For the regular guy
Typically, online poker sponsorships are reserved for top pros, for famous poker players. GGPoker, the largest online poker room in the world, is changing that, giving regular players an opportunity to have their live event buy-ins paid for by the site.
The “Patch Me Up” promotion isn’t doling out traditional poker room sponsorships, but rather offering players the chance to be rewarded for wearing a GGPoker at live tournaments in the United Kingdom. Some players will win tournament tickets and dollars on GGPoker, while some will be lucky enough to have their next live UK tournament entry paid by GGPoker.
GGPoker wants to create something that shows how much we value players of all levels”
“The world of poker is a wonderful mix of players from all walks of life and levels of play,” said GGPoker UK & Ireland head of marketing Angela Martin. “All too often it is the top players of the game that reap the rewards; GGPoker wants to create something that shows how much we value players of all levels with rewards, regardless of where they finish in a tournament.”
To participate, poker players must first fill out an application to receive a GGPoker patch. Patch in hand, players can then wear it at select live events in the United Kingdom. GGPoker will then give out $500 in prizes each day – tournament ticket or tournament cash – to some lucky players who complete a “content challenge.”
The content challenges are GGPoker’s way of promoting their site and will be announced in advance of the event. Possible challenges include posting the “photo of the day” on social media, building the best card tower, receiving the most social media likes in a day, posting a photo with the most patched-up GGPoker players in it, having the biggest chip stake of GGPoker players in the tournament, or performing the best chip trick.
Aside from the promo being restricted to specific live tournaments in the UK, one catch is that participants must have at least one social media account and have a history of posting about poker “about once a month.”
The five players donning the GGPoker patch at a tournament who gain the most social media exposure (based on number of posts, engagement, and reach), will win a buy-in to the next live UK event, determined by GGPoker. Another five will be selected out of everyone else who participates in the Patch Me Up promo at the given tournament.
The great patch race was a mess
Nowadays, wearing logos and patches during live poker tournaments is commonplace, but it really started in earnest during the poker boom in the mid-aughts, particularly at the World Series of Poker. Online poker rooms were in an arms race, trying to gobble up as many customers as possible. Naturally, getting their logos on players that would be on television at the most world’s most prestigious poker tournament was thought to be a good way to gain brand awareness.
Unfortunately, it became a bit of a mess. As the WSOP final table neared, online poker rooms would scramble to try to get players to sign contracts – sometimes for just a day – to wear their logo. This writer remembers being at the Rio in 2006 as just two or three tables remained, watching players huddle with representatives of poker rooms, even going up to their hotel rooms during breaks to hash out terms.
switch allegiances deep in the tournament when another poker room offered them a bunch of money
Sometimes players would qualify for the WSOP Main Event through an online satellite, wear that poker room’s patch throughout the tourney, and then switch allegiances deep in the tournament when another poker room offered them a bunch of money. It was a tough situation. It was expensive for the poker rooms, but they didn’t feel they had much choice, and it only benefited the few players who were about to make tons of cash, anyway.
Today, the WSOP has strict rules as to how many and what kinds of logos players may wear at televised tables. And while online poker rooms still compete for market share, the patch battle royale isn’t the farce it used to be.
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