ProPlayLive, which recently launched as a poker training site, features some of the world’s top instructors, including 2004 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event winner Greg Raymer, Poker News Daily contributor Annie Duke, and eight-time bracelet winner and Full Tilt Poker pro Erik Seidel. Poker News Daily sat down with Vince Gelormine from ProPlayLive to discuss the site’s launch as well as learn what niche it has taken in this highly competitive market.
Poker News Daily: Tell us about the development of ProPlayLive. Where did the idea for it originate?
Gelormine: A number of us got together to launch ProPlayLive. I’m more of the technical and marketing guy and I have partners with connections to the pros. I’m a big believer in education when it comes to poker. I’ve attended World Poker Tour (WPT) and WSOP instructional camps and bought most of the poker books out there. It’s silly not to try to improve you game, whether it’s a hobby or not. Why make a hobby a cost center? Learning from the people who have been there and done it before cuts you to the front of the line.
PND: Tell us about the importance of joining training sites.
I’ve invested thousands of dollars going to the WPT Boot Camp and WSOP Academy. I believe they have paid off. The neat thing about training sites is that, unlike books, in which you’re dealing with general situations, you can see real situations from the pros online. People should sign up for more than one training site because there are going to be different ways to approach the situation.
PND: Many of the existing training sites have been successful because rising online poker stars look to their online idols for guidance. Is there any disconnect when you try to take the same concept and apply it to live poker?
Gelormine: It doesn’t do us any good having a bunch of online pros like everyone else. We can’t enter a crowded marketplace and expect to succeed. Many in our market are people who play recreationally and a lot of them are busy professionals. The hardcore online player isn’t our core audience and our content is not specifically designed for them.
Because they are live game players, a lot of the principles are the same. It comes down to segmenting the market. We’re not trying to be all things to all people. We have a customer who is a doctor and, during his lunch break, pulls up ProPlayLive. Because most of our videos are 20 to 30 minutes, he’s able to watch one to two pieces during a lunch hour.
PND: You launched late last year. Explain the recent marketing push.
Gelormine: We’ve been going for a few months. We started last year and have been building up the library. The main concept was to build up the content library so when someone signs up, they have a lot of value. We also kept our pricing very low. On our site, we don’t have the hand history tools and replayers like other sites do because we’re focusing on videos. It’s designed to be simple, focused, and efficient.
PND: In addition to Raymer, Duke, and Seidel, you also have Tom McEvoy, Bill Chen, Alex Outhred, John Lukas, Mark Kroon, and Shawn Rice. Talk about why these pros are involved and what they bring to the table.
Gelormine: The pros don’t do this all for the money. This group of instructors enjoys teaching, they like the game, and a lot of them have worked at WPT or WSOP poker camps as instructors. Some of the other sites have talented instructors, but they don’t understand how to convey their thoughts a level that’s easy to understand. Our instructors are able to communicate complex issues in a way that’s easily understood.
We’re also about quality. We don’t have as many videos as other sites and we don’t churn out 50 in a month, but we don’t need to. The goal is to allow someone to grasp the concepts quickly.