Mike สล็อต 888 pg Sexton has one of the most recognizable names in all of poker. Among other things, he is an accomplished professional poker player, a long-time columnist for Card Player, and a popular commentator for the World Poker Tour. Years from now, people will still be talking about all that he has done to advance poker into the 21st century.
He was also one of the creators of PartyPoker.com, one of the premier online poker rooms, and the host site of the PartyPoker Million (PPM) tournament. There are probably a hundred questions I could ask Mr. Sexton about his general involvement in the poker world. However, my space is limited, plus this is after all the online poker news, so I kept my questions strictly related to his involvement with PartyPoker.com.
Matt Lessinger: The PPM was arguably the most innovative casino en ligne francaisconcept since the start of Internet poker. Tell us how it came about.
Mike Sexton: The PPM came about as a way we thought we could attract players to our new online poker site, PartyPoker.com. The concept to allow the “little guy” an opportunity to win a dream vacation and qualify to play in a major poker championship (with a $1 million guaranteed first prize) at an affordable price ($22 in year one) seemed like a sure thing to me. Obtaining Card Player Cruises to host this event for us (and share in the risk that first year) was also a major reason the PPM was launched.
ML: Even though that first PPM seemed like a sure thing, it must have still been quite a risk. It’s tough to guarantee $1 million when you’re not assured of making it back.
MS: That first PPM was quite a risk. To think of guaranteeing a $1 million prize before a site opens and without one customer is pretty bold. (Ignorance is bliss at times). The truth is that we lost substantial money on that first PPM, however, we achieved our goal of obtaining a wide customer base. The PPM has become our flagship event, and paying out that $1 million established our site as one of integrity.
ML: And as a result of that risk, PartyPoker has been richly rewarded. According to pokerpulse.com, your site has become the current leader of the online poker industry in terms of number of players and number of games. That has to be satisfying, I would imagine.
MS: Yes, we are very proud of that, and it is quite satisfying. But we are focused on not only being the largest site, but the best site as well. We are continuing to improve in all aspects of our business.
ML: Tell us more about that. What would you say sets PartyPoker apart from the other online poker sites?
MS: There are a number of reasons why PartyPoker has emerged as the leading online poker site. Here are a dozen of them:
1. People trust our site and our credibility.
2. Players know they don’t have to worry about their money on PartyPoker.com.
3. We have the most players, the most games, and what most consider the “best” games of any online poker site.
4. We have our flagship event, the PartyPoker.com Million. The excitement this event has created among poker players around the world and its television exposure have been very beneficial to PartyPoker.
5. We have experienced tremendous growth since the World Poker Tour began airing in April. (PartyPoker.com is a Charter Member of the World Poker Tour.)
6. Our commercials—PartyPoker.com was the first site to advertise on TV—have been very successful for us.
7. Having me as a commentator on the World Poker Tour at the same time as the host of PartyPoker.com has been a big plus for the site.
8. We are experts on Internet marketing. (The company was in the online casino business for four years prior to launching PartyPoker.com). That brings many players to our site that are not your normal brick and mortar poker players.
9. We offer 24/7 live support. Players like the feeling of having someone to talk to in case a problem arises.
10. We listen to player suggestions and have the ability to change our software as we like. (Having your own software is a must to succeed in this business, in my opinion.)
11. We have state-of-the-art software and a great tech team.
12. PartyPoker has continued to grow every month since we opened (August 2001). That steady success bodes well for us.
ML: And now your third PPM is fast approaching. For those not familiar with PartyPoker, tell us the different ways that players can win their way into this great tournament.
MS: There are several ways players can win their way into the Finals of PartyPoker.com Million III aboard Holland Cruise Line’s MS Ryndham (March 13-20, 2004). They can qualify for one of our numerous semifinals by playing a single-table $25 PPM tournament—winner advances and second and third get a free entry into another PPM tournament. They can also play in our Lucky Dollar tournaments ($1) and parlay their way onto the ship and perhaps $1 million in prize money for the price of a candy bar. They may also buy directly into a semifinal for $200. (What you win in the semifinals is a cruise package—a cruise for two and entry into the finals, and it is valued at $9,000.) We also offer supersatellites ($150) every Tuesday night where players can win their way directly to the ship.
ML: Sounds good. Please tell us about the affiliation between PartyPoker.com and CardPlayer.com. Do players get a special deal for signing up through them?
MS: We are very excited about our affiliation with CardPlayer.com. We have advertised quite a bit in the magazine and look forward to being on their web site (which I might add is new and fantastic). Card Player is making great efforts to expand the poker world and bring many more players into poker. PartyPoker.com has the same goals. And players do get special deals by signing up for PartyPoker.com through CardPlayer.com. Check the web site for details.
ML: Finally, are there any other promotions at PartyPoker that we can look forward to in the future?
MS: PartyPoker.com is continually bringing new promotions to our customers. Here’s a “scoop” for the CardPlayer.com readers: PartyPoker.com will be having a $100,000 freeroll tournament on the ship for all those who qualify on PartyPoker.com for PPM III. In addition, first place in PPM III will be $1,000,000 (if the prize pool exceeds $3 million—and take it from me, the PPM III will be the largest event on the WPT and the prize pool will be about $3.5 million!). Check out other exciting promotions on PartyPoker in the News & Events calendar in our Lobby and on the web site.