After a relaxing weekend away, which included an epic bike-ride and too much food + drink – I just had my first look at the new Party Poker client. Looking beyond the rather big cosmetic updates there are some notable additions, and a big focus on ‘gamification’ too. My thoughts on that are below, along with some smaller updates from 888, Carbon and Full Tilt.
Party New Client
I like the new look, and I like what Party are trying to do with their direction too. Before we get that far I want to point out that, for me at least, they have built this new version on top of the existing technology rather than completely started from scratch. It just ‘feels’ too familiar, particularly playing hands… Nothing wrong with that of course, they had a working model for many years now –no need to reinvent the wheel… guess I wanted to make sure that the ‘newness’ was in context!
Nothing wrong with the new grey / black / orange look I guess – but that does not make for real innovation. So, what is actually new:
- First the tables can be grouped, you just click a ‘join’ button next to your preferred size and buy-in level and you get taken to the first game with a free seat. Great for a quick sit, though this goes against much of the advice about selecting tables based on finding profitable games…
- Second, there are now ‘missions’ included in the client. These range from the mundane (sit in a real money game is the first one) through to difficult, like cashing in 4 sit n goes in a row or winning a tournament. I’m positive on this gamification angle, it will add a new twist for recreational players. Not too sure that the rewards (freeroll entries) are good enough to sustain peoples interest in missions for long though… though maybe rewards for these are a work in progress.
- Achievement Badges: These already work well at Stars (VIP Levels), Full Tilt and Carbon. Some people like them… Personally I do not like giving away any more information than is necessary to people I am trying to win money from. Understand that people like these though.
- Social Aspects: You can connect with friends, I already have one in the system, no idea who it is, but hey, I have a friend so life can’t be all bad! On a more serious note, this could be great for loose groups, not sure exactly what they want to achieve for individuals though. Can not imagine logging onto Party Poker to check my messages in the same way I do with Facebook or Twitter!
Alright, I get that Party are aiming an galvanizing a brand new generation of ‘fun’ poker players, and sincerely hope that they succeed – after all, the long term viability of the game depends on it. What I am not sure about is whether this is really ‘all new’ or whether it’s the same old software, with an (admittedly nice) lick of paint on the top, and some kind of odd social features which adults will probably be a little confused by… only time will tell!
(Edit: As if to prove a point that this is not really 'new', that annoying as hell 'Due to an extended period of inactivity...' pop up just appeared! Grrrr. I wonder if you can reach an achievement level where this can be got rid of??!? )
If you want to check out Party Poker, then I’d appreciate you using my Party Poker bonus code SNGPLANET to claim your initial 100% matched bonus – these referrals are what enables me to keep this site up and running!
I will update my main review with the new information tomorrow.
Other News #1 – 888 Now Have Mobile Tournaments
A little late with this one, so thanks to Greg for the reminder! 888 Poker, who are just about the only site managing to put in significant growth figures this year have added Tournaments to their Mobile version. Now you have no excuse for missing what I have rated as the softest MTTs online!
Other News #2 – 3 Events Running Right Now!
In case you missed it, there are 3 poker events running at the moment. US Players can enjoy Poker Maximus over at Carbon Poker (this one is getting bigger and better all the time). There is the World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) at PokerStars.com with a mind-bending $40 million in guaranteed prizes. For smaller stakes players don’t miss the mini-FTOPS at Full Tilt Poker…. All 3 of these started yesterday, September 8th, and are going on though the month.
That’s all for the moment, GL at the tables,
Submitted by Planet Mark on Mon, 09/09/2013 - 14:12