A few weeks on from the fifth anniversary of PokerMatch, Ruslan Bangert - the company’s CEO - reflects on the journey from a modest local poker room to a globally recognised poker brand.

From local to global: the story of Ukraine’s PokerMatch

A few weeks on from the fifth anniversary of PokerMatch, Ruslan Bangert – the company’s CEO – reflects on the journey from a modest local poker room to a globally recognised poker brand.

Thanks to our innovative approach in marketing, we have climbed to the top of the highly respected popularity rating of poker resources, PokerScout, leaving behind acknowledged world giants of the industry.

Evolution of the gaming platform

PokerMatch was established as an independent poker room on 21 July 2016, and began to rapidly gain popularity in Ukraine. This growth, I believe, has been greatly influenced by our in-depth knowledge of the Ukrainian market and its peculiarities, as well as our understanding of the local poker players’ needs. 

The focus was made on inexpensive tournaments as well as freerolls and cash games, where everyone could try their hand at poker, regardless of their bankroll.

Moreover, the rakeback rule – which is still in force today – was introduced from the get go, allowing players to receive up to 40% of rakeback to their account. Our platform constantly offers special promotions and offers to our users; whether that’s bonuses on first deposit, jackpots or even additional incentives for playing at cash tables and in tournaments. 

We also pay considerable attention to the large online tournament series with big guarantees and affordable buy-ins. The sports component of poker is known to be great, and PokerMatch puts special emphasis on this. Tournament champions receive memorable medals and cups and can be proud of their sports achievements in poker.

Within the first five years, we have built a loyal community of players, and many of them prefer playing in this room exclusively. Simple and convenient money transactions in local currencies, clear communication language with other players, and pleasant surprises from the room on a regular basis— all of this makes PokerMatch so attractive for users.

Successful marketing strategy 

Nothing we said above would have been possible without a powerful marketing strategy.

Gambling is a specific industry, and the promotion of such a product is an interesting and challenging task. Based on PokerMatch’s example, we can see how the speed of decision-making and the courage and understanding of the customers’ needs and demands are important in marketing when it comes to gambling. 

Fighting for traffic in a highly competitive environment is difficult, so it’s a good idea to attract attention with an original presentation or promotion format. Our marketing strategy is characterised by innovation and able to instantly respond to the current needs of the target audience. And, as practice shows, it brings results.

We believe that in the gaming industry, you can earn money only when you create an original event, attract players and try to make a profit out of it. A striking example of such an idea that helped attract new players and declare the company to the whole world is the Jackpot Miners promo, which PokerMatch held earlier this year.

To give a brief overview, poker players came to the tables with minimum limits, automatically went all-in, and in case they got a straight flush combination, they received a part of the jackpot. The traffic in the poker room grew considerably throughout the promotion, and we managed to take the pole position in the PokerScout ranking.

We have found that our top position in the PokerScout ratings has helped attract a range of new players to our tables. They were interested in participating in the record-breaking event, and they stayed to play at PokerMatch even after the end of the promo.

Over the past year and a half, both poker companies and online casinos have been actively developing on the PokerMatch platform. With thousands of popular slots, live casino, and virtual casino games, players can always find a game to their liking. 

Together with the network promotions from the global providers, we actively promote our own projects. And here, the synergy of poker and casino is very important. If a person comes to the platform to have a pleasant pastime, we – as the welcoming hosts – should give them the maximum options.

Synergy is incredibly important for our success. Our PokerMatch Mega KO became the top event in the life of Ukraine’s poker community. Its peculiarity, along with the record prize pool, was the fact that the participants of the tournaments were guaranteed to get additional gifts – free spins in the casino, tournament money, tickets, etc., in addition to the fight for the prize money itself.

Naturally, this innovation has caused a great resonance and added to the room’s popularity. As a result, we continue to practice similar successful experiences with the integration of poker players and casino players.

Plans for the next five years

Looking to the future, we have set ourselves a number of goals: expansion and business growth, instilling the culture and rules of responsible gaming and building an even larger poker community around PokerMatch, as well as competitive promotions and collaborations with representatives of other sports.

Expansion is a big part of our growth strategy. At PokerMatch, we are promising to enter the markets that have embraced online payments, have high rates of internet penetration and a large population of poker players. We can’t go into the specifics just yet (you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for our announcements!) but what we can say is that the CIS region is high on our agenda.

Responsible gambling has, and always will be, a high priority for PokerMatch. We plan to create various educational poker projects for players, as well as develop the principles of responsible gaming (how to identify gambling addiction, how to access problem gambling support services). We want our players to understand that online gambling is not a way to earn money, but a form of entertainment.

Ultimately, our goal is to improve our product every day. To do that, we need several unique trading offers, speed of decision-making, variety of promotions and an imaginative marketing strategy.

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