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Playtech acquire Pokerstrategy for €38 Million

Online Poker Super Affiliate PokerStrategy has been bought by Playtech for €38 Million, PokerUpdate understands. 

Pokerstrategy announced the news of the sale today on their website – “PokerStrategy.com will stay fundamentally the same and maintain its independence in the market. We will continue working with all of our current partners and continue to add additional poker rooms for you to choose from, without any restrictions. 

Behind the scenes, we will also work closely with Playtech by helping with upgrading the poker software and enhancing the iPoker network with the active participation of the poker community as well as your guidance and advise. Our goal is to help iPoker improve the poker product for players of all skill levels, recreational and professional players alike. 

The current PokerStrategy.com management team, consisting of CEO Damian dami Sokol and COO Pavel Cornie4ever Stehno will stay in place. Co-Founder Korn Dominik Kofert will remain with PokerStrategy.com as a consultant.”

What implications does this acquisition have?

Numerous questions arise from this move pertaining to the future of Pokerstrategy and Playtech’s view towards the online poker sector in general.

Industry insiders have hinted that the acquisiton must be motivated in part by the U.S. market. However, it is difficult to see how the move could help them strategically in the U.S. market since Pokerstrategy has always gone to great lengths to distance itself from America and is relatively little known stateside. With that said, it seems unlikely that such a gigantic part of online poker’s future has not been accounted for by Playtech.

From a community perspective, one would hope that Pokerstrategy maintain their current infrastructure and great sense of community, as opposed to the emphasis of the site shifting toward a mere marketing tool for Playtech. According to reports thus far, it’s ‘Business as usual’ with the infrastructure and employees remaining the same. Whether the existing infrastructure and business strategy will remain the same in coming months remains to be seen.

The move could prove damaging for the iPoker network – Not only will poker rooms be charged by Playtech for their software platform, but now they’ll now also pay Playtech to send them new traffic.

iPoker and Pokerstrategy – Crunching the Numbers

Pokerstrategy currently offer 18 Poker rooms to their members when logging on from the UK. 9 of the 18 rooms are currently on Playtech’s iPoker network. Ladbrokes is certain to move in early 2014 which would take that number to 10. Unibet are also rumoured to be moving network platform.

Of the Top 8 poker rooms being promoted on Pokerstrategy (from the UK), 7 of these are currently on the iPoker network.

Pokerstrategy have historically sent significant traffic to Pokerstars & Full Tilt Poker. It’s possible that Playtech view this acquisition as an opportunity to bolster their network’s liquidity by moving some of these accounts to iPoker. However, this leads one to question exactly how much influence Pokerstrategy have over their traffic.
iPoker has been Pokerstategy’s favoured network to push traffic to in recent months and it’s not clear what further action the super affiliate could take to push even more traffic to the iPoker network.

 

Reaction from the poker community:

“shocked, “independence in the market” <:(” – RobertAdams, Pokerstrategy memeber.

“Playtech has received feedback about their software for years. Nothing or so little has been implemented. Why would that change now? Playtech doesn’t need ps to get feedback, they’ve had it for years!” – Dublimax, Pokerstrategy member.

“Agreed with the fact that playtech soft is worst around and to change this good it must be changed a lot! Hard to tell will this news turn out to be good or bad. Ofc we could use another room to compete with stars monopoly situation and overtake partypoker, but they must put in a hell of a work inside to do that” – Robertdapro, Pokerstrategy member.

Response from Pokerstrategy employee ‘Marta’ on the Pokerstrategy news article:

“We would like to focus on our efforts of helping the iPoker network improve their product too, so both sides can actually benefit from this. Hi, yes – that’s what we intend to do. There are no plans of restricting the offer to the iPoker network exclusively.(In response to not staying exclusive to iPoker rooms)”

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