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Are On Demand Tournaments A Game-changer?

The US-friendly Winning Poker Network is set to roll out a new update that could change the way players register for online poker tournaments as we know it. The new format, dubbed “On Demand” tournaments, begin when a specific number of players registers (much like a Sit & Go tournament) but will also feature a late-registration period allowing more players to enter (like a multi-table tournament). The question is: Will this be just another little-used format, or will “On Demand” tournaments be a real game-changer for online poker?

On Demand-style tournaments are already available at Full Tilt Poker, where they have received some pretty positive feedback so far, and along with the Winning Poker Network, the iPoker Network also has plans to add the structure to their tournament lobby.

In a press release issued this week, Americas Cardroom spokesperson Michael Harris stated:

On Demand Tournaments are designed for every player who wants to experience the heated competition of a large-scale multi-table tournament without having to wait for a scheduled start time. We know they're going to be hugely popular."

Black Chip Poker spokesman Robert Gray had this to say about “On Demand” tournaments:

We’re constantly striving to improve the performance of the poker client to make the best playing experience possible. This latest release adds another tournament option along with features that will make multi-tabling and multi-tasking easier for our players.”

The Winning Poker Network is comprised of a number of US-friendly online poker rooms, with the flagship sites on the network being Americas Cardroom and Black Chip Poker. “On Demand” tournaments will be part of a larger software overhaul that will also include the addition of preferred seating and a highlighting option in the lobby that allows players to identify tournaments thy are registered for.

A New Era or Just Another Structure to Choose From

It’s hard to innovate. It’s even harder to innovate when the product you are looking to alter is as long-lived and simplistic (from a game-play point of view) as poker is. Even with the rise of Internet poker, where the game is no longer constrained by physical space or location boundaries there has been very little in the way of real innovation in poker.

Sure, there have been structural changes, such as late registrations, multi-entries, turbos, and so on, but the only thing that really comes to mind when I think “game-changer” is Full Tilt Poker’s Rush Poker. To me, “On Demand” tournaments fall somewhere in the middle: While on its surface it’s merely a structural change, “On Demand” tournaments are altogether different from what we are used to seeing.

For more updates on around the online poker world check out our News Section for Titan Poker.

 

PokerStars Software Upgrade Rolls Out This Week

After sending out applications for Alpha-testers for their new software product a couple of weeks ago it appears PokerStars is ready to unveil the first part of their upgraded PokerStars 7 client to a wider audience this week. According to a post on the 2+2 poker forum, PokerStars customers can expect to see a number of minor upgrades, while PokerStars 7 will offer even more upgrades and will deal with one of the most annoying problems in poker: Ratholing.

Before I get into the ratholing and the Alpha 7 part of the software update let’s first take a look at the upgrades that will be part of this week’s software update from the 2+2 post:

Upgrades and Bug Fixes

  • Mac Cocoa API
  • Extra Bet Slider Button
  • We believe we've identified and fixed a rare occurrence that sometimes prevented starting SNGs from opening when multi-tabling.
  • Tournaments will now correctly auto-close a table that breaks when the player busts.
  • Changed the ante sound triggers in the beta sound set. This sound will now play less often. We look to enable the new sounds by default in early October, while keeping the option to use the old ones.
  • BOOM! hand replays can now be watched using mobile devices, via boomplayer.com
  • Few more fixes and improvements.

While there is nothing spectacular or revolutionary in this week’s update, it will fix a number of bugs in the software, and should act as a harbinger for PokerStars 7, which will be a more comprehensive, and from the looks of it, far more innovative upgrade to the poker client.

PokerStars 7 Alpha

PokerStars 7 will apparently feature, among other things, the following enhancements:

  • Quick Seat lobby
  • Favorites
  • New Main Lobby filters
  • The new App Bar

Once the Alpha testers are finished with their trial run, and PokerStars can work out any bugs or implement any suggestions they received, a beta-testing phase is expected to take place.

Another key aspect of PokerStars 7 will be the attempted elimination of “Ratholing” at the PokerStars tables. Ratholing is when a player (usually a short-stacker) wins a few pots and then leaves the game, joining another table and begins the process all over again.

According to the post on 2+2:

We are in the final stages of testing the new ratholing restrictions that were agreed upon during player meetings. If we do not find any problems they will be enabled this month.

Looking where to play online poker? Check out the top poker rooms today on our Best Poker Rooms list.

Multiple Sites Update Online Poker Software

It’s been quite a while since I can remember this amount of software upgrades, sites launching, and new clients being released in the world of online poker. And as you’ll see below, it hasn’t simply been a matter of fixing a small bug, or improving tournament filters; these sites have been making major changes and some major launches of new software.

Delaware launches free-play software

Delaware is hoping to get their real-money online gaming up and running by the end of the year (the state is hopeful for an October launch) and the first step was apparently to launch a free-play site, which the state Lottery did recently. It should be noted that the social media free-play games are not designed by the partnership of Scientific Games and 888, which was chosen by Delaware to provide real-money games in the state.

http://pokerfuse.com/news/industry/delaware-launches-freeplay-online-gaming-real-money-games-coming-in-october-28-08/

Ultimate Poker 2.0 revealed

With the expected launch of their first rival, WSOP.com, Ultimate Poker has unrolled their version 2.0 client, which is a major upgrade over their initial software. Version 2.0 has an enhanced GUI (from sleeker avatars to crisper graphics and colors) a number of new features, and most importantly a VIP Rewards Program.

http://www.onlinepokerreport.com/8162/ultimate-poker-launches-version-2-0/

Party Poker Software launches

The recently launched Party Poker software is supposed to be a game-changer for the site but so far the new client has left the poker community nonplussed and wondering what the big deal was. The new software has an emphasis on recreational players, which continues the company’s recent trajectory towards what Bodog calls the “Recreational Player Model.”

http://pokernewsboy.com/online-poker-news/can-party-poker-resuscitate-its-online-poker-brand/14337

PokerStars seeks alpha-testers for new software

With their competitors making some serious renovations to their poker clients it was only a matter of time before PokerStars decided to follow suit and make sure they still have the best iPoker product in the industry. While the update will not be a major overhaul like the sites mentioned above, the PokerStars client doesn’t really need one and is widely considered the best in the industry.

http://pokerfuse.com/news/poker-room-news/pokerstars-7-goes-into-alpha-test-30-08/

iPoker Mobile

iPoker was a very late arriver to the ranks of online poker rooms with mobile offerings, but their recent release should allow them to compete on equal footing with the likes of Party Poker, Full Tilt Poker, and 888.

http://pokerfuse.com/news/poker-room-news/ipokers-new-mobile-friendly-html5-client-rolls-out-to-select-skins-03-09/

Carbon Poker mobile

Carbon Poker is the first US online poker room to launch a mobile client in the post-Black Friday, so it will be interesting to see what type of interest there is.

http://pokerfuse.com/news/poker-room-news/carbonpoker-goes-live-with-first-mobile-poker-app-for-us-players-06-09/

For Titan Poker software updates please visit this link:

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WCOOP and Mini-FTOPS Highlight Tournament Schedules

It’s a very busy time for online poker tournaments, as several tournament series kicked off this past weekend, not to mention the usual slate of big weekend action that can be found across the Internet. The biggest tournaments for the next three weeks will be found on PokerStars (as they always are, but for the next three weeks they will be even bigger than usual) as the 2013 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) got underway this past weekend.

In addition to the WCOOP, PokerStars sister site Full Tilt Poker will be hosting the Mini-Full Tilt Online poker Series (Mini-FTOPS) over the next couple of weeks, and over on the Merge Gaming Network the Poker Maximus VI tournament series also got started on Sunday –the Poker Maximus is the only one of the three open to US players.

WCOOP Fever Already Gripping the Poker World

The numbers are a bit mind boggling: 66 tournaments over three weeks, with at least $40 million in prize-pools waiting to be won. This can only mean that the PokerStars WCOOP has returned. The 2013 WCOOP is looking like it will be one of the biggest in the series history (which is no small order) and as always there will be a player of the Series leader-board where players will compete for even more cash and prizes.

In addition to the huge events that will be taking place the WCOOP will also be running countless warm-up and second-chance tournaments, as well as their usual daily and weekly tournaments.

For more information on the PokerStars WCOOP you can visit the following website: http://www.pokerstars.com/wcoop/

Full Tilt’s $3 million Mini-FTOPS

The Mini-FTOPS is exactly what you would expect it to be; an exact replica of the recently concluded FTOPS XXIII with the exception that the buy-in for every tournament has been slashed by a factor of 10. The series will feature 39 events with $3 million in guaranteed prize money.

The Main Event of the Mini-FTOPS will be a $70+$5 buy-in No limit Holdem tournament and will take place on September 29th.

You can learn more about the Mini-FTOPS at the following website: http://www.fulltiltpoker.com/promotions/ftops/mini

Poker Maximus at the Merge Gaming Network

85 Poker Maximus VI tournaments will be held on the Merge Gaming Network in the coming 15 days with $3 million in guaranteed prize-money on the line. The tournament are pretty affordable, with some featuring buy-ins s low as $1.10, but the Main Event will be a bit more exclusive, with a $530 buy-in.

You can learn more about the Poker Maximus series at the following website: http://www.carbonpoker.ag/promotions/poker-maximus-vi.html

Get the latest news and schedules of Titan Poker tournaments here!

Ultimate Poker Adds Tom Marchese to Pro Roster

With the release of Ultimate Poker 2.0, and its new VIP Rewards Program “Color Up,” the only licensed real-money online poker site in the US is once again in the poker headlines, this time for adding another player to its list of sponsored poker pros, 2010 Cardplayer Magazine Player of the Year Tom Marchese. The site now boasts well over a dozen players.

Marchese broke the news over Twitter where he posted:

Signed on as the newest member of @UltimatePoker s team U. Looking forward to representing the first legalized American online poker room.”

Ultimate Poker tweeted their own announcement of the signing:

Proud 2 sign @BigCheese_poker to TEAM U. Tom joins a stable of pros & poker players playing LEGAL REAL MONEY POKER in The United States. #NJ”

Marchese had a brilliant rookie year on the live tournament scene, capturing a POY award and pocketing millions of dollars, including a PokerStars NAPT victory, and countless final tables in major tournaments. Since 2010 Marchese has continued his run of success, most notably by capturing the $100k Super-High-Roller title at the WPT Championship, collecting a cool $1.3 million. For his career Marchese has won over $4.6 million in live tournaments according to his Hendon Mob page.

While the site has been busy signing players they haven’t necessarily been marketing their “Team U” to its fullest, preferring to stick to the usual online marketing channels that online poker sites have used throughout the years. Many of the Team U players are active on Twitter and more importantly, active on the Ultimate Poker site.

Here is a look at the complete roster of Ultimate Poker sponsored pros:

  • Antonio Esfandiari
  • Terence Chan
  • Brent Hanks
  • Matt Vengrin
  • Jason Somerville
  • Randy Dorfman
  • Jonathan Little
  • Lauren Kling
  • Gavin Griffin
  • Dan O’Brien
  • Phil Collins
  • William Reynolds
  • Tom Marchese

The launch of Ultimate Poker 2.0 was supposed to usher in a new era of online poker in Nevada, but thus far the market seems to be patiently awaiting the launch of competitors before diving into the new online poker market. With peak traffic numbers of around 400 players during the WSOP, Ultimate Poker saw a slight drop-off following the tournament series, and while the launch of version 2.0 seems to have made up for the loss (peak traffic is once again at about 400 players with average traffic of 200 players according to www.pokerscout.com) this is still far below expectations for the Nevada market. Grab high end bonus on online poker by using the number one Titan Bonus Poker Code today at your sign ups!

Full Tilt Poker Unveils FTOPS XXIII Schedule

Weeks ago Full Tilt Poker wrapped-up a very successful FTOPS XXIII (Full Tilt Poker Online Poker Series) that saw some massive prize-pools awarded, and some of the biggest names in online poker walk away with FTOPS XXIII victories. Now the site is prepping for the Full Tilt Poker Mini-FTOPS XXIII, which will get underway on September 8th, with the online poker site hosting a 39-event tournament series with over $3 million in guaranteed prize-money up for grabs.

