Ultimate Poker, the first completely legal and regulated online poker site in the U.S. (rapidly approaching its first birthday, if you can believe it) really, really wants to get people to play in its tournaments. At risk of qualifying for government assistance, the poker room has launched the unique NO-verlay promotion a deal in which players on its New Jersey site could potentially cash in on freeroll after freeroll for the next month.
In the promotion, if a guaranteed prize pool tournament reaches its guarantee because enough people enter, every player will receive a complete refund of their buy-in. 100 percent refund. For example, the upcoming “$10,000 Sundays” tournament displayed in the Ultimate Poker tournament lobby has a $10,000 guaranteed prize pool. The buy-in is $91 + $9, which would require 110 entries to reach the guarantee (110 x $91 = $10,010). If that happens, if at least 110 players participate in the tournament, Ultimate Poker will give them all back their buy-in and still pay out the prizes as usual. And it does appear that Ultimate Poker is counting both the buy-in and entry fee (the $91 and $9, respectively) as the “buy-in,” so the refunds will definitely result in total freerolls for all involved.
Buy-ins will be credited to players’ accounts within 48 hours. Add-ons and re-buys will not be refunded in tournaments which offer them.
The NO-verlay promotion began February 9th and will continue through March 9th. It appears that most, but not all, of the guaranteed tourneys since the promo started have hit their guarantees, thus providing a free tournament to all involved.
Hopefully, for Ultimate Poker’s sake, the NO-verlay promotion will bring in some new players, as it could certainly use them. Though it had a head start by several months in Nevada after becoming the first online poker room to go live at the end of April 2013, it was not able to capitalize on any sort of name recognition in New Jersey. According to PokerScout.com, Ultimate Poker has a seven-day average of just 14 cash game players in the Garden State. That ties it with the sum total of the three Delaware online poker rooms, yet in one of the most populous states in the country. The other three poker rooms/networks in New Jersey have fielded an average of 540 players combined.
While it has done much better in Nevada on a relative basis, it is also struggling there, having fallen behind its only competitor in the state, WSOP.com. According to PokerScout’s figures, Ultimate Poker is averaging 75 cash game players versus 120 for WSOP.com.
Granted, these are cash game figures and the NO-verlay promotion is for tournaments, but there will naturally be people who try out a poker room for the tournaments that stay for the cash games, so it will be interesting to see if this promotion gives Ultimate Poker’s cash game stats a boost in New Jersey.