Posts Tagged ‘888poker’

888poker Launches Flopomania

 888poker Launches Flopomania

888poker launched its new game, Flopomania, on Sunday, three weeks after accidentally activating the Flopomania tables early (and that was the second time 888poker jumped the gun). The game is official now, though, and it seems that so far, players have been eager to try it out.

A Flopomania game plays just like a regular poker game most of the time with one significant exception: there is no pre-flop betting. Instead, the hole cards and flop are dealt right away and betting starts with the flop. From there, everything proceeds as normal.

There are no blinds, either. Everyone antes up at the beginning of the hand. The player to the left of the dealer is first to act and is called, appropriately, the “First to Act Player,” since there is no small blind or big blind.

Flopomania is clearly designed to create action, which could both keep players engaged and generate more rake for 888poker. In a normal Hold’em game (Flopomania games are Texas Hold’em), most players fold pre-flop. When everyone sees the flop, though, several people could hit a piece of it and decide to continue to the turn, growing the pot. You can see where this is going.

There is also a version of Flopomania called “Push or Fold.” In this game, there is a set “push” amount that players are allowed to bet once and only once. I haven’t played the game, but I would assume this isn’t an actual “all-in” amount (unless a player has very few chips), but rather some figure that is high enough to make betting a real decision, but small enough so that this isn’t just an all-in fest. If a bet has been made, the player whose turn it is to act must either call that “push” amount or fold. If no bet has been made, the player who turn it is to act must bet that “push” amount or check. When a player has bet, that’s it – he or she can no longer act and must wait until showdown to see what happens.

According to a blog post on 888poker’s website, Flopomania did very well on its opening day. 50 percent more players tried Flopomania on Sunday than did those who tried BLAST poker, one of 888’s more recent new games. There was also an 11 percent jump in the number of active players on Sunday compared to “the average in recent Sundays.”

“Flopomania also set the all-time record for the number of flops seen in cash games in a single day, not surprising given the nature of the game,” wrote 888poker’s Chad Holloway. “Furthermore, the average number of hands in an hour was 15% higher when compared to other 6-max tables.”

In another “best,” Sunday, April 20th, saw 888poker enjoy the most simultaneous cash game tables this year.

Poker News Daily

888Poker Offers List of Most Influential Poker Books

 888Poker Offers List of Most Influential Poker Books

There are many a book regarding the game in the library of poker players and its historians. They can run the gamut from simple (or sometimes not so simple) strategy discussions to autobiographies to historical books regarding significant moments in time. There have been attempts in the past to “rank” the best out there, but an online poker site seems to have come up with the most comprehensive rating in some time.

Earlier this week, 888Poker and writer Lee Davy published their list of the “most influential poker books in history.” After surveying 56 poker professionals from around the world (actual names aren’t mentioned by Davy but he writes that they have accrued “$ 184 million in tournament earnings and more than 40 major titles”) and offering them 129 different titles for review, the numbers were crunched to come up with the Top 59 (counting ties) selections. Of course, when it comes to rankings, there are some highlights and lowlights.

The top two choices probably would have worked even if their rankings were switched. Dan Harrington’s Harrington on Hold’em Volume 1:  Strategic Play was the choice of the selection committee, citing the groundbreaking work that Harrington did in presenting an excellent primer for tournament poker players. The second choice, Doyle Brunson’s Super/System, was THE seminal poker books for decades (and is still pretty damn good today), discussing not only Texas Hold’em but other disciplines such as draw poker, stud and lowball.

The first surprise for some would be the third ranked book on the list. Gus Hansen’s Every Hand Revealed took Hansen’s thoughts on virtually every hand he played on his way to winning the 2007 Aussie Millions Main Event. It was an audacious task – you’re actually documenting ALL your hands on the way to winning the championship of a major tournament poker event towards writing about it afterwards? – and Hansen pulled it off well. There is some question as to its high ranking, however, in looking at some of the other books behind him.

