Bridging the gap between online gambling and online gaming.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Free Chips and Poker Den Access.

Im sure you all have noticed the email asking you to pass on the Poker Sharks message in an attempt to get your friends to have a go at Poker Sharks. Well im very pleased to say many of you did pass on the message and over the last week I've handed out more than 1 million free Chips. No Poker Den accesses have been awarded yet but a few people are very close.

Thanks to everyone that helped spread the word, the best recommendation we can get is from you guys so cheers for spending 2 minutes to help.

I'll also take this opportunity to say hello and welcome to the new players that have arrived, so; hello and welcome, we all hope you're enjoying the game and work your way up the rankings!

On another issue we're currently updating a few things on the site, mainly to do with Overtime in both jobs, its partially fixed now but needs more work.

There will be further news on this once I have it, thanks again people.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Facts and Figures

I've had many a request to publish the stats and figures that are involved when playing Poker Sharks and using this Blog is the perfect opportunity to do exactly that. So, due to popular demand is everything you need to know about Poker Sharks (pay attention =)...

(This is an addition to the Tutorial and assumes you have read it.....hint hint)

(oh yeah, to see the images properly click them and you'll have a bigger version thats nice and easy to read so you dont have to squint, click 'back' to return here.)


Each time you play a Poker Skill game not only do you win Poker Skill that adds to your Value you also earn 'Level Points'. Once you have won enough Level points you move up a Level. Each level enables you to win 10% more Poker Skill each time you play a Poker Skill game.

Your Level also affects the amounts won/lost in Challenging like so:

- When you get Challenged you lose the amount of Poker Skill that relates to YOUR Level.

- When you Challenge another player you win the amount of poker Skill that relates to THEIR level.


You can enter one Tournament per day and each time you win one you're allowed to progress up to the next one.

As you progress the Buyins get bigger and bigger, and so do the payouts!

The payouts arent always the same if your Tournament wasnt full (10 players). The payouts are worked out like this (the % won comes from the all the buyins added together):

The WPSS also has very different Payouts depending on how many players enter. The biggest payout has been well over 100,000 Chips which isnt bad for a 1,000 chip buyin. You also are awarded with a Sharks Tooth to display next to your Shark if you win the WPSS (mainly for bragging rights).


Each day you get the chance for a pay rise, heres the jobs available and the pay increases.

Overtime can be played every day once you reach the final job and you're able to add upto 200 more chips a day to your pay packet in the main game and upto 500 in the Poker Den.


Houses dont come with added Poker Skill like the items do, but the bulk Value makes them a valuable asset:


These can really boost any players score very quickly as they're all loaded with free Poker Skill. Be careful which ones you buy to maximise the Poker Skills you want to improve. Also beware that these tastey items can be stolen during a Challenge if you lose 4-0.

As always the Poker Den holds some Season Winning items for Players that have access. Only Poker Den members can win these items in Challenges.


Often overlooked the Diet could be the key to success. The initial cost to research how to cook these culinary delights is high, but over time it more than pays for itself. Each food takes an increasing amount of time to research meaning players that neglect thier diet may never get to taste those much acclaimed Penguin Pancakes!

So there you go, loads of info for everyone to digest. No doubt i've missed something somewhere so im sure ill be adding some more facts and figures soon, this should keep you going for now though!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Poker Sharks History

Should have started something like this a year ago, but better late than never, so here goes...

It was nearly a year ago (Early 2005) that I dreamt up the concept for Poker Sharks, a few scribbles on a piece of paper and a lot of hard work later the game was born, here's how I did it:

I was at a time in my life where I could either get a flash car or invest in something I believed in and could potentially make some money. It didn't take me long to sacrifice the flash car in search of my dream idea.

Having played many online games and never being quite happy with how they worked I decided to design my very own online game. All I needed was an idea, something to base the whole game on, but what?

Over the last 12 months there has been a massive interest in Poker and I am well and truly caught up in it too! So there was the base that I needed....POKER!

Now I needed to make it unique, there are a million and one sites out there where you can play poker, so why would anyone play mine? Besides, I didn’t want to set up a gambling site, the whole point was to provide a fun service for people for as cheap as possible and get as many people playing as I could - not make money for the sake of it. I was searching around various poker forums for inspiration when I saw the phrase 'poker shark' being used. Poker Shark? Hmmm, could I turn this well known poker phrase into a game? I was gonna have a go!

Now I had my character and a subject, I had a site to design. Instantly I got to work scribbling everything that came into my head. Some were gold others not so precious but every idea was something, and it was better than nothing. For days i couldn't sleep as my mind would be buzzing with new ideas and I had to write EVERYTHING down just incase i forgot in the morning.

