There's no doubt that Mansion is trying to out-Bodog Bodog, spending its way to a position of market dominance in the rapidly evolving world of online poker. Fresh off its very popular $250,000 Holiday Giveaway, a series of value-added events where a quarter million was added to the prize pool throughout December, Mansion has now announced that beginning in the late night of January 2nd for States-based players, there'll now be a $100,000 Guarantee event each and every night.
It's a big step up for Mansion, and there might be some phenomenal value here for someone with a deep bankroll. (Anyone wanna back me? LOL.) Each event will have a $100+juice buy-in, with satellites also available. I'm sure the juice will be in the $5-10 range, but I haven't as of yet, checked the fine print.
Click to visit MANSION.com
And now the bigger question: Can Mansion afford to do something like this, to put themselves on the line for a couple million or more in tourney guarantees every month? The answer, oddly, is probably yes. Mansion has some deep pockets behind it, one of whom is Asian cigarette magnate Putera Sampurna, who has another billion or three lying around somewhere. Sampurna seems to be one of those folks who's made his fortune and now seems set to spend it in ways he finds enjoyable, in the way many sportsteam owners do.
I mention this because of one of our recurring visitors who's recently dropped some anti-Mansion comments into other Mansion-themed posts on the blog. The comments are like, "Is this site for real?" and "Mansion's customer service really sucks."
I don't doubt that a lot of people have had issues with Mansion. The site seems to be a bunch of folks concentrating on the big picture, with the result that the nuts-and-bolts stuff --- like learning how to do customer service promptly and efficiently --- tends to lag.
I've also heard of some difficulties withdrawing from the site, but I haven't experienced those myself, but not for the normal reasons. I've never had any huge dollars on this site, and in terms of cash, I've also not done well there. Call it variance; I also note that when I figure in the Poker Dome excursion, I'm still just a bit ahead. In terms of cash, Mansion is one of only three that I believe I have negative career results on (Absolute and Tony G are the others), and all three are of nominal amounts. Granted, a lot of my positive results are for nominal amounts, too, but if I'm a fish, at least I have some teeth.
It's a long way of saying that I've never made a cash withdrawal on Mansion. I'm also aware that Mansion has photo-i.d. requirements for withdrawals that are more stringent than many other sites, and they come into play only when one wants to withdraw. Of course, it's pretty easy to deposit. That might work well for Mansion but doesn't look the greatest in terms of image; the two should be roughly equal in difficulty.
But I still don't see the problem. I remember after I got booted out of the Dome and Rodel Tuazon took it down for his first $25,000. (Rodel also won his semifinal for an additional $50,000 and now has a seat in the final, and I'll root for him, despite his bad tell, which probably won't come into play in the short span of that event.) We all hopped on the short bus for the ride back to Caesar's, and we had to wait a few minutes... because they literally paid Rodel right there in the studio. It doesn't sound to me like a site unwilling to pay its dues; rather, it sounds like the other stuff might be systematic issues that haven't yet been resolved. Lord knows their server/software combo sucked in the first few weeks they were live.
Of course, that was a few months ago, and things do change. It's possible that Mansion does have some difficulties, but I just don't see the evidence for it.
I think the withdrawal thing is a bit onerous, bit I don't see any reason to not give Mansion a whirl. Good players --- not necessarily including me --- should have the chance to do really well there.