Buy-ins for the Mini-FTOPS events start at just $11, with the largest buy-in is a still-affordable $109.

The Main Event will be a $75 buy-in NLHE tournament with a $750k guarantee.

In addition to the tournament the Mini-FTOPS XXIII will feature a Player of the Series leader-board, which will have the top players over the course of the series competing for some very cool prizes, including a grand prize of free-entries into all FTOPS XXIV tournaments (with the exception of the two-day high-roller event) which has a value of about $12,000.

Here is a look at the complete Mini-FFTOPS XXIII schedule from the www.fulltiltpoker.com website:

Event # Day Date Time (ET) Type Buy-In Guarantee
1 Sunday 8th Sept 13.00 NL Hold´em – Re-entry Tournament $22.00 $200,000
2 Sunday 8th Sept 16.00 NL Hold´em – Escalator Format $33.00 $50,000
3 Monday 9th Sept 11.00 PL Omaha Hi – Re-Buy & Add-On $11.00 $25,000
4 Monday 9th Sept 14.00 NL Hold´em – Re-entry Tournament $109.00 $150,000
5 Monday 9th Sept 17.00 NL Hold´em – Rush Poker $22.00 $25,000
6 Tuesday 10th Sept 11.00 NL Omaha Hi/Lo – 6-Max $22.00 $20,000
7 Tuesday 10th Sept 14.00 FL Razz $33.00 $15,000
8 Tuesday 10th Sept 17.00 NL Hold´em – Multi-Entry Tournament $11.00 $50,000
9 Wednesday 11th Sept 11.00 PL Five Card Omaha Hi – 6-Max $22.00 $20,000
10 Wednesday 11th Sept 14.00 NL Hold´em – Re-buy & Add-On $33.00 $75,000
11 Wednesday 11th Sept 17.00 NL Hold´em – Rush Poker $22.00 $30,000
12 Thursday 12th Sept 11.00 NL Irish $22.00 $30,000
13 Thursday 12th Sept 14.00 PL Courchevel Hi – 6-Max $33.00 $20,000
14 Friday 13th Sept 11.00 NL Hold´em – Freezeout $11.00 $30,000
15 Friday 13th Sept 14.00 Seven Card Stud $22.00 $10,000
16 Saturday 14th Sept 11.00 NL Hold´em – Heads Up $55.00 $25,000
17 Saturday 14th Sept 14.00 PL Omaha Hi – 6-Max Triple Chance $33.00 $30,000
18 Saturday 14th Sept 16.00 NL Hold´em – Rush Poker $11.00 $25,000
19 Sunday 15th Sept 10.00 NL Hold´em – Knockout/Multi-Entry $13.00 $100,000
20 Sunday 15th Sept 13.00 NL Hold´em – Re-entry Tournament $33.00 $250,000
21 Sunday 15th Sept 16.00 FI Hold´em – Escalator Format $22.00 $20,000
22 Monday 16th Sept 11.00 PL Omaha Hi – Heads Up $33.00 $15,000
23 Monday 16th Sept 14.00 NL Hold´em – 6-Max Double Chance $109.00 $100,000
24 Monday 16th Sept 17.00 NL Hold´em – Freezeout $22.00 $40,000
25 Tuesday 17th Sept 11.00 PL Omaha Hi/Lo – Knockout $26.00 $20,000
26 Tuesday 17th Sept 14.00 FL 2-7 Triple Draw – 6-Max $33.00 $10,000
27 Tuesday 17th Sept 17.00 NL Hold´em – 1 Re-Buy & 1 Add-On $11.00 $40,000
28 Wednesday 18th Sept 11.00 PL Six Card Omaha Hi – 6-Max $22.00 $20,000
29 Wednesday 18th Sept 14.00 NL Hold´em – 6-Max Rebuy & Add-On $11.00 $50,000
30 Wednesday 18th Sept 17.00 NL Hold´em – Knockout/Re-Entry $33.00 $40,000
31 Thursday 19th Sept 11.00 10 Game Mix – 6-Max Multi-Entry $55.00 $40,000
32 Thursday 19th Sept 14.00 PL Omaha Hi – Rush Poker $22.00 $20,000
33 Friday 20th Sept 11.00 NL Hold´em – 6-Max Freezeout $22.00 $50,000
34 Friday 20th Sept 14.00 Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo $22.00 $10,000
35 Saturday 21st Sept 11.00 NL Hold´em – Two Day Event $215.00 $400,000
36 Saturday 21st Sept 14.00 FL Omaha Hi/Lo – Freezeout $22.00 $15,000
37 Saturday 21st Sept 16.00 NL Hold´em – Rush Poker Re-Buy $11.00 $60,000
38 Sunday 22nd Sept 10.00 NL Hold´em – 6-Max Re-entry $26.00 $150,000
39 Sunday 22nd Sept 13.00 Main Event NL Hold´em – Re-entry $75.00 $750,000

