A recent thread in the popular TwoPlusTwo NVG forum outlines how former AmayaStars CEO David Baazov made it rain… and collapsed the entire online poker marketing “confidence game” in the process.
Over the weekend, an anonymous poster entertained veteran online poker players and fans with a fictional business tale that could be interpreted as being eerily reminiscent of former AmayaStars CEO David Baazov‘s brief reign as The King of Online Gambling.
DISCUSS NOW: David’s Happy Hours (by: ‘BeerBazov’ — 2+2 NVG — Oct 25, 2020)
The story opens by informing readers that BeerBazov — and a few buddies of his — decided to go all-in and purchase the “biggest pub in town” (which had been “massively successful” up until that time), with the goal of generating “more profits.”
So far, BeerBazov‘s yarn lines-up with the “real world” acquisition of PokerStars by Amaya Gaming in May 2014.
Not long after BeerBazov and his chaps bought out the best pub in town, they started making changes so they could maximize the take through exploitation of “problem drinkers.” Their first attempt at achieving this included raising prices for non-problem drinkers while utilizing their addicted counterparts to incessantly aggravate the more “moderation-minded” customers until they took their business elsewhere. This would get problem drinkers into the “right state” so they would later be willing to consume drinks as quickly as possible for “half price,” according to BeerBazov.
But lo… regulators (along with niche elements within the general drinking public) vehemently opposed the strategy.
Again, the story seemingly mirrors “real life” events that took place subsequent to David Baazov’s 2014 takeover of PokerStars (see: PokerStars Rake Changes Explained).
Online Poker Business Cost Reductions
The next part that, in this author’s opinion, reflects “IRL” circumstances is when BeerBazov and his pals (again, the summary being presented by the Original Poster is fictional) sought out “ways to reduce costs.”
Those who had steadfastly promoted and allowed the pub to remain on the cutting edge of merit-based customer-to-pub owner collaboration were abruptly (and publicly) cast aside… exposing the underbelly of the industry’s “Confidence Game” mechanics to be nothing more than a vacant hull of social engineering and behavioral economics morality.
“…we weren’t going to honour our contracts to them coz **** em” -BeerBazov
“Dawn” (who had previously “worked the phones and would take care of the bookings”) was sent to an “Eastern European country” where she could be paid half of her prior salary. However, that only resulted in long virtual customer service waiting lines.
“But look, **** em.” -BeerBazov
The ironic twist is that a similar event occurred in the IRL online poker industry just one year after David Baazov’s controversial acquisition of the world’s largest poker site.
LEARN MORE: Massive Changes to PokerStars Affiliate Program Underway (OPR – May 1, 2015)
Online Poker Business Lessons Learned
In the end, the anonymous poster admits that the #good4corporate strategies backfired… pissing off problem drinkers and their more “moderation-minded” cohorts; all while devaluing the humanity-friendly initiatives of those who supported and had been employed by the club for years.
“We once had an almost monopoly on the town…” -BeerBazov
There’s new management at the pub now. Perhaps a wiser, more reasonable solution via deal-making between (and among) patrons — of all drinking levels — and business stakeholders can be made?
“I knew a guy who frequented that bar. He didn’t like the changes the new management made. Instead of just going to a new bar, he made up a dumb metaphorical story about it and posted it on a bar website under a burner account.” -Eponymous
* This article is directly funded by Part Time Poker.
BUY NOW: The Confidence Game: Why We Fall For It (Maria Konnikova – 2017)
BUY NOW: Poker Essays: Volume II (Mason Malmuth – 1997)
READ NOW: Cardroom Theory — A Two-Way Street (Donna Harris/Mason Malmuth – 1997)
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Amaya CEO Takes Leave of Absence (Mar 29, 2016)
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