Saturday, February 10, 2007

Too Tired to Resist --- "Paradise Lost"

Well, so shoot me. Or shoot Paradise... Paradise Poker, that is. Paradies announced a day or so ago that they're pulling the plug on the stand-alone concept, in an ambiguous and rather poorly worded press release that still has a few souls parsing out the real meaning. But one thing's for sure: the Paradise you know will soon cease to be.

In essence, it looks like Paradise will take a write-off of over $100 million, the total "on the books" investment cost for the software it had continued to develop over the years. That software will no longer be used, as Paradise will, if I've read it correctly, soon become a skin on Boss Media's International Poker Network [IPN].

You're probably saying, "So what? I can't be play there any more anyway." True enough, but Paradise was one of the old-time players in the online poker world. It wasn't first, but it was right up there, and just as a personal recollection, it was the first site that your blogger played at, rather more years ago than one might think.

It wasn't that long ago that Paradise was flying high. The site had one of the largest physical presences at the Lifestyle Show at the 2006 WSOP, in a dominating center-hall location, to boot. Only two months later, they were hit by the UIGEA, and in relative terms, they were hit as hard as any site around. If there's such a thing as critical mass for a site's player base, then Paradise likely dipped below that magical mark, and that's what caused the mega-million software writeoff. It was either that or drift rather quickly into oblivion, like GEnie users a decade earlier. (Go look it up, you whippersnapper.)

Paradise's move over to Boss's IPN is a play for liquidity, a chance to combine what's left of the existing Paradise player base into a smaller-but-still-game network more focused on the Euro market. The three-year agreement also includes a Boss Media tie-in for Paradise's casino games, as well. It's a form of survival, but certainly a quick fall from the heights.

We'll leave poor Milton alone, I guess. Paradise can be a fleeting dream, at that.

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