Titan Poker, as the flagship site of the iPoker Network, is in a great position to benefit for licensed and regulated online poker in the US. In case you haven’t been following the news, in July 2010 a bill was passed to fully license and regulate online poker in the United States on a state-by-state level. Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey have been the first three states to legalize poker over the internet.
Now that legalized online poker is here, there has been a rush for not only gambling companies such as Harrah’s and MGM to get in on the action, but also other big non gambling corporations to do the same. If you’re thinking big name US corporations wouldn’t risk associating themselves with gambling, think again. While some of course will shy away, others will see this as an opportunity they can’t afford to and don’t want to miss. Just take a look at poker sites focusing on European Players, and you’ll see there is Sega Poker, Yahoo Poker, Virgin Poker, and this is just a few big name brands outside of gambling that made the crossover after the legal environment for them to do so was established. One can only imagine the companies that might decide to get involved such as Google Poker, PayPal Poker, Bellagio Poker, or even George Bush Poker with bounties on the heads of former presidents and their families? I don’t know about you, but personally I’d guess Hilary Clinton is prone to tilt and George Bush likely overplays pairs. All humor and speculation aside, legal poker in the US will result in many financial powerhouse corporations looking to get a piece of the action from the ground floor.
When big corporations enter the online poker industry most will be looking to go with a network. What better choice than iPoker, which is already the largest online and should continue to grow as their existing skins also open to the US. Titan Poker with a long established player volume, as the largest site of the largest network, of course benefits from this due to an instant boost in liquidity that these changes will bring to their real money games. We also wouldn’t even be surprised with the brand power other companies might lend, if Titan Poker doesn’t remain the largest iPoker site or even become the largest site period. In order to show why we’ll quickly look at their history.
Titan Poker History
The company behind Titan Poker first burst onto the online poker scene in 2004, then behind Noble Poker. In a time when most online poker sites were offering dinky sign-up bonuses, such as PokerStars.com’s no bonus at all and PartyPoker’s 20% up to $100 or $25 regardless of deposit size options, the Titan Poker founders came along offering a massive and previously unprecedented 100% up to $600 sign up bonus. This bonus offer went viral, and before long poker forums and even chat rooms of competing online poker sites had players, not spamming but naturally raving about, this incredible offer. This, as well as their quality software, innovative tournament promotions, and strong customer support (which included a live chat feature accessible from the lobby’s software) landed them a spot as one of the largest online poker sites.
Realizing that bonuses were not enough, the company sold Noble Poker to Empire Online with the understanding they’d launch a competing room on the same network immediately. Backed with funding from this lucrative sale, Titan Poker was launched, and this time around the company mixed generous bonus offers with an aggressive branding strategy. Almost immediately after they launched, you could find Titan Poker ads displaying the Titan Poker brand on almost every major online poker portal. Getting creative with their branding efforts, Titan Poker worked to train sexy females poker strategy and then seeded fields of high stakes poker tournaments with babes wearing their logo. This strategy was getting them attention so soon after they hired supermodel Joanna Krupa to act as their spokes-model.
In early 2006, Titan Poker began boldly lobbying their network provider Playtech to limit the promotions, rakeback and bonuses network partners could offer. While the idea seamed crazy at the time, Titan Poker suggested that if bonuses are too large the network attracts primarily grinders, who played a tight boring game while whoring promos, and attracts sharks, both of which rarely deposit and cash out frequently. Prior to this time, it was believed that the highest raking players were the ones most profitable to an online poker site. Titan Poker was the first site to suggest that it is the losing players who add money to the poker economy and are far more vital to the networks long term growth and profits. Presented with solid arguments, Playtech listened and went as far as outright banning rakeback and placing caps on the rate in which any offered bonuses can clear. The poker community lashed out aggressively with many pros posting on forums their distaste for Titan and iPoker, listing reasons they’d never play there again. Oddly enough, iPoker was one of the first networks to leave the US market when the Safe Port Act, which included unrelated anti-gambling language to the act, known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act or UIGEA for short, was passed by US Congress in September 2006, but they still managed to experience massive growth.
Titan Poker’s focus on creating promos that would appeal to fish and recreational players, while not incentivizing winning players with added perks, as competitors were doing, beyond what was available to all players of theirs, helped the games become amazingly soft. Of course, this caused many sharks to return, but Titan continuously worked their promos in such a way that balanced things out and in turn iPoker was the first poker network to master the creation and balances of having a health “poker ecology”. Despite being only a midsized network when UIGEA first passed, even after losing a large chunk of their player base, Titan Poker’s numbers, as well as the numbers of the entire iPoker network, continued to grow. In early 2008, iPoker passed Ongame taking over as the largest online poker network, and in late 2008 passed PartyPoker to become the third largest poker site overall.
While Titan Poker is likely an underdog to WSOP Online (owned by Harrah’s) and PartyPoker/Bwin who recently merged, we would not be shocked at all if Titan Poker did go on to become the largest US friendly poker site after the new laws pass. Even if they don’t, barring a total lack of effort, so long as Titan keeps doing more of what they’re known to do, their ticket as a top 5 US friendly poker site is almost a near certainly already punched.
If you’re in the US and want to test out the Titan Poker software in anticipation of their return to the US market, you can do so on their practice site located at www.titanpoker.net.