The long-awaited real money poker client from WSOP.com is to go live on Thursday at 9.19am (PST) for players over the age of 21 who are physically in Nevada.
The announcement was made yesterday by Mitch Garber – Chief Executive Officer of Caesars Interactive Entertainment – during a conference call especially organized for the event, which also gave interested parties an opportunity to ask questions about the launch and the product that will be available.
Also present during the
WSOP.com real money online poker preview conference call were WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart and VP of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky, who welcomed everybody to the call before handing over to Garber.
After announcing that WSOP.com will go live for real money poker in Nevada at 9.19am (PST) – the time especially chosen to coincide with the date – Garber explains that Caesars Interactive Entertainment intends to leverage all its assets (including its Total Rewards Scheme which has 43 million members) to help WSOP.com become the dominant brand in Nevada.
WSOP.com Aim to Build Consumer Confidence
In response to questions from the media, Garber explained the delay in launching (originally hyped as during the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas) was due to the dual licensing processes for Caesars Interactive Entertainment and the 888 poker platform.
Requirements were intense and due diligence took some time. He added that
consumers should be confident in the product.
The CEO also commented that
getting players to the site and building consumer trust was of a higher priority than awarding bracelets for victory in online tournaments, although it was announced that plans existed to host an Online Championship – the climax of which would coincide with the climax to the World Series of Poker Main Event in November.
In terms of a loyalty program, Palansky announced that WSOP.com would feature a six-tier “Action Club” that would reward players for the rake they contributed and tournament fees they paid, but the site is not proposing to sign up any pros or ambassadors at the current time – opting instead to spend their promotional dollars on the poker community.
Answers to Key Questions
Many of the questions raised by the media during the 30 minute conference call were staged in order that WSOP.com executives could pretty much repeat what was already known about WSOP.com through its .co.uk brand in the UK and previous press releases; however a couple of interesting points were:-
- A Mac client will be available from the launch date (888Poker released its Mac poker client for the rest of the world last month)
- There will be no mobile version of the software available on launch date, but it is something which is under development
- Satellites for the WSOPE (October 11th – 24th) at Enghien-les-Bains in Paris will be hosted on the site from Thursday
- Stud Poker and Omaha Poker (including Hi/Lo variants of each) will be included in the cash game tables when WSOP.com is launched for real money poker
- Players will only be able to deposit onto their accounts and cashout via online facilities. There is no option to make transactions at any of the Caesars-owned properties.
Officially a “Field Trial”
Further information was released shortly after on the wsop.com web site, including a statement by Mitch Garber which explained the conditions under which WSOP.com was able to offer real money online poker.
When WSOP.com launches, the offering will be in the Field Trial stage of development, a period in which CIE [Caesars Interactive Entertainment] and the Nevada regulatory authorities will closely monitor all facets of the operation. Nevada regulators will have final authority to approve the technology and move WSOP.com out of Field Trial. There is no set timetable for the Field Trial phase and WSOP.com expects its offering to be consistent during and after this phase. The public can play on the site during the Field Trial stage.
The news item also revealed that the
Online Championship (mentioned above) would have $500,000 of added prize money and that during the first week of operation WSOP.com will offer a series of launch promotions including $700 in
Welcome Week Freerolls, $1,000 and $2,500 guaranteed tournaments each night and a special feature tournament each Sunday (from September 29th) with a $15,000 guaranteed prize pool.