What you can expect from iPoker in the future
Published by Giselle
June 17, 2019 5:19 pm
For ten years, David Pomroy was active as an online pro player himself before becoming Head of Poker at iPoker. Talk to us to learn more about him and his current work.
For those who don’t know you: What exactly does your background look like?
David Pomroy: I played professionally from 2001 to 2011 after falling in love with poker as a teenager. Mainly cash games online, but also a few SNGs and tournaments here and there. In 2011, I realized that the general level of play was gradually approaching me, so I decided to do something other than just playing poker full time. But I definitely wanted to stay in the poker industry. So I first bought shares in a staking startup (SharkStaking) and spent 18 months on it before finding a job at Black Belt Poker (an old iPoker skin). Soon after, I started my own staking startup (Bear Hug Poker) and joined Unibet Poker in 2014 as a marketing manager, where over time I was promoted to Head of Poker. The chance to take the next step at Playtech and iPoker came last year. That was a challenge for me personally, and I just couldn’t refuse it. When I was a pro, I spent a lot of time playing in the big networks like Cryptologic and iPoker, which automatically created a connection. I’m convinced there’s still a huge amount of potential here, considering the strength of the development team and the brands you work with.
What do you currently see as your biggest challenge as Head of Poker?
David Pomroy: I think the operators have faced two major challenges in recent years. The first is focused on finding ways to introduce new players to poker. The game is now less in the mainstream media and people are bombarded with countless other ways to spend their time. The next question is how to make people return to the tables and become regular players after their first experiences in poker. This second challenge becomes more and more difficult over time as the skill difference between established and new players drift further and further apart over the years. As a result, most providers and networks in recent years have focused on creating a healthier and more sustainable gaming environment. I am aware that the issue of “poker ecosystems” has caused frustration among many established players, as some sites have used it as an excuse for higher rake or a reduction in rewards. However, my primary goal at iPoker is to improve the ecosystem so that sustainable poker sites can emerge at all. But that doesn’t mean you have to punish grinders, raise the rake and cancel bonuses. Rather, it means finding ways to keep new players interested and create a long term bond between poker and the majority of players. Sometimes this results in a change that the grinders among us don’t like right away, but in the long run, the goal remains the same: to provide a better gaming environment for everyone.
“Lack of communication has been a problem so far.
What are the most common criticisms of the iPoker network you hear from players, and how do you plan to solve them over the next few years?
David Pomroy: One source of frustration around iPoker that I have experienced as a player and now as Head of Poker is a lack of communication from the network to the players. That’s a difficult aspect to shape because as a network, you can’t automatically speak for all the brands that are active with us. But I’m convinced that there are still ways we can build a better bridge between ourselves and the players, so that’s a point we want to address in the future. Hopefully, more communication will also lead to players having more confidence in the direction in which the network is to develop. We are very keen to share our strategic plans for the future with the players. We also need to improve promotions and make the regular tournament schedule more competitive. It is also very important that we take a concentrated approach to ensuring that there is more confidence in us again in terms of deterring and eliminating bots.
What specific problems does a poker network still have to deal with compared to a stand-alone room in 2019?
David Pomroy: I think it’s similar to the restrictions that a large corporation has to face compared to a private startup. A stand-alone vendor can define its own strategy and product, but as a network, we first deliver the product and then try to find a strategic hub with our network partners, some of whom have different orientations. There are several plans in the works, but there is a process that every new feature, promotion or change to the network rules must go through first, which is not the case in the form of a stand-alone room. As a network, we can’t make big changes if some brands aren’t convinced. So the starting point is always to try to reach a consensus with all stakeholders to work towards a common goal in the network. Once a feature has been developed, it will be published by our partners on their sites at different times depending on their own development resources. Ensuring a faster release process and activation cycle for new features is also something we want to focus on so that players can take advantage of the planned enhancements much more quickly.