Alex Kornilov, CEO at Betegy, talks more about this week’s ground-breaking deal with PokerGO and how the two firms will combine their creativity and vision to further engage and entertain players.
This is an important deal with PokerGO ahead of WSOP – what do you feel your product brings to the poker space that it currently lacks?
Yes, we see this as very important. We’ve been able to find a niche that is no doubt set to be an integral part of the process of the poker entertainment mix, and indeed one that has not yet been adopted by any other innovators. For us, we see this as a unique opportunity to radically transform an as of yet, underserved area that can really excite fans. Anyone who regularly watches poker tournaments will know the use-case for bringing data visualizations to life – with plenty of quiet during games, and little conversation between (most!) players, broadcasters have sorely needed a way to further engage and entertain players.
Looking at what’s already on the table – it’s possible to count cards and the like, especially using RFD, but we go one better – we’re able to present stats and visualizations that can really excite fans. This is especially the case when masks will be on this time, so we’re looking at even more need for something fresh that can keep the action exciting. Our tech means that we can showcase the player, visualize form and bring that data to life – providing visualizations that have never been seen before in poker. Our platform enables us to automate all of this on behalf of the broadcaster, meaning we can truly visualize feeds and bring them to life. It’s incredibly simple to use too, and needs quite literally a click of the button for the slab to appear on screen, for example, along with the player’s bio.
How well received was the content during the Poker Masters tournament? Have you used the feedback from that to develop even more exciting content?
This was the first tournament we did together with PokerGO, and it was an incredibly informative process for us, just like any first run with new products – meaning that you always have to be on your toes to improve, edit and quickly change on the ground, which is based on both ours, and our partners’ feedback – while having a complete overview of the tournament. Of course, the simplicity of the tech that we’ve built means that we can quickly change the product to suit production processes, and what we’ve got in store for this one means that we’ll really be able to charge things up.
Betegy provides a product suite that at this point, is one of the few to truly harness automation – can you take us through the tech and highlight what makes it different?
The tech works like this – we first connect to all possible data sources required to garner everything we need to engage fans, which means that we’re pulling all live data from every database required. This is also connected to the internal databases of PokerGO. Once we’ve taken all possible data needed for content production – this allows us to then use our automated process to create visual assets. Effectively, such a method means that we can steer this system for a video feed enabled for a production environment, which in turn provides an overlay that allows players to view in real time, allowing the broadcaster to fade in our out – meaning our tech is delivered to the production director, who can then pre-approve before queuing in the live flow. This means it is easy, simple and seamless to use. We see this as a great addition to the original production process, which allows an overlay of additional info.
How fast do you expect competing suppliers to catch up with such an offering?
That’s a very interesting question – on the tech side, our ideas and concepts are coming from the world of betting, given this is a key part of our expertise – so any competitor would likely need such skill in their armoury. Alongside that our focus is on multiple data sources visualised live, usually this is not a piece of cake given it is focused on the technical supply of production graphics, so additional expertise for that would be required. On top of that, you’d also need additional layers on top of production that would require live connections to be used. So – if there’s someone who has that expertise across three domains – then potentially we’ll see someone catch up fast enough!
Is poker uniquely suited to driving fan engagement, as they have more insight than players for large parts of the game?
I would say in many aspects, yes – definitely so. It’s very exciting that you can see what everyone has and why the player bluffs, making it more social than a sports game, because you see all the aspects of human nature that poker brings out, rational thinking and the like – which is why the feed for all poker games are delayed by 30 mins, preventing the communication of opposing cards to players, or to put it more bluntly, cheating. Such tech can sit alongside that, ensuring added insight that can really bring the story to life, and provide the added entertainment dimension that we see as being sorely needed.
In terms of wider engagement across broadcasting in the US – how much potential is there for future innovation and how will you look to further differentiate what you can bring to the table?
Broadcasting has multiple chunks – each of those chunks mean that it has to be improved in a way for multiple aspects of entertainment – team Betegy is able to provide real time data that can make that experience more engaging.
There are multiple ways to this – such as a second experience with overlay, as well as data visualization on smartphones. As a result, I really see microbetting having the chance to catch up fast in the US. Look at in-play, such as baseball, when you can bet on instant action. Like Europe, where we see things like ‘goal in the next five minutes’ – solutions are needed for poker, where the stream is delayed, but there are certainly ways to merge and create new concepts.
Work can also be done to change the way events are shot and produced – I’m a big fan of the work ShotTracker is doing for example, where the tech means you can track players and harness an aerial view of heatmaps that can provide context above just a camera feed.
NFL’s refcam is another great example – which can be brought to soccer, enabling viewers to see the exact same action referees do. Looking at F1 too – and we can see what they’re doing there allows you to switch screens between each driver cam and the like – and there’s so much advanced graphics and projections, which can allow you to do so many things to further engage. Stats, lap times, you name it – it’s all on tap.
This allows production crews to bring it to life more than ever before, and as close to live as it can be. We can help our partners with all of this, making true stories and visualization out of sporting events to boost betting revenue.
What can we expect in the future between PokerGO and Betegy?
Of course, first off, we’re all excited about the upcoming WSOP tournament, which is the biggest in the world – PokerGO has multiple channels, shows and tournaments – and I believe we’ll scale particularly well in their presence and can provide multiple content and data visualizations. As to future plans, we’ll be sure to announce that soon enough.
Last but not least, is this the latest in a string of exciting deals in America for Betegy?
For sure! Especially during G2E week – although I wish we could say more, not only are we announcing our latest co-operations, but also a super new product in our pipeline, which we’ll be using the same core technology to apply it to a completely new sector. What we’re bringing to the table here is truly exciting – and I’m sure it will turn plenty of heads. Again, I wish I could say more – but for now, stay tuned!