Multiple differentiators make Deepstacks University a commercial success.
Deepstacks University was born at the World Poker Tour at the Mirage in Las Vegas. During breaks, its founders discussed the lack of quality poker education and realized there was a market for poker training online. In March 2009, Deepstacks began working with Riptide.
Build an Effective Commercial E-Learning Business from Scratch
In a very short time, Deepstacks founders had built strong competencies around poker instruction and contracted with many of the top names in the world of poker, but they lacked the ability to translate all the pieces to an e-learning business model. Namely, instructors needed to author courses and students needed to be able to buy and view the courses. Deepstacks needed an entire business to be built-instructional design system, authorware, courseware, e-commerce, content hosting, learning management system (LMS), and customer service. A successful modern business also needs a worldwide SEO and internet marketing engine, which Riptide was more than able to provide.
Nothing really existed "commercial off the shelf" (COTS) to suit their unique business needs. Considering learning management alone, most LMSs are very unfriendly to a resell model. The learner experience Deepstacks needed was a totally custom approach and it had to be easily repeatable. It was vital that a non-technical person could author the content according to the designed learner process flow.
A poker game is a real-world situation, and traditional video lectures can do a poor job of preparing for real-world situations. It was decided that situational training (or experiential learning) might be the best approach. In situational training, people are put into a situation that could really happen, challenged to react, and then given feedback on their responses. This kind of training is the difference between watching a game and playing it. Activities require participants to be engaged in the process and to interact as they would-allowing trainers to facilitate the real relationships and evolving dynamics of a game. Participants become physically, mentally, and emotionally involved and recognize how to apply lessons to goals. The overall approach in instructional terms, situational training, situational training exercises (STX), and experiential learning all apply to what we referred to as reactive training technology.
Successful & Still in Business Today
Deepstacks University is a custom-built e-learning business that was cash flow positive in record time. It is essentially a Learning Content Management System (LCMS) that integrates directly into Salesforce. This virtual learning environment (VLE) includes experiential learning and scenario-based poker training to students of the game. It delivers easy authoring of interactive modules to a virtual poker table. All this, combined with our cloud technology solutions, made Deepstacks University's online business a success!