If you’ve been following the early stages of 4Poker, the online poker site founded by high roller poker professional Bryn Kenney, then you’ll know that it went live with a self-proclaimed ‘rolling beta’ last month. It opened the doors to players globally (where their licenses apply) to try out cash games and sit-and-gos, without too much fanfare.
We’ve opened our doors wider across the globe giving even more players the chance to join our rolling beta. Bag your favourite username, try the 4Poker software and give your feedback on the 4Forum as we build towards full launch.
— 4Poker (@WeAre4Poker) March 23, 2023
It’s had very modest traffic, as would be expected for a quiet beta testing that was building towards a tournament launch. And that’s where they appear to be right now. Just a couple days ago, 4Poker hosted its first ever MTTs: two freerolls and a $11 buy-in $500 guaranteed event. Then more of the same on Friday with a slightly larger $55 buy-in with a $1k guarantee. Small events.
Tournament at @WeAre4Poker are now just days away. We will announce our first high roller event soon! Until then, I’m sure grateful for everyone who has come to the site already and to say thank you, we’re giving away cash every day in April at our 4pm ET happy hour. pic.twitter.com/VI7qYDgDcQ
— Bryn Kenney (@BrynKenney) April 3, 2023
True to their word, 4Poker then announces that today they’ll be running $1k and $5k buy-in tournaments with $75k and $200k guarantees. It’s quite a statement that they’re laying big buy-ins on their first weekend tourneys. By all accounts, it would seem like like Bryn and 4Poker are putting their money where their mouth is.
These big online buy-ins are taking place today, on Sunday starting at 1pm and 1:30pm Eastern Time. It’ll be interesting to see whether they’ll hit their guarantees or if, by contrast, there will be large overlays. A lot of people have been quietly waiting to see what 4Poker can do. Will they challenge the market leaders? How long it will take 4Poker to build up momentum? Will it live up to its public promises about low rake, high rewards and no deposit fees?
Beyond Bryn: A Roster of Experienced, Professional Talent
Time will tell on those questions, but if you look closely, you can see what folks at the company have been up to behind the scenes. They appear to have built a very experienced team, leaning heavily upon former PokerStars staff based in the Isle of Man, to create a poker site that has every chance of making an impact. The most notable PokerStars alumni are the well-respected duo of Heath Cram as COO and Serge Bourenkov as CTO, but there are also a number of key personnel installed across poker room management, payments, and marketing departments. At least, there seem to be if my LinkedIn searches are anything to go by.
— 4Poker (@WeAre4Poker) August 1, 2022
Moreover, 4Poker’s YouTube Channel has proven quite instructive as to what players and the industry as a whole can expect from them. Over the past half year they’ve released a dozen excellent, well produced videos totaling about half an hour in length laying the groundwork for what the company is all about (modus operandi), how the 4Poker online poker site will relate to and protect player security and game integrity, and a number of other interesting topics.
As our longtime fans and followers know, we tend to stay far away from any sorts of controversies, scandals, and other gossip happening in the poker world; that’s not what Cardplayer Lifestyle is about. As such, up until now — in the wake of the accusations from Martin Zamani — we haven’t dedicated any space to saying much about 4Poker. Moreover, 4Poker still felt like a faraway concept. It was a train down the track that you could see but not really hear. That train is now a lot closer.
Wherever you stand on Bryn Kenney as far as his on-felt poker exploits, from a business side of things he seems to have set 4Poker up for success based on the management team he’s assembled and their combined years of professionalism, expertise, and execution in the online poker sphere. The 4Poker site is regulated in Malta and they’re working on getting approval from the Isle of Man as well; those are gaming operations licenses that are hard earned.
Bryn’s challenge is of course to try and win over the high stakes community — but even if he should manage to do so, that community alone cannot sustain an online poker site. For 4Poker to succeed, it needs to be much bigger and reach far further.
Will they succeed? Time will tell, of course. Let’s see what happens, and judge the 4Poker team by their actions over the weeks and months to come.