On the same day that he was forced to cancel a highly anticipated tournament series due to technological issues, Winning Poker Network chief executive officer Phil Nagy was profiled by Forbes magazine.
In an article entitled “How This CEO Turned His Company Into A Top Poker Destination,” which was published on September 4, reporter Darren Heitner and Nagy discuss the rapid rise of the Winning Poker Network.
The interview focuses largely on Nagy’s adoption of the Agile technique, a corporate management philosophy rooted in software development that centers on the concept of breaking larger tasks and objectives into more easily attainable objectives.
But while the two talked about the Agile approach, Nagy found time to ponder the growth of his Winning Poker Network – which counts America’s Card Room (ACR) as its flagship brand, along with sister sites Black Chip Poker and True Poker.
According to Nagy, one reason that Winning Poker Network as a whole, and ACR specifically, are succeeding in today’s disputed American market is the company’s willingness to offer promotions like tournament series with guaranteed prize pools, and a points system to reward high-volume players:
“Real growth in any industry isn’t just about getting the customer inside the door, but also giving them a reason to stay.
In online poker, where player liquidity is perhaps more important than anything else, this rings especially true.”
As Heitner mentions in the article’s opening paragraph, the Winning Poker Network has emerged as a viable option for American players in the post-Black Friday era of online poker prohibition. According to the PokerScout.com database, which tracks online poker traffic, the Winning Poker Network is listed as the seventh largest in the world – trailing global giants like PokerStars, PartyPoker, and 888 Poker.
Heitner closes his profile of Nagy by recounting the latter’s bold prediction regarding those PokerScout.com rankings:
“Nagy credits much of his company’s rise up the poker ranks to his company’s adoption of the Agile framework and he is convinced that WPN has the ability to rise to the second spot on thePokerScout.com list, right behind PokerStars.
In fact, Nagy says that if PokerStars does not start innovating soon, then he is coming after that top spot.”
To achieve that goal, however, Nagy will need to bring his Winning Poker Network up to speed in terms of technological protections.
As readers were scanning his Forbes profile, Nagy sent an email to the Winning Poker Network player base, in which he promised to address ongoing issues involving frozen tournaments and other glitches.
The ACR tournament series known as Online Super Series Cub3d was plagued by tech problems, to the point that several tournaments were cancelled – and player buy-ins refunded – midway through.
In response to these issues, which ACR regularly attributes to malicious attackers, Nagy sent the following explanation via email:
“Over the course of the past few days, our network has experienced severe Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. While we will never pay one cent of extortion money in order to stop the attacks, we will be putting in considerable resources to determine who was behind the attack in the weeks to come.
Though we were able to successfully complete the Million Dollar Sunday tournament along with the Online Super Series, we’ve decided to postpone the Bigger Online Super Series that was scheduled to run September 6th – 10th.
The postponement allows us time to strengthen our defenses against possible attacks in the future, and ensure network stability. We apologize for the disruption, and appreciate your ongoing loyalty as we deal with these attacks.”
As the email states, ACR’s next scheduled series – the Bigger Online Super Series – was pushed back to provide the site with additional time to tackle its DDoS dilemma.