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Someone Spikes Punch At Party
Posted at 10/11/2005 10:29:32 AM in Website Reviews by Sack.
So the big news this week that’s flooding every message board and poker related site is what all is going on at Party Poker. Some big changes, some small new things, and a whole lot of hype and confusion. I’ve been reading up and trying to figure it all out, and hopefully I can break it all down for ya here. Or at least I’ll do the best I can.

First, and what seems to be foremost in the serious players minds, is that Party has “broken off” from the network of it’s skins ( for example: Empire is a skin of Party poker-- a separate site that was actually linked in via the same playing network). The reasoning? Most people seem to guess that Party has become large enough on it’s own that it doesn’t need the large network of sites all together. The negative for some people seems to be with rake back issues. I don’t use the program, although apparently I should, but it seems the divide will make it more difficult for those who do use rake back.

On to other stuff I know more about. Most exciting (and expensive) change would be an easy link to blackjack. Right there, on your table, as you sit and play poker, is a button to bring up a blackjack table. How fun, I love blackjack! How sad I must try to resist. Remember, while it is fun and easy to play, it’s also a casino game and the house always has an edge. Yeah you can win, and it has a better house edge than most casino games, but mathematically (and we poker players love using math) over the long haul you should lose money playing it. But it’s fun and something different. Only question is why would I go play their casino that they like to push so hard when I can play blackjack right there?

Next up, side and prop bets. Before I explain, let me just say “STAY AWAY”. The deal is that before you flop comes, you can wager on the side that the flop will either be all red (diamonds and hearts) or all black (spades and clubs). That simple. If ALL 3 cards on the flop are the color you selected then you win your side bet, if ALL 3 are not that color, then you lose. Remember this is what’s called a “prop bet”, similar to a parlay in sports betting. The payout for winning (I think 8 to 1) is what’s so alluring about prop bets, but again you’ll usually lose these. Prop bets (also like parlays) are referred to by those on the inside as “sucker bets”. Again, it’s something new and interesting, but I’d suggest staying away from these side bets. I would however love to see side betting on who will win a particular pot, or tournament, or something along those lines. Maybe they’ll do that later on.

For you multi-tabling players, you can also now play more tables at once. Thus far it’s rumored to be up to eight, but I’ve also seen up to ten mentioned.

The last major change I’ll broach here is the deal making option. In some tournaments at the final table there will be an option to make a deal regarding the actual payout of the prize money. When this option is enabled, a special chat will open, and an allotted amount of time will be given for all players to negotiate what the payout will be for those remaining in the tournament. For this to happen, ALL players left must agree on whatever terms are set. If even one person declines the option, then play continues and all is as normal. The chip leader gets to be the “daddy” of the negotiations, and assumes the role as the leader of your options. I haven’t done this yet as generally I’m on the cash tables at party, but this sounds like a pretty cool idea. I think it may be hard to get 8 or 10 people to all agree on something, but it’s innovative nonetheless. Should make for some interesting tournament play.

The verdict? All changes are fun and exciting, Party will be making more money off of all of us, but the experience is a little deeper than before and there’s more to do. Party will always have plenty of players on it, even with the separation from the network. Hopefully sites that are skins of the program will not suffer. Check it out, see if you like it. If you’re not a member already feel free to use Gecko’s bonus code (Greedy) or email me if you’d like mine. For more info and details on the changes see their website http://www.partypoker.com/news/policy.html.

hittin', splittin', and doublin' down, Sack

sack@pokergreed.com




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