Whether it’s Ultimate Poker, WSOP.com, or somewhere else, it’s looking like U.S. poker players will have a healthy smorgasbord of regulated online poker to choose from. For some, player reward programs can be the deciding factor for where they get their gamble on.
New Jersey Internet poker is ramping up to launch soon, so let’s take a peek at the value and benefits of the current VIP programs from Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com that one can assume will be part of the New Jersey “poker buffet.”
There are two kinds of online poker players when it comes to player rewards. I call them the Bumpkin and the Grinder, and a successful VIP program must satisfy them both.
The Bumpkin plays poker for pure entertainment value. Usually, he or she won’t play more than two tables at once, and they’re more likely to be tournaments or Sit & Go’s than cash games because the Bumpkin is a risk seeker attracted to the high-variance games.
This Bumpkin I speak of is simply looking for some fun and a nice freeroll from time to time. He or she cares not for lame 27% rakeback offers.
The Grinder is, well, a grinder; plays for hours everyday and wants to receive as much bounceback as possible for his or her action. The Grinder craves high rakeback in any form, whether it’s cash bonuses or player-points to cash conversions.
Ultimate Poker has a tiered VIP program including ten tiers. Here’s the meat:
Freerolls! All Bumpkins that make it to the Green Chip tier or higher are eligible for a weekly $250 freeroll tournament. But wait, there’s more…
Grind a little harder to make Black Chip or higher and Mr. or Ms. Bumpkin can play in the weekly $1,000 freeroll tournament.
I think this satisfies our beloved Bumpkin.
Milestone and bonus cash is the only real value seen here for the Grinder. The Ultimate Option is pretty unique with the inclusion of a $5,000 brick and mortar bet at Red Rock.
But let’s have a little fun and see what the bounceback would be if we started a year at Platinum Plaque and played for 1,000,000XP and stopped (just trust my math, I skip steps for time):
Overall, Ultimate leaves much to be desired for the Grinder, in my opinion.
I saved the best for last. Seriously, I’m digging the Action Club as it looks now:
At WSOP.com, the Bumpkin gets a special freeroll, too! It’s for all “Non-Status” holders who fail to qualify for the Silver tier or higher.
WSOP.com recognizes the Bumpkin doesn’t care about $2 a week in cash back, but would much rather have a shot at winning some actual money in an exclusive tournament.
It’s simple and straightforward. It’s so easy, just look at this:
I know it doesn’t seem that glamorous, but there’s much more than meets the eye.
The Bumpkin and the Grinder will both love WSOP.com’s partnership with Total Rewards.
This means players can convert their WSOP Points into Total Rewards Credits that can be exchanged for comps at their brick and mortar casinos.
WSOP.com will also match your Total Rewards status. And any comparable status you may have on another online poker site from now through the end of the year.
So you could potentially jump to Seven Stars status before you ever open up your first WSOP.com table.
With the added value of the Bumpkin and the Grinder both benefiting from live play, the winner has to be the Action Club at WSOP.com.
Both VIP programs address the needs of the two kinds of poker player. So in the sense, Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com are off to a nice start.