With the biggest online poker site losing it’s General Manager on Monday and its stock falling to below $2.50 on Thursday (was sold at $10) it is clear that Zynga poker is in some sort of trouble. Laurence Toney decided to spend more time with his money on Monday, announcing it via Linkedin and confirming that not is all well within ‘Zynga Towers’. This might be an unusual way of doing things, but, it does make sense when an app such as Zynga Poker can create so many good poker players.
Yes that may sound like a weird statement to make but I have met people who learned Texas Hold ‘Em via the Zynga app on Facebook and they have turned out to be good players. OK my particular poker skill is not that high and therefore what is impressive to me may not be that great to any other good poker player. That aside the fact that 38 million people play Zynga poker does mean that new poker players will get the skill element of the game and become great players – eventually.
The problem with Zynga is that it is still seen as a place where kids and bored housewives go to mess about for a couple of hours. Yes they use real hard cash to buy virtual goods, but in the end you will have to face the ‘all in’ merchants sooner or later. It is very hard to grind on Zynga because Zynga has free chips and when chips are free there is no need to worry about losing.
Also multi-tabling is virtually impossible apparently! Well this will make it difficult for professional online poker players as they like to do 16 – 48 tables at a time. So unless they can sort this out Zynga will be for the ‘passing through’ crowd, which may not be a bad thing as ordinary punters are getting wise to being treated like fishes to be gobbled up by sharks.
In conclusion as long as Zynga do not stray too much from their model it will be successful and they have the ability to do some interesting things like having staked players and high profile bingo poker type games where anyone can win if they are lucky. If they try to be serious then they wont have a chance. I for one will take a look at their games but I wont go out of my way to do so.