This is where my thought train starts. Phil Laak, his own poker site? Really? There are maybe 5 top pros who should have their own site: Doyle Brunson, and then pick any four of the founders of Full Tilt.
Why on earth would anyone go to Phil Laak's site to play poker? I don't know, I am asking.
Poker Stars and Full Tilt both offer something not seen at most little sites: the chance to interact and play against real poker stars. I imagine that Phil Laak's site has him, and that's it.
In the past, we have seen other name brand pros start their own sites, only to have them crash to the ground. Namely, Daniel Negreanu, whose site was absorbed into Poker Stars, and Johnny "Fucking" Chan, who had a site last year and as of this posting I have no idea if it even exists anymore.
I'm sure that initial start ups of minor online poker rooms can be profitable, but over time I would have to think that unless you have a name pro who is constantly at final tables, your site's chance for growth is minimal at best. Just look at the "November Nine" for 2010: all of them are either Poker Stars or Full Tilt.
As for Phil Laak, there is no question he has some poker skills, it just seems that his skills aren't what they used to be. I'd like to see him at a final table soon, and hopefully his poker site will still be around when he gets there.
Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow!