I can’t find the official announcement from PokerStars but I see the following story posted word for word on several different websites. I’ll link to one of them just in case anyone wants to claim credit.
The world’s largest online poker room, PokerStars.com, on Monday announced the acquisition of several online poker portals. Among them: PokerPages.com, PlayWinningPoker.com and Poker-Babes.com, three of the most well-established poker information portals on the Internet, according to the online poker behemoth.
“Along with PokerStarsBlog.com, PokerStars’ in-house poker blog, the sites offer poker players a valuable resource of online poker information,” a press release from the company declared.
PokerPages.com was originally launched in 2000. It features an extensive collection of strategy articles, interviews and book reviews; a highly detailed worldwide poker room directory; one of the most comprehensive tournament results databases in the world; and historical coverage of major North American and European poker tournaments of the last five years.
Similarly, the “Winner’s Guide to Online Poker” published by poker player Steve Badger on PlayWinningPoker.com in 2000 was the first online poker strategy guide ever published. PlayWinningPoker.com also includes sections on Texas Hold’em, Omaha, tournament considerations, blinds play, poker psychology, bankroll management and many other facets of both online and live poker play.”
Shirley Rosario, a successful tournament player and former prop player at the Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles, launched Poker-Babes.com in 2003. It was the first site to offer profiles and photos of famous and highly successful poker players in addition to offering strategy articles on lesser-known games like Omaha, Razz and Badugi.
Almost a year ago I said the following in my post Why Affiliates Will Always Trump Online Poker Rooms:
The bottom line is that in order for online poker rooms to remove affiliates from the value chain they will need to do it better than affiliates do. They’ll need to buy out the sites that are already doing it better than they are and hire brilliant, cutting-edge, people to run their online campaigns.
But most won’t do that. Maybe the Full Tilt’s and PokerStars have that kind of money but your average poker room is going to keep paying out affiliates to do what it should be doing because it’s economically a sounder proposition.
And that’s exactly what we’re seeing happening. Tilt is going a slightly different route from outright buying the sites though. They’ve been partnering with sites like Hendon Mob and Card Runners but in many ways they’re effectively tying up those sites to (almost) exclusively promote the Full Tilt Poker brand which essentially accomplishes the same thing.
Look for the trend to continue.