A POKER HOAX! SaveMyFinger.com just a marketing ploy

SaveMyFinger.com, a website launched to "save" an online poker player's right index finger, has been announced as a marketing experiment. As reported in a previous PokerListings.com article, alleged poker player, "Carl Valentine," launched SaveMyFinger.com in late 2005 as part of a bet that he would send 2 million unique visitors to an individual website by April 18, 2006, or else have his right index finger chopped off.

As the mid-April deadline is drawing near, PokerListings.com visited SaveMyFinger.com to get an update on Valentine's progress, only to discover that Carl Valentine is not only a pseudo-name, but the entire website was actually an experiment in viral marketing, a marketing method aimed at exploiting pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness.

Said the webmaster, who does not reveal his true identity, "For those of you familiar with SaveMyFinger.com, you know there was a storyline on the homepage about a guy by the named of Carl Valentine who was supposed to risk his finger in a poker game. Well, I don't think it is a big surprise to most that this of course was just a funny story.

"The intention of this website was to literally do an experiment with Viral Marketing. And I'm happy to announce that the experiment worked...My point in this experiment was to prove that it IS possible to open up a website and within days, if not hours, be receiving massive traffic.

"Now, why the crazy story about saving someone's finger you may ask? Quite simple: In order to be successful in this experiment I had to come up with something that was either extremely funny or downright outrageous. I think it is clear what category this website fell into."

A total of 1,601,255 unique visitors are listed as having visited SaveMyFinger.com since it launched on December 12, 2005.

Players interested in giving the webmaster hell for arousing their sympathy by pulling this ridiculous prank may find him at PokerRoom.com under the player name "cvalentine." If this too turns out to be a bogus identity, he lists Carl@SaveMyFinger.com as his email address.

For details on the initial launch of the website, please see Player Could Lose Finger in Internet Poker Match.

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