Friday, June 23, 2006

Poker With Online Webcams: Say It Ain't So, Joe

Always on the lookout for cheesy marketing ideas and lame poker sites, your intrepid KAP blogger breathlessly read a recent news release which centered on the following:

"For quite a while people have been talking about adding webcam to internet poker. Now a new site, Pharaoh’s Poker Palace intends to make them completely optional at all tables, allowing players an opportunity to become acquainted with the concept. After the introductory period, however, a subset of tables will be designated as 'webcam only'."

Oh, I'm all ears... eyes... whatever. Tell me more, Pharaoh's Poker Palace! It turns out the site just went beta and is planning to go live with real-cash games next month, at which time new depositors of $50 or more will have a web cam sent to them, to then be used during play at the site's webcam-only or webcam-optional tables.

Does anybody over the age of 23 and not on some state's sexual predator list think that this concept is a good idea? One of the problems with the online game is that the "virtual reality" it offers corresponds to real-life distance, and is therefore a slackening of the common civility people normally must offer when they play face to face. The only reason the chat windows on online sites often degenerate into a "FuKK"-bomb free-for-all is that the separation from reality that the online game brings emboldens these twinkies into thinking they can act badly without consequence.

With the use of webcams and the personal safety that virtual access provides, the behavior of these web-cam players is on the fast track to the pathetic, long before cash-game action even begins. I predict you'll see more birds flown here than at the annual July get-together of the EAA. We won't even get into the pajama fetish that fills up the rest of the release.

"But wait, there's more!"... as Ron Popeil oft intones.

There's funny, and then there's funnier still. No, no, it's not that lame "The Secret Will be Revealed" tag line, which we can assume just means that you get to see your opponents if you're at one of the cam-mandatory tables. Rather, it starts with this largest ".GIF" image as currently found on the Pharaoh's Poker Palace main page which hyperlinks into the "more information" area:

Looks like Jennifer Tilly... and Justin Bonomo, of ZeeJustin fame! I had no idea that they were celebrity endorsers for the site. Chances are, they don't know, either. Funnier still, in the wake of the whole ZeeJustin scandal, who with an ounce of poker sense would think that having him connected with a site would in any way be a plus?

Tilly and Bonomo are far from the only famous faces you'll find borrowed here, if you're of the mind to do some digging. But you don't even have to dig to find this image; it's on the same main page as the above:

If those aren't David Williams and Daniel Negreanu avatars, I don't know my video-game screen-grabs. Well, actually, I don't... but those two at the top are Williams and Negreanu, regardless. Pilfered from some sort of "Stacked" promotional-video download? Beats me. Hilarious here, nonetheless.

From the hilarious to the godawful, it's all here. Interested in trading links with this wonderful site? It's just a quick click to visit links manager Jacqueline, who takes this week's award for Most Incongruous Sex-Tease at an Online Poker Site:

"Let's work together," indeed. And a highly qualified, skilled links procurer she is, judging by the premium nature of what's found in the link farm at the site. Why, just check out Link #2:

--- all photos, source:

Aa-a-ackk --- I can't stop laughing. But I need to, and I need to gather my breath, because this is one of those sites where you don't walk, you run. As fast and as far as possible, in any other direction. You see, Pharaoh's Poker Palace also includes a profit-share program with a seemingly generous 48% payback on profits, as if all these other gimmicks weren't enough to start the business rolling in.

However, the key word here is profits, as in net profits, not an easier-to-understand element such as percentage of rake. Don't be fooled, net kiddies. A business can choose to show --- or not show --- a profit virtually at will, and most businesses actively manage their profit/loss figures to meet investors' expectations and seek tax breaks whenever available. Besides, the vast majority of companies do not show immediate profits, even in hyperspace; three years is a standard estimation of when a balance sheet may start showing some black numbers.

What you see here is a sucker bet, nothing more.

Here's an example of the double-speak spewed by Pharoah's:

"What happens when new players join?
Since new players are always joining us the value of your shares increase every month. As new players join us the profits increase so the value of your shares increase."

What crap. As more players join, the total number of player shares continues to grow, and each share's equity increases only if net profits outpace the rate at which new player shares are added to the pool. And since all site overhead comes out of revenues before profits are calculated, well... let's say forewarned is foretold.

We've said it before and we say it again: There are so many trustworthy poker sites to choose from, there's just no reason to waste dime one on a ridiculous fly-by-night venture such as this.

1 comment:

Andrew Kratke said...


We would like to advertise a webcam poker room also with live dealer games and casino on this blog. Preferably setting you up on an affiliate deal.

Would this be possible?

Please get in touch.

Kind regards,