 

For other online tournament schedule please do check our Titan Poker Tournament Schedule page.

WPT Season XII Ones to Watch Revealed

I’m a big fan of “Rising Stars” and “Ones to Watch” lists, but to be quite honest, it seems like the World Poker Tour (WPT) is about a year behind on their selections. I’m not sure what they think they are accomplishing when they select players who are already on the radar, but it seems every year that most of their “Ones to Watch” list is made up of known quantities in poker.

Take last year for example. Jason Somerville, Shaun Deeb, Xuan Liu, Jason Koon, and Brian Hastings were on the “Ones to Watch” list along with legitimate “Rising Stars” like Amanda Musumeci, AP Phahurat, and Dee Dozier. Really, do we need to be told that Shaun Deeb, Jason Somerville, or Xuan Liu are strong tournament players?

So who is on the list this year? Just four players with between $900k and $2.5 million in career tournament earnings in Jeff Gross, Kyle Julius, Aaron Massey and Loni Harwood (now if they had picked Harwood BEFORE the 2013 WSOP I’d be pretty impressed) as well as Christina Lindley and the relatively unknown Athanasios Polychronopoulos. The final member of the “Ones to Watch” list is Danny Suied who I have never heard of before.

  • Jeff Gross: Career Tournament Earnings – $1,516,829

Gross is a regular on the tournament trail, playing virtually any and every tournament available from smaller buy-ins to Super-High-Roller events. It probably doesn’t hurt that he can count Michael Phelps (yah, that Michael Phelps) amongst his friends.

  • Loni Harwood: Career Tournament Earnings – $981,927

Harwood had a breakout performance at the 2013 WSOP, capturing a bracelet and making three final tables. It will be interesting to see if Harwood is able to travel the WPT circuit or if she decides to keep honing her craft in events like the WSOPC and Heartland Poker Tour.

  • Kyle Julius: Career Tournament Earnings – $2,590,313

Julius is a former online player who has transitioned nicely to the live tournament scene, attested to by his $2.5 million in career tournament earnings. Despite his monetary success Julius has yet to win a live tournament, having finished second in the 2012 PokerStars PCA and a 2012 WSOP tournament.

  • Christina Lindley: Career Tournament Earnings – $197,722

Lindley is still an unproven commodity in the poker world, but she has put together a fairly strong resume of live and online success since taking up the game a few years back.

  • Aaron Massey: Career Tournament Earnings – $1,389,626

Massey is one of those tournament grinders that quietly plugs along year after year, and with nearly $1.4 million in career earnings he is probably due for a big breakout win.

  •  Danny "Miami Boss" Suied: Career Tournament Earnings – $226,494

I’m pretty stumped on this one. Suied is definitely colorful, that goes without saying, but I’m not really sure he belongs on a “Ones to Watch” list unless the WPT knows he intends to play multiple events this season.

  • Athanasios Polychronopoulos: Career Tournament Earnings – $518,755

This is one of the selections I actually agree with this year. Polychronopoulos is a definite rising star in tournament poker so it should be fun to watch his name get butchered throughout the course of the season. Play at the best online poker room today, check out our detailed review on Titan Poker here.

 

888 Poker Signs WSOP Main Event Chip-leader JC Tran

While they may stick a patch on a bunch of players at major tournaments, 888 Poker doesn’t hand out poker sponsorships lightly. Making the cut as a member of Team888 is reserved for a select few, and the latest player deemed worthy of an 888 sponsorship deal is World Series of Poker Main Event chip-leader JC Tran.

