Poker Industry Beginning to Embrace Free Poker Sites?

by , May 23, 2011 | 4:08 pm

Maybe people are just jonesing to click-and-raise or maybe various industry stalwarts are starting to see the new poker era that dawned upon us on April 15th isn’t all about tearing down Full Tilt and PokerStars [update: and now Doyle’s Room] in their battle with the DOJ … it’s about building new structures that will become the basis for the game (and industry surrounding it) in the 21st century. (That’s how Vegas-style implosions work.)

Rise — those clothing makers who you may recall came onto the scene a while back as the people trying to remove the d-bagginess from poker fashion — has partnered with Poker Royalty, the pre-eminent poker representative agency, to launch a new fully legal play-for-free online poker site with real cash prizes. Though I do have to wonder when they say their new poker team will include “some of the most recognizable poker players in the world” … are they talking about pros who may or may not have deals currently with dot-net (lol) online sites or the likes of @kevmath?

ZEN Entertainment, the operation powering the new Rise Poker room, is the group that recently launched the Hustler Casino’s online poker site. Though we weren’t necessarily anticipating a clothing line getting in on the action before more casinos … and two doesn’t necessarily make for a statistical trend … Pokerati is feeling good about our newsy speculation that the upcoming 2011 WSOP may indeed be full of free online qualifiers, which would be kinda different from WSOP’s past.

Read below for the official announcement:

RISE Poker Launches Rake-Free Legal US Online Poker Site
For Displaced Online Poker Players

May 19, 2011 (Las Vegas, NV) – It is a new day for online poker. RISE Poker ( today announced the upcoming launch of a U.S. legal, rake-free poker site where players can compete for up to $100,000 in monthly cash and prizes.

RISE Poker is scheduled to launch on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. In addition to $100,000 in cash and prizes, RISE Poker members will have the opportunity to compete for a $10,000 Main Event championship seat at the World Series, a $5,000 kick-off bounty tournament, and other specialty events.

The RISE Poker team will include some of the most recognizable professional poker players in the world. The site will foster a community environment so members can interact with each other and the pros. RISE Poker members will also have access to strategies and tips from the world’s top poker pros and be eligible to receive other valuable benefits and rewards.

“The market could not be better for a new, innovative rake-free site to fill the massive void created by the recent U.S. departures of the largest offshore online gambling sites. RISE Poker will offer these players a safe, secure, U.S. legal option that still offers the thrill of competing for real money cash and prizes,” said Steve “Chops” Preiss, RISE
Poker Executive Vice President of Business Development.

“We plan on changing the way people perceive traditional subscription poker sites and build a brand with long-lasting value for our members,” continued Preiss. “Members can regularly play against and connect with some of the best professionals in the world, improve their game through strategy and training, and be eligible for tangible short- and long-term benefits and rewards.”

Other key highlights of the RISE Poker launch include:

• Tiered membership levels: Members can play for free or pay a $19.99 monthly “Grinder” membership fee for additional benefits. There is also a free Alternative Means of Entry option associate with each membership level.
• Cash and prizes: At launch, RISE Poker will offer members up to $100,000 in real cash prizes, plus opportunities to win entry into premier live poker tournaments.
• Access to top poker personalities: RISE Poker is building a roster of pros who will actively play on the site through bounty and other special tournaments, as well as interact with members.
• Ability to improve your game: Members will have access to training content provided by PokerVT, as well as RISE Poker Team Pros.
• Legal & Secure: RISE Poker is available to customers in 48 U.S. states and additional eligible international markets.
Strategic partners for RISE Poker include:
• ZEN Entertainment, Inc. – The site will reside on the ZEN Entertainment Network®, the leading free-to-play online game network in the industry.
• Poker Royalty – As the industry’s premier talent agency, Poker Royalty will exclusively handle pro sponsorships for RISE Poker.
• RISE Clothing – The poker-inspired lifestyle apparel company will license its brand to the platform and supply VIP club members with gear and other benefits.

ZEN Entertainment CEO Craig Billings said of the venture: “The RISE Poker group is comprised of the preeminent minds in poker today. Working with them represents an exciting endeavor for ZEN. We are impressed with how RISE Poker is going about building its brand and a unique, player-centric approach to its customers. ZEN looks forward to providing best-of-breed, rake-free poker software to power RISE Poker.”

RISE Poker will announce the first Team Pro members in the coming weeks. Register early and be eligible for a $1,000 kick-off free-roll and receive special promotional offers by visiting and entering your email address.

To learn more about RISE Poker, visit
To learn more about RISE Clothing, visit
To learn more about Zen Entertainment, visit

One Comment to “Poker Industry Beginning to Embrace Free Poker Sites?”

  1. johnny

    it happens everywhere…t-shirt poker ..Italians have started their way too!