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Emily D. Swoboda

Poker That Doesn't Take Itself Too Seriously

21 February 2006

European stocks and shares Web site Advanced Financial Network (ADVFN) has ventured into the world of online poker with a new site designed specifically for the day trading community.

With hundreds of poker rooms already competing for consumers' attention, a company would have to be crazy to launch another, but ADVFNPoker isn't like the others. It is being marketed only to the customer base that is already established with ADVFN.

For this reason, ADVFN is not terribly concerned with what some might view as taking a huge risk. They would not do it if they were not going to make a profit, or at least break even, said Francesca De Franco, director of media relations for ADVFN.

"We're not interested in competing with the big sites," De Franco said. "This is for our existing users and obviously if other people want to join, then that's great, but we're interested in our users because we know the demand is there."

And their users are the reason ADVFN decided to launch a poker room. The company was hearing a lot of buzz from its members about poker. So they knew that if they started a poker room they'd have a substantial ready-made player base.

"We have over 650,000 registered users globally," De Franco said. "And we found people interested in trading stock and equities seemed to have a lot of interest in poker as well. Our message boards had constant messages about poker and quite a bit of our users had set up sort of their own poker schools. So, basically we knew there was a lot of demand amongst our user base for this kind of product."

The site, which launched Feb. 2, is powered by Internet gaming software developer Chartwell Technology and managed by Inside Gaming. It carries all of the usual poker offerings, including Texas Hold'em, Omaha and stud.

Promotion and advertising for ADVFNPoker is done completely internally. The only ads that can be seen are on the ADVFN Web site. De Franco said the marketing is aimed at users who are already trading on the site.

"So we're not placing ourselves to compete against other poker sites, this is people trading the markets all day and then on their lunch break they can have a bit of a rest from the market," De Franco said. "They're already on the site so they can literally just click through and go in to the poker club. So we're not worried about competing."

De Franco could not disclose actual numbers of registered players on the site, but she said that everyone was happy and having fun and the response has been positive.

"Our share price went up 12 percent on the day we announced the launch," she said.

Poker That Doesn't Take Itself Too Seriously is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda