Almost 15 years old and boasting well over 100 billion hands dealt, PokerStars is undoubtedly far and away the world leader when it comes to online poker rooms.
Synonymous with excellence – and perhaps even with the term “online poker” itself – there’s still quite a bit about the company that’s shrouded in secrecy. Indeed, as much as people may be aware of the PokerStars brand name, the company has legendarily guarded what goes on behind the closed doors of its Isle of Man fortress headquarters.
The video, which is embedded below, features two of the company’s most prominent figureheads, Head of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser and Head of Poker Communications Lee Jones, as well as a number of other employees. Approximately five minutes in length, we’re also treated to a mini-tour of their on-site server farm (they’ve got over 800 of them!), led by none other than the company’s Director of IT Operations. He even provides a description of how their top-secret Random Number Generator works!
While the more cynical among us poker fans might’ve thought such a video would be produced using avatars and computer software, in effect it’s a refreshing, open look at a company that showcases, pretty much for the first time, the real faces working behind the scenes.
Going Public… Sort of…
Founded by the Scheinberg family, PokerStars had long been a privately held entity. Recently, its parent company, Rational Group, was acquired by the publicly-traded Amaya Gaming Group in a $4.9 billion megadeal. As such, one can’t help but make note of the interesting timing of this video release.
Beyond the snapshot facilities tour, we also bear witness to the testimonies of those employees responsible for handling cases of fraud as well as player funds. Clearly, their efforts have borne fruit as, from the looks of things, they run one hell of a tight ship.
It’s no secret that the company wishes to be a part of the newly emerging legal online poker landscape in the United States, from which it is currently shut out. To do so, it would need to make the strongest possible case about being a “good actor” to legislative authorities in the individual states that currently allow online poker, namely Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. Perhaps they had this in mind when making the decision to produce and subsequently release the fascinating video, which details (as much as possible) the security measures they’ve got in place.
I definitely came away from the video with a positive impression. As should be expected, the video itself is impeccably produced. The overall message it’s sending is clearly one of “you can trust us.” Over and over again the personalities starring in the video stress themes of:
· Excellent customer service
· The importance of communicating with players
· Transparency about their product
Though there’s an obvious bias to the video’s message (it WAS produced by the company it’s meant to serve after all), it’s hard to argue against its effectiveness.
Bottom line, PokerStars has done a great job lifting the veil of its operations and giving people more of a look at what goes on behind-the-scenes. This holds true regardless of whether their target audience in the video is the same as their player base or, alternatively, U.S. state regulators.