Tran isn’t just the WSOP Main Event chip-leader though. Over the course of his long poker career he has racked-up some very impressive accomplishments, and should he win the 2013 WSOP Main Event we are likely looking at a future Poker Hall of Famer.

Here is a look at some of JC’s accomplishments:

  • Career live tournament earnings – $9.5 million
  • Won the $1,500 No Limit Holdem tournament at the 2008 WSOP -- $631,170
  • Won the $2,500 Pot Limit Omaha tournament at the 2009 WSOP -- $235,685
  • 2006 WCOOP Main Event Winner -- $670,000
  • Won the 2007 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond Poker Classic $5k tournament -- $523,075
  • Party Poker Premier League III Winner -- $300,000
  • Runner-Up at the 2007 WPT LA Poker Classic -- $1,177,010
  • 2007 WPT World Poker Challenge Champion -- $683,473
  • Eight career Top 7 finishes on the WPT
  • WPT Season 5 Player of the Year
  • 2013 WPT Alpha8 Super-High-Roller runner-up -- $526,890

On top of being an excellent poker player, Tran is also one of the most admired poker players by fans, the media and his peers. The extremely well-like poker pro will undoubtedly have the largest section at the WSOP Main Event final table in November, and with the chip-lead and his poker skills he is the odds on favorite to win the tournament.

Here is a look at the 2013 WSOP Main Event Final Table chip-counts:

  1. JC Tran -- 38,000,000
  2. Amir Lehavot -- 29,700,000
  3. Marc McLaughlin -- 26,525,000
  4. Jay Farber -- 25,975,000
  5. Ryan Riess -- 25,875,000
  6. Sylvain Loosli -- 19,600,000
  7. Michiel Brummelhuis -- 11,275,000
  8. Mark Newhouse -- 7,350,000
  9. David Benefield -- 6,375,000

In a press release issued by 888 Poker JC Tran commented, "I am extremely excited to work with 888poker and looking forward to a great experience. I can't wait to represent 888poker at my best and help in any way possible."

In the same press release, Inbal Lavi, Vice President of 888poker, stated, "We are excited to have JC Tran join our Team 888poker, his attitude towards the game and inviting personality embodies what we look for in our Team ambassadors. This year Team 888poker will be at its strongest and should bring some exciting content and opportunities to our continuously growing poker room. Good luck to Tran and the rest of our Team."

*Resources: www.thehendonmob.com, www.wikipedia.org

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Will Online Poker Players Flock to New Jersey?

While doing some research for recent articles I question came to my mind: Could New Jersey become the next haven for online poker players? My initial feeling was probably not, but the more I looked at the numbers the more I began to envision a scenario where online poker pros would move to The Garden State.

The biggest factor is of course New Jersey’s population of 8.8 million, and the millions more that live along its borders. This is going to give us our first real glimpse at what is possible in state-by-state online poker legislation, since unlike Nevada, the Garden State has the population to maintain a legitimate player base. But how many of these people are going to participate in online poker games?

The Arbitrary 1% Participation Number

Most people in the industry use 1% when determining the participation rate over a given year. So if this is the case in New Jersey, we should expect nearly 90,000 players to try their hand at online poker in 2014.

The problem with this number is that it doesn’t give us a good indication of what type of hours these players are putting in, or what type of money they are betting. 90,000 is a great number, but if 80,000 of these players deposit $50, play for two hours, and never return than they aren’t all that helpful to the poker ecosystem in New Jersey.

Cold Hard Data

The only real comparison we have at this time is to look at Nevada, as well as some of the European countries that have legalized and regulated intra-country online poker: France, Italy, and Spain.

Starting with data from the Balkanized European markets: All three nations have between six and eight times the population of New Jersey (less if you consider the dense border population, but we’ll leave that aside for the time being) but being a US state will likely mean more poker players per capita in New Jersey than in Italy, just as there are more poker players per capita in the UK than Italy.

