Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Trials and Tribulation of Online Poker

Geez. I mean, it's hard enough dealing with the fact that online poker is rigged, not to mention bankroll management issues due to cashout curses. Apparently I now have to keep on eye on the +BB ban, which basically means that if you blog about results and it includes a positive BB/100 or BB/hr number, you will immediately be completely and utterly mauled at the tables immediately after posting. You will be dealt second best after second best hand, handing large sums of money again and again to the same damn muppet with a VPIP of 72% who apparently suffered a freak childhood accident leaving him with a blind spot in his vision that corresponds exactly to where the Fold button is located.

Mmm, spleeny...

Despite not playing there much myself, I have to give Gamesgrid a lot of credit, as far as going about the whole launch a new poker site thing in a smart way, instead of just licensing a skin and throwing up yet another generic, identical site. They've just launched a dealer's choice game, where you get to choose between Hold em, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud Hi-lo, Razz & 7 Card Stud when you've got the button. Big props to them to recognizing that hey, players might like having the option to play mixed games, and even bigger props to, gasp, actually implementing the feature, instead of pretending that anything that requires actual programming is completely and utterly impossible.

I wish this whole competitive evolution of the online poker world would hurry its ass up. There's absolutely no reason why every major poker site shouldn't be offer mixed games now, or triple draw, or razz, or basically any variant known to man (even silly home game staples like Follow the Queen or Baseball or Guts). If you can handle the programming required to offer MTTs that support thousands of players, you damn well can figure a way out to let me donk away some money playing Anaconda. Yeah, I know, you're making good money now, but isn't more money better? You've done all of the heavy lifting but for some reason you insist on ignoring all of the small touches that would crank out additional profits.

It's also fairly ridiculous that no one has invested the money to set up the licensing/infrastructure/support staff to offer interest-bearing accounts. If you're looking for an incentive to increase player retention, there you go. Forget trying to tempt me into staying on your site by offering me the chance to get 18 polo shirts with your logo on it for free, or by offering reload bonuses that you KNOW aren't successful in promoting long-term customer loyalty. Pay me interest on any money in my account and I'll park a lot of money there and leave it there. Pay out more interest on a sliding scale, based on total rake contributed, and I'll play a lot more. The model would work, especially given the leverage you'd have from the total sum of money deposited.

Or, you know, keep doing what you're doing, and blow all sorts of chances to improve the existing, inefficient model.


Drizztdj said...

Being able to jump into a .25/.50 up $2/$4 game of Razz is one of the reason I frequently play at Full Tilt...

Party and Stars need to get on the ball for game selection.

StB said...

My guess on the interest bearing account thing is that it would violate a banking/securities regulation. I recall reading somewhere that Party did pay but had to discontinue it.

Plus, they can play the float on that money. Why pay it out?

Felicia :) said...

You know what makes me sick? I was saying all of this a year and two ago, and everyone was scratching their heads and going,

"Uh, duh, you mean Hold'em is not the only poker game?"

Now everyone is finally starting to believe me. The ironic thing is, probably about the time everyone else gets sick of "all HE, all the time," I'll be ready to go back and play some HE.

LOL :)