Edit: I originally deleted this article when Pokervip/PokerUpdate made edits to their PAS article that was full of false information about their competitor, although they would only fix one false statement at a time seeing how far they could push it. They have once again acted unethically by copying a substantial part of an article from a well respected poker news site. When I confronted Pokervip and PokerUpdate owner about it I was told not to contact him again and the reply included several false statements about their article that was a near copy/paste and did not link to the original article published by another news site. I felt this article about their behavior needed to be republished. It is hard to take Pokervip and PokerUpdate seriously when they behave like this and I feel everyone in the industry should be warned about how they act to other people in the industry.
PokerVIP is an online poker affiliate that started out as iPokerVIP. They started out offering private deals on the iPoker Network. They grew to become more mainstream but were a bit late to the game so they are not among the larger poker affiliates. They are still a respectable size.
This group launched a news site called Poker Update. I had never much paid attention to it until I saw a tweet yesterday about an article they published about one of their largest competitors titled “PokerAffiliateSolutions Burdened by Communication and Payment Delays”.
Slower Than Expected PAS Payment Reported
There have been some payment delays over the past few months so the article title has some merit to it. The delays are not any worse than most online poker companies that handle payments to and from U.S. online poker rooms. It has left some sub affiliates of PAS outside the U.S. understandably unhappy but there is a lot to processing hundreds of payments while waiting on affiliate payments from dozens of rooms, many that serve the U.S. market. PAS released a long explanation about the issue last month.
Some unhappy sub affiliates of PAS started a thread at 2+2. It was combined with an earlier thread. The last post in the thread was October 5th. PokerVIP/Poker Update took this as an opportunity to trash their competitor.
Article Spun to Benefit PokerVIP
They took old posts in that thread and tried to spin them as current discussions. For example, Poker Update took a post from September 2011 that has nothing to do with the situation but failed to mention the age of the quote and had nothing to do with payments. It was posted by a former client of PAS unhappy with their experience. The article implies this client left due to payment issues.
They then state that a sub affiliate was waiting for a payment since July. That payment was in fact made 6 weeks ago. PokerVIP and Poker Update did not bother to verify with the person that made the post back in August whether they had been paid. They just assumed that over two months later they were still waiting even though that same poster returned to the thread again without mentioning waiting on a payment anymore.
They then go on to clip part of a post to quote someone and take it completely out of context. They even use profanity in their article to add to their classless attack.
Poker Update is not clear about their association with PokerVIP either. A reader that did not know the relationship might think that they are reading news from an unbiased news source and not just a mouthpiece for a competing affiliate.
They bumped the PAS thread at 2+2 that did not have a post in three weeks to spam this article in question. They did so anonymously in an attempt to go under the radar. Two mods at 2+2 discovered the accounts were related and deleted the spam. It was in the forum that I mod but I was not the one to discover it. In fact, I was replying to the post when it got deleted.
This is How Affiliates Acted in 2005
I have worked in the online poker industry since 2004. When rakeback first blew up in 2005 these types of attacks were somewhat common during the massive land grab for new rakeback players. That was before news stories on affiliate sites so affiliates would take their attacks to forums.
Affiliates finally realized that is not how to do business. Many of those large affiliates were young and making more money than they had ever dreamed of making and it got to their heads. Maybe that is what is going on here.
Maybe Jamie Nevin and his PokerVIP family enjoy all of this negative attention and thinks it will help his business. Poker affiliation requires trust from players and this type of behavior destroys that.
Affiliate T&Cs Broken
He is also in violation of the terms and conditions of many or most affiliate programs. These T&Cs are clear that affiliates cannot attack other affiliates and many specifically include people affiliated with the poker room. Libel is clearly forbidden as well. This article may not cross that line but it is close. This behavior by iPokerVIP risks their player’s deals that they have and their entire business, not to mention the knock on their reputation that they are already taking.
My Relationship with PAS
I know the people at PAS well. I worked for them years ago and now I sell content to them and do a few other odd jobs when they need help. They are one of about 10 clients that I do work for so this is especially upsetting to me even though I would take this stance if PokerVIP and friends attacked anyone else in such a manner.
PokerVIP is in direct competition with PAS through their rakeback, free bankroll, and sub affiliate models. PokerVIP has a product under development that copies the business that PAS invented. PokerVIP even bought the domain Pokersolutions.com. Nothing is on that domain yet but I think it is safe to speculate what type of competing business they might put on a confusingly similar domain.
I hope that all poker players and affiliates will think about this behavior and what Poker Update, PokerVIP, and all affiliated sites are capable of when considering doing business with them. When an affiliate will resort to these types of tactics it shows a lack of professionalism and ethics, two qualities imperative for a rakeback affiliate. PokerVIP and Poker Update must make a full retraction of the article and full public apology to PAS and the online poker community.
The article is here if you want to read it. I purposely did not link it.
Online Poker Report wrote a similar story here.