PokerFuse PRO an essential tool for poker insiders
A while back I took a look at the launch of PokerFuse.com’s PRO section, a subscription-based area of the popular poker news website offering exclusive content, data and other features. PokerFuse PRO is now into its third month of operation and I’ve decided to take another look at the site and see how PokerFuse PRO has grown and changed over its first few months of existence.
While putting together this follow-up piece I had the opportunity to ask PokerFuse.com’s Michael Gentile a number of questions which he obligingly answered.
PokerFuse Pro is still priced at $19/month for access to the PRO section and $49/month for access to the PRO with Data section.
You can visit PokerFuse at www.PokerFuse.com
What Stands Out at PokerFuse
The first thing I noticed when it comes to the PRO vs. the free section of the website is the breakup of content. Unlike other subscription-based outlets PokerFuse doesn’t put all of its content, or even its “juicy” content, behind the paywall; in fact the free area of the site has remained relatively unchanged featuring stories with a broader appeal, while PokerFuse PRO concentrates on industry-related and regulatory news. Back in April I wasn’t sure how PokerFuse would handle this duality, but I have to say I’m really impressed at how both parts of the site have continued to grow.
*Author’s note, PRO subscribers have “First Look” access to all content from the site*
Perhaps the most surprising change at PokerFuse since the launch of PRO is not that the content in the subscription-based PRO area has increased, but that the content in the FREE area of the site has seemed to increase as well. One particular addition of note has been the “NewsBite”, which are short articles that give the reader the basic gist of the story with links pointing to more in-depth and source articles on the topic. PokerFuse.com’s Michael Gentile explained the NewsBite articles as follows:
“These short 1-3 paragraph articles were born out of the idea that we want to bring as much news to the readers of pokerfuse as possible. Continuing to provide the best quality free content is a priority and Newsbites is a way we hope to serve our loyal readers better. We are experimenting with this concept and we continue to welcome feedback from our readers.”
What Has Changed Since Launch
While researching this follow-up article I noticed a number of changes to the PokerFuse PRO section and what was offered in the two packages, but it wasn’t until I asked Michael Gentile what had changed that I realized how much has been added to the site since its launch, and how much more subscribers were receiving:
“So many things have changed already. We have had great feedback and user interaction that has helped us better understand the needs of our customers. We are constantly evaluating and iterating both PRO and pokerfuse to best serve our readers.
“We have increased the amount of exclusive content we provide to our PRO customers by doubling our news output offered through PRO.
“In addition to the boost in news reporting, we have also added Newsbeat (previously only available to PRO Data customers) to the package for PRO News customers. This change was a direct result of feedback from PRO News subscribers that were interested in receiving our aggregated news and information feature.
“We also added value to our PRO Data tier by introducing some significant improvements to the Data homepage. Almost every aspect here has been enhanced. Users can switch between 7-day, 30-day and 90-day moving averages to better understand the data; smaller networks with estimated data can also now be graphed; there are also tabs for smaller markets including Nevada, Canada and Sweden.
“Another big update has been the introduction of relative graphs. These allow you to see how one network is performing relative to its competitors over a specific time period .Up to 5 networks can be graphed together. Many other facets of the product have been updated, including Newsbeat, the daily newsletter, and the Kindle export.
“The product will continue to evolve and we’ve got some big plans over the next couple of months. Soon we’re hoping to provide documentation for the pokerfuse PRO features, further expand our Data section, and we are working hard to improve the Directory to become the #1 resource for both online and offline poker.”
My Evolving Impressions of PokerFuse PRO
My initial impression of the PRO section back in April was that it was perhaps too tightly focused on industry types, and not really meant for the casual poker fan, or even most poker players. While my opinion hasn’t changed, I now see that PokerFuse PRO and the free area of the site are not in conflict with one another –and are not vying for the same audience– as there are few (if any) PokerFuse Pro stories that your average poker news reader would be interested in. Initially I figured the plan was to turn regular PokerFuse readers into PRO subscribers, but I now see that this is not really the case.
A quick look at the articles available exclusively to PokerFuse PRO subscribers –which can be seen on the PokerFuse.com homepage—are not likely to tickle the fancy of your average reader looking to see who won the Poker Players Championship at the WSOP, or looking to read about the latest drama in the PokerStars and New Jersey fiasco, and these are the types of articles that will still be found in the free content at PokerFuse. As Michael Gentile explained, PRO is meant for a specific type of person:
“The thing that has surprised us the most has been the breadth of types of people using PRO. Early on we hit all of our targeted audiences including gaming operators, lobbyists, regulators, affiliates, media and probably more that I am forgetting right now.”
Now that I’ve seen that PokerFuse PRO doesn’t impact the free content available at the site I have a much more optimistic outlook for its survival. Unlike other outlets that have added paywalls, PokerFuse IS NOT merely a subscription-based website, instead it is a free content website that has an additional area (an added layer if you will) for poker industry types who are interested in what most people would consider the mundane, analytical, minutiae of the poker world.
I suppose the best analogy I can come up with to explain it would be that it’s akin to Nate Silver adding a subscription area to his 538 blog, with the subscription giving you access to different algorithms he uses and other information that is only interesting to a certain subset of his readers.
The PRO section definitely gives you a lot of bang for your buck, so the question each person will have to answer is whether or not it provides information they can use and/or is appealing to them; and if the answer is yes than the site is a bargain.
For more information on PokerFuse PRO subscriptions (PRO and PRO with Data) you can visit their website at: https://pro.pokerfuse.com/buy/
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