The next four books on the 888Poker rankings attack the mental aspect of the game rather than the physical. Bill Chen and Jerrod Ankenman’s The Mathematics of Poker, Jared Tendler and Barry Carter’s The Mental Game of Poker, David Sklansky’s The Theory of Poker and Cole South and Tri Nguyen’s Let There Be Range! all looked at various aspects beyond the cards in delivering their information to the reader. Each in their own right were tremendous tomes but, if you can encompass the information from all into your brain, you’d have a near-encyclopedic approach to playing the game of poker.

Rounding out the Top Ten are more strategy applications. Daniel Negreanu’s Power Hold’em Strategy, Brunson’s Super/System 2 and Matthew Janda’s Applications of No-Limit Hold’em:  A Guide to Understanding Theoretical Sound Poker are ranked from eighth to tenth, respectively, and both Negreanu and Brunson’s efforts are worth the price of admission. Having not examined Janda’s strategy effort, I am left with Davy’s take that “it is a book designed to help players who are already proficient in the art of No-Limit Hold’em become even better.” Sounds like something to check out!

Where the list is a bit deficient is in the fact that there is little in the history of the game – or biographies or autobiographies – on the list. The first book that could be considered an autobiography is Barry Greenstein’s Ace on the River, which doesn’t show up until #16 (many would put it higher as Greenstein doles out excellent advice through the pages). Anthony Holden’s Big Deal – his year-long trek on the tournament poker trail – only comes in at #25, while Jesse May’s Shut Up and Deal is relegated to #29. And what about Jim McManus’ seminal work Positively Fifth Street? Tied for #42.

McManus reflected on the 888Poker list – and his low ranking – during a discussion on social media. McManus suggested that there should have been dual lists – putting the hard core strategic books into one category, the historical and biographical tomes in another – to truly garner a look at the best. And in this writer’s opinion, while professional poker players would have knowledge and respect of strategy books, they might lack perspective in the historical sense; a segment of poker journalists/historians voting on this list might have been applicable.

Overall, the 888Poker list – and Davy’s commentary on the books selected – is worth perusing. How many do you have in your library? For those that haven’t built a catalog of material to learn about playing poker, the 888Poker effort is definitely a starting point.

Poker News Daily

888poker Withdraws from Australia

 888poker Withdraws from Australia

On Monday, 888poker closed all Australian accounts for its popular online poker room. Players were given little warning, only receiving an e-mail about the disappointing event on January 13th.

The message in the e-mail was as follows:

Following a business reevaluation, we’d like to inform you that 888poker’s services are not being offered to players residing in Australia and therefore your account will be closed as of 16/01/2017.

You’ll continue to be able to withdraw all funds from your bankroll using our web cashier.

If you’ve already registered to any of our tournaments starting from 16/01/2017 onwards, please unregister as you won’t be able to participate.

888poker team

888 did not explain what this “business reevaluation” actually entailed, but dollars to doughnuts it has to do with the proposed Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016, which would update the country’s decade-and-a-half-old online gaming laws. Advanced by Australia’s Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge in November, its primary aim is to curb “in-play” online sports betting. This type of wager – placing bets while a game is in action – is allowed in Australia, but only via telephone call. Thing is, many offshore operators (and some in Australia) have made smartphone apps that allow players to place in-play bets. The theory is essentially that since the bet is being made with a phone, it is still legal.

That’s all well and good, but what does that have to do with 888poker? It doesn’t, really, except for the fact that the bill would also require operators to obtain Australian license to offer their games in the country. Fines for violators could reach as high as AUS $ 6.75 million (USD $ 5.05 million).

Poker has been in one of those legal grey areas in which it is not explicitly legal, but not explicitly illegal, either. Thus, operators have been providing their services without really any fear of punishment.

888poker is not the first online gaming operator to make the decision to withdraw from the Australian market. In December, Vera&John made the same move, siting a similarly mysterious “business decision.”

In November, Amaya even mentioned this as a possibility. In the company’s third quarter earnings call, CFO Daniel Sebag said, “In Australia, we currently offer poker and are reviewing the applicability of proposed legislation to player versus player games of skill. At this time, it would appear likely that if the legislation passes, we would block players from Australia. As we do not offer casino sportsbook in Australia, it currently contributes to about 2.5% of our revenues and we estimate it could reduce our EBITDA margin by up to a 150 basis points.”