Still, these countries have sizable poker communities and should offer a pretty good starting point for comparison. Here is a look at the average cash game traffic from the Top 3 poker providers in each country:

  • France (Population 64 million)about 3,000 cash-game players
  • Italy (Population 60 million) about 2,500 cash-game players
  • Spain (population (47 million) about 2,000 cash-game players

Data courtesy of www.pokerscout.com

Keep in mind that this is not the total number of online players; this is merely the average number of real-money cash-game players that are online at any given time on the Top 3 online poker providersi These numbers should be at least doubled when we consider tournament players, and for every player online there are likely a dozen with money in their account that are not online (this second number is a complete guesstimate on my part).

As you can see, average traffic is closely tied in to population (the three countries averaging 1 cash-game player on a major site per 21,000-24,000 residents) or 1 player for every 22,800 residents overall. If this holds true in New Jersey, the player base for cash game players would be about 400.

However, as we’ve seen from Nevada, where Ultimate Poker has been able to maintain average cash-game traffic of about 150-200 players despite a population of just 2.7 million, New Jersey’s traffic could be much higher than the 1 player for every 22,800 residents: In Nevada this number is about 1 for every 15,000, and that’s with only a single room available.

If we estimate New Jersey to be able to produce 1 current online poker player for every 15,000 residents, and we bump the residency number up to 10 million to take into account their border population (remember, you don’t need to be a New Jersey resident, just located in New Jersey at the time) than New Jersey’s average game cash-game traffic on the top sites will be about 667 players, with even higher peak-time numbers.

Taking this one step farther, suppose a number of poker players move to New Jersey (which gives them access to online and live poker games), even just 100 would be a massive boost to the sustainability of New Jersey’s online poker games. It’s not inconceivable to envision New Jersey’s online poker industry with average cash-game traffic numbers of 800 cash-game players on two or three major sites and peak traffic of around 2,000 cash-game players, possibly as high as 5,000 if we count tournament players.

(I chose Top 3 to look at the number of players in larger player pools, considering New Jersey will have multiple operators just like these countries).

For more updates around the poker world check out our News Section for the latest on online poker.

 

Ultimate Poker Version 2.0 Released

Players logging into Ultimate Poker today will be met with a new software update, which will install the long-awaited version 2.0 of the site’s software. While many features have been added and complaints addressed version 2.0 will likely fall a bit short of expectations for most players. The update is a major improvement, but still leaves more to be desired in my opinion.

What’s New in Version 2.0?

GUI

First and foremost the software is a lot crisper, both aesthetically and in terms of performance. Lag issues have been greatly reduced and the GUI now appears to be of an online poker room in 2013 and not like version2.0’s predecessor which screamed 2006 to most poker players. Players will also find they now have a large selection of Full Tilt Poker avatars to choose from.

Resizable tables

Ultimate Poker also added a resizable table option in the version 2.0 upgrade, which will surely have the online poker grinders jumping for joy.

Auto-Post Blinds Fixed

One of the biggest complaints on the forums was the auto-post blinds option being set to “post” by default whenever you sat at a table. Thankfully this has been addressed, and the default auto-post option is now unchecked.

Color Up VIP Program Launched

Ultimate Poker 2.0 will also see the start of the site’s VIP Program. I had expected each level (which are associated with a particular color casino chip) to correspond to the number of VIP Points a player would need to attain that level in the Color Up program, but this proved to not be the case –although they do match-up as you climb higher up the VIP ladder.

Ultimate Poker Color Up VIP Program

What’s Missing from Version 2.0?

No New Games

Version 2.0 did see a few tournament options added to the site, but as of new Ultimate Poker is still a Texas Holdem only poker room.

Hand Histories

Another missing element from version 2.0 was an upgraded hand history format.

Player Notes

Players will still have to do without any note-taking capabilities for the time being.

Future Upgrades

Now that version 2.0 has been released the community is hopeful that Ultimate Poker continues to upgrade and make improvements to their software. The site has already announced that many of the concerns raised on the forums (such as new games, hand history improvements, and player notes) are already on their to-do list for future updates.

All-in-all I’ll give the version 2.0 software a B- grade at this point. The areas they did improve were all done well, but there are still so many “standard” features and options that are lacking from the software.

For starters you might want to try Titan Poker!

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