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How Poker Tournaments Increase Player Retention

Ever since Black Friday took an axe through the online poker industry, competition for players has been more fierce than ever. Poker affiliates are finding themselves fighting hard to hang on to their remaining players.

Online poker tournaments are an increasingly popular tool for keeping all of your players happy in your corner of the online gaming world. If you’re not offering tournament play to your players, here are some of the top reasons you should start as soon as possible.

Attract International Players

Poker tournaments aren’t just a good way of retaining the players you’ve already converted. They can also be an effective tool for attracting international players. In many parts of the emerging Latin American gaming market, tournaments are big business. Many online poker sites offer both Spanish and Portuguese language tournaments for their affiliate partners. If you’re interested in breaking into the lucrative Brazilian or Chilean gaming markets, tournaments can be a great incentive for new players.


What reason do your players have for sticking with you? Are you offering them something that other affiliates aren’t? If you’re not offering a real value proposition to your players, someone else almost certainly will. That’s where tournaments come into the picture.

Tournaments give your players a chance to compete for extra prize money and bonuses with other top players. Buy-ins for most tournaments can be adjusted so that offering this incentive to all your players isn’t a problem at all.

There are also rakeback deals that put money in your player’s pockets based on the total pot. When it comes to value, nothing beats straight up cash.

Players are more likely to stick around when they feel like they’re getting something from you that other poker affiliates might not be offering.


Deposit bonuses are a great incentive for players, but they don’t really build up much excitement. Tournaments are a different story entirely.  Promoting an upcoming tournament gives your sites a real feeling of excitement and life. The more your site feels like a place where something is happening, the more likely it is to actually become that place.


Even if you’ve got hundreds of players on your affiliate rolls, maintaining a relationship with as many of them as possible is just smart business. Offering a small stakes player a spot in an invitation-only tournament makes them feel special and helps develop your relationship with them.

Poker players have almost unlimited choices between very similar products. The personal touch that comes with tournament invites is a great way to differentiate your sites from the competition.

And remember, players who feel like they’re getting something special from you are less likely to jump ship when player poachers come calling.

Whale Watching

Any affiliate partner who is interested in chasing free spending whales had better be offering up tournaments. Whales love being courted and they love the chance to drop money with like minded players. And when you’re offering up high stakes tournaments, it’s also an incentive for your other players to step up and get in on the action.

Moving Forward

Land-based casinos have long mastered the art of pampering their customers and its a skill online casinos need to learn. Tournaments are an affordable marketing and branding tool that provide a real value to your players and makes them feel like they’re getting something special. There’s no reason why every poker site shouldn’t be offering tournaments to their players on a regular basis.