Ivey Poker first 'launched' in October 2012. I say 'launched' because it has laid dormant ever since it first appeared online, with the exception of the occasional latest news posts announcing another recruit to its bulging pro poker roster.
The site does allow you to register your interest, though very little happens and there were promises of bonus points, for what exactly we are not quite sure?
'Advanced Poker Training' is emblazoned across the top of the website and there will be training content provided by the acquisition of LeggoPoker earlier this year. Aside from LeggoPoker, it is no secret that Ivey Poker has been aggressively building it's own roster of poker pros and is rumoured to have already logged thousands of hours of studio time with the team, producing training videos.
[quote text="Ivey Poker has a brand faced for serious grinders, yet the core product seems to centre around a play money app which would only appeal to the recreational market. This is nothing short of an identity crisis." person="" align="left"]
It seems certain Ivey Poker will have an abundance of training content, nevertheless, with the demise of various poker coaching sites through the years, is this really the way forward for Ivey? I am not convinced it is.
Aaron Jones, founder of LeggoPoker, sheds some light on Ivey Poker stating: “There will be an app hopefully in the next month”. The app in itself seems to be shrouded in mystery. With no screen-shots, reviews or even an in-depth description, is all rather bizarre considering the launch is expected in the next month and I am highly sceptical of this materialising. Instead we are treated to broad generalisations: “It will just be an app where you get play money chips, gold and stuff like that.” as Aaron said.
I would assume the free-to-play social app will provide an environment for new and existing players to try out their new found skills, provided by the unlockable training content, in some form of poker game. Though surely that would be like bringing your Ultimate Beer Pong A-game to the table, just to end up playing with apple juice?
Ok, the training content has some value, especially from world class talent such as Gregg Merson and Phil Ivey himself. However, will their successful real money strategies port over to no risk, play money poker? No, of that I am certain. Strategy ceases to exist when the element of risk is eliminated.
If the training content is free to access beyond the app, then by all means this could very useful to the poker community. Though in terms of the brand, why would players hang around play money, where the element of risk is neglected, rendering such strategies useless? Surely they would simply take these concepts to an outlet where real money play is available and that can not be good for the Ivey Poker brand.
[quote text="It will just be an app where you get play money chips, gold and stuff like that." person="Aaron Jones, LeggoPoker" align="right"]
The painfully slow development of Ivey Poker and the seemingly forced goodwill of Phil 'I will teach the world how to play better' Ivey is doing the brand no favours. Real money play alongside coaching content would have been a different story and potentially an exciting venture.
The roster of poker pros are obviously going to give the brand some leverage, though those recruited appeal to the grinders and not the recreational player. Players like Gregg Merson and Cole South garner a lot of respect from regular players, but are far from established in the recreational market.
Ivey Poker has a brand faced for serious grinders, yet the core product seems to centre around a play money app which would only appeal to the recreational market. This is nothing short of an identity crisis. In turn the real value of Ivey Poker, the training content, is pretty much rendered useless within brand in a play money model. It would be a disappointment for all serious players to see another Zynga Poker produced in the never-ending social gaming carousel.
On the outset, Ivey Poker is not proposing anything that we haven't seen before . I can only conclude the mystery behind the brand is due to conflicting nature of its messages, which is sure to stump progress internally and the brand could certainly be doomed before it even leaves the ground.
Lets hope come the grand unveiling, whenever that may be, we won't squinting into the distance at some blurry object shouting: "Look! Up in the sky! It's something new! It's going to revolutionise how we play poker! No, wait! It's stuttering...it seems to be coming down! Ah, never-mind, it's just another social gaming poker app."