In 2010 Full Tilt Poker developed and launched Rush Poker, and prior to the site going offline in the wake of the Black Friday indictments the patent-pending Rush Poker was the envy of the poker world. But once Full Tilt Poker’s legal threats against anyone developing their own version of Rush Poker were seen as all bark and no bite the floodgates opened and site after site has been launching their own version of the popular game, with the latest addition being the OnGame Network’s Strobe Poker.
Strobe Poker joins Full Tilt Poker’s Rush Poker, PokerStars Zoom Poker, Party Poker’s FastForward Poker, the Microgaming Network’s Blaze Poker, and the iPoker Network’s Sprint Poker.
Rush Poker, and the versions that have spawned at other online poker rooms, is what is known as “Fast-Fold” poker. Fast-Fold Poker is unlike a typical poker game where a player joins a table and chooses a seat; instead a player joins a pool of players that are willing to choose just the game and stakes they will compete in. Once a player folds their hand, or takes their hand to showdown, that player is immediately transported to a new table against other players from the player pool.
What makes Fast-Fold Poker so innovative is that it’s beneficial to both the player and to the poker site. The player gets to play more hands and has less down-time in between decisions –which makes the game far more exciting and fast-paced. On the other side of the coin, the site deals far more hands per hour than they would at a standard table which allows them to collect more rake in the same amount of time.
Honestly, I really like the idea of Fast-Fold Poker and routinely played at the Rush Poker tables in 2010 and early 2011, but I also saw the problems these games were bringing to poker; namely the end of any semblance that online poker and live poker are the same thing; the two versions of the game may share the same rules, but the skills needed to survive and win in the two worlds do not overlap all that much anymore.
So what has Rush Poker done to the world of online poker? It has basically created a Frankenstein monster that can no longer be contained in my opinion. It was crazy enough when online poker sites started upgrading their software to appeal to mass-multi-tablers, letting players compete in 16 or even 24 games at the same time, but now with the advent of Fast-Fold Poker players can put in even more hands and have far fewer tables open to do it. Online grinders have basically found their Crystal Meth, and once you get used to decision, after decision, after decision, with zero down-time it seems unlikely that players will suddenly be content with playing a mere eight-tables at a time!
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