Eventually after many Tuna Trifles and Penguin Pancakes I had a 50-page document that encompassed my game. Poker Sharks had a fully-grown specification! My design was an idea of each player having their own baby Poker Shark. The player can buy him food, a house, gadgets and train his Poker Skills to make him the best around. Each day they can enter him into Tournaments where he will play against other Poker Sharks and win more chips. Each player can also Challenge another Shark to a one-on-one showdown to see who has the best Poker Skills combined with their luck for the day.

The main parts of the game are designed to be open for all players totally for free. There is a Poker Den that costs £4 to enter that has bonus features that will give players the edge over non-paying players, but it wouldnt spoil the fun for the non-paying members. I knew if the game was good enough then people will part with some cash and if it wasnt they wouldnt. I wanted players to play Poker Sharks for as long as they wanted for free, and then, if they felt it was worth it, to pay for Poker Den access.

Then a moment of panic - a web address! I didn’t have one, I typed in, and yep, as I thought it was taken - without pausing I changed it too - SUCCESS! It was available and I brought it there and then. Panic averted.

With this 50-page document in hand I pondered how to make the game a reality. I have a degree in Computer Science and have some web design experience but not enough to take on a task as ambitious as this. I was going to need outside help. I began trawling the web for web designers and getting quotes. I approached dozens of companies with quotes ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous (tip for anyone wanting a web site done - shop around, it will save you a packet!).

Not only did I want a professional, slick, perfect in every way website I also wanted fantastic looking Poker Sharks. Off I went to go and find a cartoonist that could bring my Poker Sharks to life. Didn’t take long until I stumbled across a company called Curtoons who have a great portfolio proving thy were more than up for the job. Within a few weeks I had the finished designs and I couldn’t have been happier, now all I needed was a website...

After much deliberation I decided on a company called Small Oranges who are based in Scotland in the UK. They ticked every box, from price to attitude to personality.

Within the month they were working hard on turning my design into a living, breathing web site. Just 4 weeks in and the bulk of the site was done. My rough sketches were coming to life and it looked better than I ever imagined. It wasn’t long until the site could go live, I couldn’t believe that people could be playing in a matter of days.

I took a step back and was determined not to rush things. As much as I wanted things to happen yesterday I knew if I rushed it could end in mistakes that would just annoy my future players. Which is why I decided to have 1 month of beta testing before the game started seriously.

Then it began all began in July 2005 and Poker Sharks was available for people to play. The site was going to be live for 1 month to iron out bugs and errors and the entire site was free. I didn’t want to accept a penny if the site didn’t work perfectly.

The site attracted lots of attention and feedback was excellent. It seemed my idea wasn't just good in my head as more and more players signed up to play. Of course there was a different problem each day and the game seemed to have a mind of its own at times! In one month we had over 100 players, a modest number but not bad at all. Soon Beta testing was over and we were ready to go live.... properly.

SEPTEMBER 7TH 2005 was the start of Season 1 in Poker Sharks. Straight away virtually everyone from beta testing came back to play which was a massive boost. The fact players wanted to come back proved the game was fun to play and we were one step closer to having a successful game.

On virtually the same day another Poker site was launched, they had a marketing budget of £7million just for the first year. Attracting players was going to be tough with competition like this!

I set aside a few pounds a day for advertising which was bringing in a steady flow of around 10-20 players each day. I was always looking for good value advertising and found a few opportunities that increased signups to 50+ per day. We even won Cool Site of The Day for December 9th, which also boosted signups for a few days!

My aim was 1000 players for Season 1, which was going to last for 3-4 months. 2 months in we hit the 1000 and it was growing steadily. It was looking good.

The main problem now was keeping the site running fast. Interest had grown so much that the site was running slow at certain times of the day. A few emails to our hosts magically sorted that problem - a free upgrade is always nice.

I'd had numerous requests from players for a live poker game so I agreed and it was arranged to meet at another poker site and have a game of poker against each other. Just for Poker Shark chips of course, not real money. A few of the more dedicated players turned up and we had a good game. (It was clear an actual Poker Room would be a huge asset to the Poker Sharks, I really wanted to add it.... yesterday!)

Season 1 came to a close and it was time to make a few last changes. The overall game play and clarity of what to do for new players were all improved in a week of updates, and then there was nothing left to do but to launch Season 2...

20th December 2005 - March 28th 2006 is Season 2. Hundreds of players from Season 1 re-joined and many more were paying their Poker Den Membership which was vastly helping keep the site live and a bit of advertising on the go.

And then we arrive at the present day. Season 2 is running and the signups continue to flow in. The hope of a Poker Room where players can play poker for their play Poker Shark chips is still much alive. The design has been done but as for actual web pages we're still at zero.

If popularity keeps increasing then Poker Sharks is only at the beginning, I have many additions I would love to add and im hoping they too will come true just as Poker Sharks has so far!