I have to admit that I was addicted to playing zynga poker for a little while. How did it start? Well, I downloaded the app on my android phone and paid $5 for some credits. Don’t tell anyone, but I ended up spending something like $100. I typically chalk this exercise up as research on the industry, but I got hooked for a little bit (more so than usual).
I have always wanted to become a decent poker player since I love strategy, competitive analysis, and decision making. I figured I’d take a look at the online poker marketplace. What do I have to lose?
Let’s look at zynga poker. It’s a flash game connected through facebook and recently mobile apps. That’s right, you can sit in your bed at night, and play zynga poker with opponents all around the world.
I wasn’t a big fan of the browser version as it’s somewhat cluttered and not pleasing to the eye, if you’re someone who likes a clean layout. The android version however was extremely clean. Truth be told, I played it for some time. Talk about bugs! The original android version that I was using wouldn’t start up properly half the time, and sometimes it kicked me out of tables because of a bug and I lost valuable chips. I tried to contact zynga customer support several times via e-mail and twitter. I never got a response.
Ups and downs! I won $22M in chips in one hand, and then lost the majority. Thank god this is virtual, and I don’t have a gambling habit! The game does provide countless hours of entertainment and sheer excitement even if you’re playing with quasi-virtual chips. I actually was doing pretty good, but the game takes up way too much time. Even though I lost some chips, I always managed to win them back.
The bottom line is that this game has gone bananas! It is the most popular poker game online worldwide! Now, if you think of all the poker sites like pokerstars, titan poker, and party poker that have been going for years, this is an amazing accomplishment for a flash/facebook app. Makes you think of the possibilities…
$1.14B in revenue in 2011. I don’t know what to say but wow and congratulations zynga! I have heard that zynga posted some sort of loss even with those numbers. In any case, I’m not here to knock or analyze them financially, I’m more interested in the success of the actual game. I would have appreciated some sort of response to my inquiries about lost chips due to android bugs. Oh well. Let’s move on…
Zynga went IPO. There’s talks about zynga poker entering or re-legalizing online gambling in the USA. That would be pure insanity!
Welcome to the power of social networks and a highly addictive game like poker! It gives a guy like me a lot of food for thought!
I have to commend them as well on a brilliant marketing job. Everything from the cartoon zynga babes, actual zynga poker girls that users get to rate on facebook, and even an actual zynga poker conference. They did such a good job that I even considered going to the zynga poker conference! Even though I’m a marketing guy, I fall prey to marketing myself. They did a good job in that department, that’s for sure!
It was fun while it lasted! No offense, zynga, but I deleted my copy of zynga poker. I need to focus on building my own gaming empire. :-)