Zynga PokerCon Is Happening

Watch Zynga PokerCon at the Palms with Lo Toney on RawVegas.tv

As you may or may not know, Zynga Poker, the largest (in terms of people playing on it) poker room in the world, is the holding their first “industry as we know it” event at the Palms in Las Vegas this weekend. We were around yesterday for awhile, here’s what we saw.

Who Was There? Interesting make-up to the event. You had reps from most of the industry in attendance (Seth Palansky from the WSOP as well as some incognito Tilt and Stars spies guys). You had soon-to-be Zynga Poker direct competition Federated Sports+Gaming, as Jeffrey Pollack was around, as well as Annie Duke (an odd choice to lead off the conference given Federated is planning to launch an aforementioned competitor site) giving two well-received poker university courses.

As we put it a few weeks ago, Zynga is kind of like the hot new foreign exchange student in high school. Definitely a buzz about her and everybody was dropping in to check her out.

What Are the Zynga Poker People Like? Pokerati captured it pretty well with this post.

Now, don’t take that as a bad thing. To the contrary, we think it’s highly encouraging. If there’s one thing that leaped out at us at PokerCon it’s that there are clearly a ton of novice, more mainstream poker players who have no freaking clue about three-betting yet, or even implied odds for that matter. If you thought poker’s base for new real money online sites had dried up, think again.

Also encouraging is this wasn’t just a domestic, U.S.-based crowd. It was more like the Toronto┬áRaptors.

So the big takeaway here: good news for Stars, Tilt, or UB as┬áthere are clearly more novice, mainstream poker players out there who don’t have accounts yet.

What Was The PokerCon Vibe? One industry friend summed it up by saying this was a polished version of every poker event he went to in 2005. And that was about right. The event itself had a really good feel to it–people were excited to be there and there was a good energy. It looked first class. But for those of us in the industry, there was definitely nothing new.

Will Zynga Poker Position Itself for Real Money Gaming? In the above interview, Zynga Poker GM Lo Toney says “no.” And they’ve got some major hurdles to climb (namely, their platform) before they could compete in the real money market. But with 37-38M people in their database, there is no chance–none–we think that they don’t at least attempt to position themselves for some bigger broader real money play at some point down the road.


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