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We recently caught up with Anthony Martino of PokerNations to learn a little more about the newest social network for poker players to hit the scene. We announced our new partnership with PokerNations last week and we think it is a great addition to the TPT family and weekly/monthly prize package!

So we sent our fearless reporter @Street3 out on the road to PokerNations headquarters outside Boston, MA to see what makes Anthony and his social network tick:

Can you tell us a little bit about PokerNations, what prompted you to start it and where do you hope to see it in the future?

A few years ago it just dawned on me “why hasn’t anyone done a Facebook/Myspace for poker players?” I then looked around and saw that it had been done, numerous times actually, but no one had really succeeded with it. So I analyzed other attempts at building this sort of thing, and learned what they were doing right and what they did wrong. Then I built my own plan and partnered up with some folks in the industry to make it a reality.

I’m confident in the future that PokerNations can be one of the most heavily trafficked poker portals on the planet, providing a safe place for poker fans to discuss live and online games, strategy, news and more without having to worry they’ll be insulted by trolls that frequent other online communities. We already have visitors from 120 separate countries and drive over 1 million page views/month, and we’ve been open less than half a year. So really, the sky is the limit here, with millions of fans across the globe waiting to be connected.

You‘ve recently become involved in the Twitter Poker Tour (TPT), how did this relationship come about?

I had played a number of events on the TPT and really enjoyed the passion of the people behind it as well as the players competing. Since our organizations already shared a number of members between our sites, I felt it only made sense to team up and provide some added benefits for the TPT players from our end.

What kind of “partnership” between the TPT and Pokernations can we look forward to in the future?

There’s been a ton of cross-promotional efforts between our organizations that has been beneficial to both. The TPT has helped to get the word out about our network and giveaways, and we’ve seen a number of new members join our community from your ranks. Likewise, our membership loves to compete in online events, so we’re more than happy to promote upcoming TPT tournaments and get our members participating in the league format.

I love the giveaways and promotions of PokerNations and I’m excited about the 2010 Vegas Experience Giveaway! Can you tell us what the winner can look forward to?

Yes, rather than provide members poker chips that can be used in a store, we instead setup our system with giveaways. So members can enter multiple times to win prizes we put up as well as those from 3rd party sponsors. We’ve awarded everything from poker books, jewelry, card guards, sunglasses, poker software, etc. to a recently awarded $3,500 package to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas!

Our 2010 PokerNations Vegas Experience is the big giveaway for this year. The winner receives entry into a $1500 WSOP event, plus a super-satellite entry to win their way into the $10,000 Main Event. On top of this they’ll enjoy free accommodations near the strip in a private home for a week, where myself and pro player/author/coach Eric “Rizen” Lynch will help prepare them with private lessons. There’s also a few other goodies in the package, including $1,000 cash for travel & expenses.

Why did you choose to give away such a nice prize package?

I’ve seen so many companies offer up a seat into the WSOP Main Event. But at the end of the day, that’s like giving most folks a lottery ticket. The vast majority of players don’t have the experience or skill to succeed in a deepstacked multi-day tournament. So we wanted to provide a more responsible prize package, with a training element included (i.e. teach you to fish rather than give you a fish).

Let’s say i just signed up for Pokernations, how would i enter this giveaway?

We list all current giveaways at www.pokernations.com/giveaways.php and you can access each giveaways entry page from there to use your poker chips to enter multiple times. Plus, it’s easy to earn more chips for entries, as almost all site activities reward you with more chips (adding friends, uploading photos, posting blogs, etc).

What type of PokerNations clothing will the winner be required to wear? Will this just be required during the $1500 WSOP tournament and/or the Super Satellite?

I was trying to enforce a PokerNations branded banana hammock, but was overruled on that one. In all seriousness, we’ll provide PokerNations shirts and hats to be worn during the $1500 event and the super satellite. It’s a small price to pay for such an awesome prize, and you’ll stand out from the crowd of sameness that exists with all the Stars and Tilt logos everyone and their brother is wearing (and dammit, our logo is awesome).

Can we look forward to even bigger giveaways as PokerNations continues to grow?

Absolutely. I’m a big proponent in giving back to our community. Without our members our network is nothing. So we love to provide more giveaways and rewards to our loyal members who make our site possible!

Thank you Anthony for taking the time to answer our questions! We highly encourage all of our players to head over to PokerNations and signup for a free account. And don’t forget to enter the 2010 PokerNations Vegas Experience!