The online poker business has always been a highly competitive one. In Nevada, market saturation has already resulted in the closure of one operator, Ultimate Poker. With just two sites remaining – one dominating the state’s online poker clientele and the other still struggling to fill a table – competitive marketing is the name of the game. In that category, the award goes to South Point’s Real Gaming for introducing the ‘Ultimate’ promotion.
When Ultimate Gaming announced it would be shutting down it’s UP online poker room, countless players were forced to withdrawal their balances. Ostensibly, the majority would have been converting those balances over the leading operator in the Silver State, WSOP.com. Thanks to a brilliant promotional campaign from Real Gaming known as Ultimate Match, that may no longer be the case.
Real Gaming is offering to match the withdrawal amounts of every former member of Ultimate Poker, up to $3,000, extending more than a year for player’s to earn those deposit bonuses. On paper, it’s a superb idea, and one that could draw a lot more clientele in the struggling online poker room’s direction.
The concept couldn’t be more simple. Former members of UP are asked to take a screenshot of their Ultimate Poker balance, or email a photo of the withdrawal check upon reception. If they then deposit that same amount into a Real Gaming account, the online poker room will match it dollar for dollar, up to $3,000. To top it off, those who take advantage of the Ultimate promotion will have until the end of 2015 to clear the deposit bonus.
The promotional period started on November 20, 2014 and will continue through December 31, 2015. All players physically located in Nevada who had a balance on Ultimate Poker are eligible, whether they are just signing up a new account with Real Gaming or are existing members of South Point’s online poker room.
The minimum qualifying deposit is $20, and must be deposited within 24 hours of emailing the Ultimate Poker balance photo or screenshot. The match bonus will be delivered within 72 hours of a qualifying deposit. The bonus will be released in $10 increments for every $50 contributed to the rake at cash tables. Any bonus funds remaining after December 31, 2015 will become void.
According to the traffic tracking reports of PokerScout, WSOP.com controls 95.5% of the Silver State’s online poker market with an average of 150 concurrent players over the last 7 days. Real Gaming’s average comes in at just 7. Working to WSOP NV’s advantage are several factors, including longevity, brand awareness and a much more extensive tournament campaign. Ostensibly, if Real Gaming is able to attract a respectable number of players through its new Ultimate Match promotion, the burgeoning operator would be able to supply its customers with a more competitive line-up of tournaments.
It will be interesting to see how the traffic numbers fluctuate across WSOP.com and Real Gaming over the next few weeks and even months. I certainly don’t foresee Real Gaming taking over the #1 position in Nevada, but it’s indeed possible that the online poker room could build a player base large enough to stay afloat in the already saturated market.