Will Black Friday impact the online poker training market?

In this article I will take a look at how the online poker training sites have been, or will be, affected in the wake of the US crackdown on online poker that took place on April 15th, 2011 –now infamously known as Black Friday in the poker world.

There has been quite a bit of fallout after the US Government cracked-down on online poker by seizing the domain names of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute/UB Poker and indicting 11 people that were either associated with the sites or processed payments for them. Not only have PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker left the US market –while Absolute Poker thumbs its nose at the FBI and DOJ—but we’ve also seen a number of poker tours cease to exist like Full Tilt Poker’s Onyx Cup Series and the PokerStars NAPT, as well as a number of networks pulling some of their poker programming. But what has the impact been on online poker training sites?


One site that will be hard hit will be Cardrunners, which had an exclusive deal with Full Tilt Poker that allowed players to purchase Cardrunners memberships directly from the Full Tilt Poker store –which was a great source of new players for the site. Obviously this in no way spells the end for what is the most well-known online poker training site, but it will force Cardrunners to explore new marketing options –not to mention all Cardrunners instructors were granted “Red Pro” status at Full Tilt Poker, giving them some added income as well as increased notoriety.

I would expect Cardrunners to really start pushing their renewals, considering their biggest pipeline for new members has basically dried up.

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BlueFire Poker

BlueFire Poker owner Phil Galfond released a short statement on the site’s forums in the aftermath of Black Friday stating:

I just want to assure everyone that BluefirePoker is not going to be shut down. We will still be making quality videos at the same rate as always.
I’ve been working with some of our pros to come up with creative ways to make videos.
In fact, if anyone has some suggestions for video formats, please post them here or in the video suggestions forum.
Thanks, guys. Take care.

BlueFire has also gone to great lengths over the years to translate videos into French which will help them reach a wider global market. Of all of the top online poker training sites my money would be on BlueFire Poker being the least impacted by the fiasco that is Black Friday.

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Deuces Cracked

Deuces Cracked is another online poker training site that will have to rethink its marketing campaign, and possibly look into expanding into new markets. I would bet that most online poker training sites are looking into subtitling their existing content, and DC is one of the few sites that have the capital to do so –after all DC Founder Jay Rosenkrantz is already in contact with people who could undertake a subtitling project since he has asked people to do the same thing for his animated poker series The Micros.

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