Zynga Poker Capitalizes On Facebook Popularity

Zynga, the game company best known for bestowing Farmville on millions of bored Facebook users, is also gaining recognition for their Facebook poker game, Texas Hold’em Poker. This game also boasts a player count that’s in the millions, and just a week ago it received even more press when it was revealed that a hacker had stolen millions of dollars in virtual chips. How could virtual chips be worth so much real money, many people wondered.

As it turns out, Zynga’s Texas Hold’em Poker game is worth far more than millions. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the game’s owners are actually estimated to be worth around $7 billion. Unlike popular poker sites like PokerStars and UB.com, Zynga doesn’t even offer real money games. Instead, players have to purchase chips through Zynga. The chip purchasing process is a one-way street for Zynga, meaning that they don’t buy chips back, but that hasn’t stopped players from selling their own stacks for real cash.

While the $7 to $9 billion estimated value applies to the whole Zynga company, as their second largest game it’s fair to assume that Texas Hold’em Poker is bringing in a large chunk of that money. In fact, the game has become so popular on Facebook (and MySpace, Yahoo, iPhone and Android) that the marketing geniuses over at Zynga have decided to expand the game’s influence even farther. Having already mastered the mobile and online poker formats in just three short years, Zynga recently announced that they’re going to be hosting a live poker convention in March of this year.

The first PokerCon event will cover a mere two days, running from March 18-19, 2011, but all details indicate that Zynga is doing this gig in style. It will be hosted at the home of the new Federated Sports and Gaming poker league, the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. To give their game more credibility among real poker players, Zynga’s PokerCon event will be rife with pro endorsements. Not only that, but it will feature a celebrity tournament as well as an open poker free-for-all with a $100,000-plus guaranteed prize pool. The timing is perfect, coming right on the heels of the National Heads-Up Poker Championship and running simultaneous to the Wynn Classic; both of which are also taking place in Las Vegas.

PokerCon tickets have been on sale for a little over a week, and at $125 a piece they’re moving surprisingly fast. Of course the steep ticket price also includes a tournament entry and access to all of the convention’s events including a pro-instructed poker school.

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