As no doubt you are aware, I am a member of the Pokerchipsquad forum. I have been a member here for several years now and there has been some big changes since I joined. Let me give you a brief history…..
When I first joined, the forum was called Pokercards Forum. Online poker was still really in its infancy. Chris Moneymaker had still to win the WSOP main event, so the poker boom had still to take place. We played mainly freeroll games, but there was never the number of players entering as there is now. And the majority of people actually tried to PLAY proper poker and win the games – very few monkeys around! We also had some private games set up and were attracting reasonable numbers.
As time went on, all the league players started to play better and it was only a matter of time before we went that bit further and started playing more buy-in games. We had more private buy-in games and still we were getting the numbers.
Eventually, a few of us decided to run our own forums, but all were part of, and were indeed a major part of the Pokercards family. This led to each forum setting up their own private games that all of the Pokercards family could participate in. It also meant that there was at least one private game a day. This meant that people could pick and choose which games they wanted to play. But the big downside was that they had to go through each forum each day to see what the games were. People would rather have all the games listed in one place – makes sense!
I loved running my forum, but realised that it just wasn’t working out. All the sub-forums amalgamated together again under the Pokercards moniker to make it the one family again. All the private games we set up could then be found in the one place.
But slowly, less and less people played the private games, especially once the TFCL (The Forum Challenge League – which the Pokercards forum had an integral part in setting up, although has now been taken over by new management) came along, it got even worse. People would play TFCL games before private league games. They would rather play in a $100 freeroll with 350 players than a $2 buy-in game, where if 50 players entered the prize pool would have been the same. They would have a much better chance to win with less players playing. Go figure! After a disasterous time with the TFCL the league disassociated itself with it. But still, people would rather play their games.
Moving onwards, we all realised that times were getting tough for us. We tried a lot of different ideas to get people playing again, but sadly, most of it fell on deaf ears. Numbers kept on dwindling. The only time we got a massive turnout was when a freeroll was announced. We would be inundated with requests for passwords to the freerolls. But when it went to buy-ins, all these freeloaders disappeared into the darkness again.
Then the UIGEA bill was passed in the USA.
The Ulawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act came into effect in October 2006. This in itself did not ban people from playing online poker, but did ban them from transfering money to and from online gaming sites. It didn’t take long before the US cracked down on E-wallet sites, and before we knew it, it had hit Neteller – the biggest E-wallet site – who then withdrew from the US market. The problem with this was that many US players had funds in their Neteller account and these assets have been frozen. There is no way for them to get access to their own money!
Cue another drop in players in the private games. It niggles a bit though, to know that there are other ways to deposit/withdraw to internet gaming sites but US players won’t use them. But, I had to ask myself if I would use them if I were in their position. The answer would probably be NO! Who’s to say what e-wallet site would be next to be hit by this legislation, meaning the possibility of losing even more cash!
So now, to the present. Last night, Rich, the forum owner decided enough was enough. He was sick and tired of spending hours setting up private games when less than 20 people turned up to play. He has now scrapped the private games!
I, and many others had seen it coming months ago. We had discussed it and decided it be best to hang on as it could just be a little blip and the players would start playing again. We were just kidding ourselves on really. Each of us in our heart of hearts knew it wasn’t going to get any better, and even more so once the US implemented the UIGEA.
So now, it begs the question….. How do we stop the rot? How can we as a forum recover and get more people back participating in the forum? We do still have a few private games set up by the Aces’n’Faces gang, Poker Ladies and Dallas Poker leagues, but we don’t know for how long.
I know Rich has stuff in the pipeline, but also know that if we don’t get the support we need then he might just call it quits altogether. A forum is a community, and as such should act like a community. We’ve all heard of ‘community spirit’. Sadly, the forum has been lacking it enormously of late. We should all take a bit of responsibilty if we want to keep our forum going. I for one don’t want to see it close down. I just hope everyone else sees it like that and does their best to keep it up and running.
How do you do this? Quite simple! Pop into the forum and see whats going on. Reply to posts that have been put in. If there’s not much going on, then start a post of your own. I’m sure everyone will have something they would like to see discussed. If you can, participate in any of the games that have been set up. No-one is looking for you to play every game – it’s just not possible for most people, me included. Get involved in our chatroom in paltalk. You can chat live with other league members and its free to download!
There are hundreds of poker forums out there, but I’ve still to come across one that matches up to the Pokerchipsquad in terms of quality of members, quality of play and above all quality of integrity. We have rules we stick to religeously and are known as quite a strict forum. But these rules are very basic and you really must be either stupid or just downright ignorant if you can’t follow them. That’s why we have the quality members we have – because they can be trusted!
So come along and have a look and see what you think. If you like it, then tell your friends to come along. Everyone will be made welcome. The more people we have participating, the more our ‘community’ can recover. In a nutshell, we need our existing members to participate more and bring in new members.
As always, I would love to see comments on this, and I especially urge our forum members to leave their comments.