EP: Yes, we feel we owe it to players to deliver freerolls in the true spirit of the word! Many of our competitors require redemption of player points to enter a cash prize freeroll, while many others allow true free entry, but the prize is only bonus dollars, not real money. We feel there’s nothing like the thrill of playing poker for real money, and we want to give our users the opportunity to experience that fun and excitement without the initial anxiety of risking their own money.
PN: Are multi-table tournaments part of the plan? If so, when do you foresee those launching?
EP: Everest Poker will be launching multi-table tournaments at the beginning of March 2005, which will set the stage for many unique competitions and prizes, so stay tuned!
PN: Any deposit bonuses you want to talk about now? Are any other ones planned for the future?
EP: Our $100 Welcome Bonus is unique in the industry. Players are awarded $100 bonus dollars upon registration — no deposit required! Converting the bonus dollars to real money via our pay-for-play system is also done incrementally. Many of our competitors set a minimum play requirement within a specific time period to receive the entire bonus, otherwise the entire amount expires.
PN: Do you see a time when Everest Poker is running satellites to larger tournaments (WSOP, for example)?
EP: Yes, we have already started conversations with many offline “poker tour” organizations, and will be tying in our satellites very soon to get Free Sports Picks.
PN: Any other plans for the future of Everest you would like to talk about?
EP: We will be launching Multi-Table Tournaments in early March, which will offer a variety of prize pools daily as well as tie-ins to the land-based poker tours. In addition, further improvements to Everest Poker will include a Points Program and Loyalty Program as well as enhanced multi-lingual chat.
PN: Given the enormous amount of competition in the online poker space, how to you intend to brand and differentiate Everest from the vast amount of competitors?
EP: Our focus is on taking the exciting game of poker to Europe & Asia which, unlike the US, do not traditionally play poker in their cultures. Our competitors are almost exclusively focused on the US and owned by Americans. Through providing the product in their native language, offering training tools such as our Tutorial & Training Room, as well as designing our interface to be easier to use we think we can establish our product as the preferred Poker Room in these markets. In addition, our company has been marketing in over 16 language markets since 1997 and we are not an American company. We have experts from these markets that truly understand what players from France, for example, want in a Poker Room. Many of our players actually report that they enjoy our Room very much because it is not dominated by Americans and they find the people to be extremely interesting. In the Spring, we plan to launch a branding campaign that will establish Everest Poker and its uniquely International personality.
It is refreshing to see a company targeting overseas destinations in this already very crowded arena. Can Everest Poker survive in the ever-thinning air at the peak of the online poker world? Only time will tell.
Please note: The author is not, and will not become an Everest affiliate, and was not paid or given anything by Everest to write this piece.