Real Gaming, Nevada’s ‘other’ online poker site, has yet to gain any notable cash game traffic, but that hasn’t deterred the operator from marketing some unique promotions. The latest campaign is geared towards high-volume players with a knack for heads-up competitions. It’s called the Heads-Up Bracket Challenge, and guarantees $2,000 to the winners.
Restricted to just 32 participants, there’s no way to buy-in to the $2k Heads-Up Bracket Challenge. Instead, players will have to earn their seat in the lucrative heads-up poker tournament. And considering the low level of cash game traffic Real Gaming is already experiencing, it shouldn’t be too hard for any grinder to make the grade.
Throughout the month of February, the 32 online poker players who earn the highest Loyalty Score (i.e. collect the highest number of poker points) will earn a spot in the tournament. Seeding is random, and will be announced in March, placing all qualifiers into a bracket. The Heads-Up Bracket Challenge will begin at noon (local time) on Sunday, March 22, and will continue until a winner is crowned.
Perhaps the best aspect of the poker tournament promotion is that every single player will win a prize. Finishing in the Round of 32 (i.e. losing your very first match) will deliver a $10 cash prize. Payouts escalate from there, delivering $400 to 2nd place and $600 to the eventual champion (see payout chart below).
|Real Gaming Pay Chart
$2k Heads-Up Bracket Challenge
|Round of 32||$10|
|Round of 16||$25|
|Round of 8||$60|
Qualify for Heads-Up Bracket Challenge at Real Gaming
In order to qualify for seeding in the Heads-Up Bracket Challenge, a player must earn a minimum Loyalty Score of 60 throughout the month of February. Scores will begin calculating at 12:00:01am on the 1st of the month, ending at 11:59:59pm on the 28th. Players are then seeded in positions 1 to 8 and placed into one of four brackets, with match-ups chosen by a random drawing. All winners of the first round will proceed to the Round of 16, and so on, until a winner emerges.
To build a Loyalty Score, players will need to participate in real-money cash games at Real Gaming. The score awarded is equal to a player’s rake contribution, but other factors can increase, or decrease, the score earned for a hand.
For example, a Bet/Call/Raise on the turn or River will award an additional 2% of the small blind in Loyalty Score, whereas a Check on the River is scored at -2% the small blind. Just being dealt into a hand, as well as seeing a flop, is worth points as well. You can view the complete scoring schedule here: How does Loyalty Score work?
Real Gaming has only one rival in the state of Nevada’s online poker market, WSOP.com. When Ultimate Poker dropped out of the race last November, the online poker operator souped up its marketing campaign 10-fold, but Caesars-owned WSOP still swiped 98.66% of the action. According to PokerScout, WSOP.com NV averages 150 concurrent cash game players, while Real Gaming is averaging just 2. Peak hours traffic numbers are 288 for WSOP, and just 8 for Real Gaming.
While the stats aren’t doing much to line the pocket book of Real Gaming’s owner, South Point, the online poker room’s market campaign is certainly adding a great deal of value for players in Nevada. And for those who plan to drive up their Loyalty Score in February, there are several other promotions they will be taking advantage of along the way. Loyalty Score can earn a player Daily Cash Back rewards worth up to $50 per day, and the High Score of the Hour promo that pays up to $88 across 7 stakes levels 3x daily.