What Facebook really knows about me, you, us (and our families)
Lest you weren’t sure about the relationship between lottery interests and slot machines in future regulated online gambling spaces, here’s a common ad getting served up to some of us on Facebook these days (for myVegas, an MGM joint). You do the math while I continue to get play-money slots game requests from Aunt Rita in Indiana.
While MGM has to wait (except in New Jersey) for real-money casino (or lottery) play, you can guess they are happy to be running various free point promotions where the prize is ultimately a trip to one of their real brick-and-mortar casinos, where the slot machines may or may not pay out the same way the they did for play money online.
Confessions of a Zynga degen
A lot of people have been wondering where I’ve been this WSOP. I’m ready to admit it — I suffer from an addiction … one that snuck up on me when I least expected, but I can no longer deny. I’m addicted to Zynga Poker. I’m at level 43.
Seriously, not lying when I say I’ve played virtually EVERY DAY of this Series, probably not going longer than 36 hours without logging on — at least to redeem a gift that expires in 1 hour. I’m too embarrassed to be seen playing at the Rio, which is why I stay home … But still, when I am playing, I can’t help but think about the World Series of Poker going on just down the road, on Twitter, on Facebook, on iPhones, via livestream … not to mention the personal text messages and deluge of PR emails … pretty much anywhere with wifi there is Zynga — er, I mean WSOP. To play Zynga you only need 3G.
Zynga should soon be well aware of my sick rungood in their $5/$10 “cash” games.
Continuing its rollout as serious new kid on the online poker block that is simply too big to be ignored … Zynga has acquired Poker Table Ratings, a Texas-based web-op that challenges current online poker Terms of Service with what technology and a legally enforceable free flow of information allow them to do.
PTR has also proved a key player in issues of online poker security for what their database can reveal not just about individual players, but site trends overall. According to Zynga:
The team’s experience and deep knowledge of the online poker industry will be invaluable as we work together to build out cutting-edge features and further enhance Zynga Poker.
However, Zynga goes on to specify that this acquisition of PTR parent company, MarketZero, a 16-person company in Austin, is not about taking over PTR, but rather about hiring their talent, who apparently will still own and operate MarketZero’s main website, PokerTableRatings.com.
Zynga has been on a hiring and acquisition spree of late — 11 acquisitions in the past 11 months — having obtained massive financing for expansion in the social media and gaming sectors, with estimates ranging from $180 million to $500 million.
Meanwhile, in presumably unrelated political news that may well someday be very related … a California state senator unveiled a “Do Not Track” bill yesterday — which would require all internet companies doing business in that state to allow users to opt out of any tracking or datamining capabilities.
Laurence Toney didn’t make the Bluff Power 20 even though he runs the largest online poker site in the world. (38 million active players, they say, 7.5 million a day!) I know I know … I didn’t vote for him either … but spoiler alert: probably will next year.
Lo, as he’s known, Zynga Poker’s General Manager, aka @lo_toney, is quite the new mystery man in poker. He doesn’t come from a poker background, he comes from YoVille … one of the original Zynga games (and before that art.com, and before that eBay-Collectibles). While YoVille in and of itself is rather fascinating — seriously, they actually have a YoVille media, and do real-life biz with companies the WSOP could only dream about some day seeing on its felts — what that understanding of true social gaming brings to poker remains to be seen.
Check out the RawVegas interview with Lo …
Watch Zynga PokerCon at the Palms with Lo Toney on RawVegas.tv
… via Wicked Chops