As for 888poker, as of the beginning of this week, it is the second largest online poker room in the world, coming in with a seven-day average of 2,300 cash game players in PokerScout’s rankings. (Portugal) is third with 1,700 players, so 888poker will likely remain in the second spot, but it will be interesting to see how much the gap is closed with

Poker News Daily

888Poker Running Promos in Conjunction with BLAST Poker Launch

 888Poker Running Promos in Conjunction with BLAST Poker Launch

With the launch of BLAST Poker this week, 888Poker has also initiated some promotions to go along with its new Lottery Sit & Go variant. Through September 19th, 888Poker is running daily freeroll tournaments to celebrate BLAST, giving players a chance to win cash prizes and BLAST Poker tickets.

There are two types of daily freerolls during the promotional period:

$ 3,000 Big Bang Tournament – twice daily at 13:05 and 23:05 GMT – awards cash prizes
$ 5,000 Blast Off Tournament – once daily at 18:05 GM – awards BLAST tournament tickets

Every 888Poker players has been automatically given four free tickets for those tournaments (it is not exactly clear if it is two tickets for each type of freeroll or if all four tickets can be used in either), but players can win additional tickets. Any player who has made a real money deposit is eligible to complete 888Poker Club challenges; complete a challenge and win a $ 3,000 Big Bang Tournament ticket. Anyone who wins a BLAST Poker Sit & Go will receive a $ 5,000 Blast Off Tournament ticket.

With the latter, it sounds like someone could end up in an endless cycle of BLAST ticket winning. Picture this scenario: win a BLAST Poker game for a Blast Off Tourney ticket, do well enough in the Blast Off Tourney to win a BLAST Poker ticket, use that ticket to win a BLAST Poker Sit & Go which awards another Blast Off Tourney ticket, and so and so forth until the Earth is swallowed up by the sun.

There are also weekly $ 10,000 Lightning Bolt tournaments. Players can gain entry into these through a daily Lightning Spin. Said Lightning Spin gives players a chance to win any one of the following:

• $ 3,000 Big Bang Tournament ticket
• $ 5,000 Blast off Tournament ticket
• $ 10,000 Lightning Bolt Tournament ticket
• $ 1 BLAST Tournament ticket
• $ 5 BLAST Tournament ticket
• $ 0.10 BLAST Tournament ticket
• $ 3 Sports Free Bets
• $ 5 Casino FreePlay

As the handful of you who read my article yesterday may remember, BLAST Poker is 888Poker’s new Lottery Sit & Go. BLAST Poker games are four-handed, rather than the usual three-handed Lottery Sit & Go’s that most poker room’s offer, but the main difference between these games and others is that BLAST Poker games actually have a time limit. After a pre-determined amount of time, if the game has not ended, all remaining players will be put all-in pre-flop until there is a winner.

The time limit is determine by the value of the prize pool multiplier – the smaller the multiplier, the shorter the game. The blind levels are two minutes each and here is what the time limits will look like:

2x and 5x multipliers: three blind levels or six minutes max
10x multiplier: four blind levels or eight minutes max
100x multiplier: five blind levels or ten minutes max
1,000x and 10,000x multipliers: six blind levels or twelve minutes max

The conclusion with BLAST Poker is then, obviously, “2x multipliers? Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Poker News Daily

888Poker Launches BLAST Poker Lottery Sit & Go

 888Poker Launches BLAST Poker Lottery Sit & Go

I just wrote one article about Lottery Sit & Go’s, so might as well write another, while the subject is on my mind. Guess today is an all-Lottery day. The news on this page: 888poker has launched its own Lottery Sit & Go version this week, called BLAST Poker.

Like any Lottery Sit & Go, BLAST Poker is a short-handed, hyper-turbo (two minute blind levels) game with small starting stacks. One all players are seated, the prize pool is announced; it can be 2x, 5x, 10x, 100x, 1,000x, or 10,000x the game’s buy-in. Most sites make these games three-handed, but BLAST Poker goes its own way with four players per table. But that’s not at all interesting, so 888 came up with another change, one that will make these games even less skill-based than they already were.

After a certain number of levels, all players will be automatically forced all-in pre-flop until just one player remains. So a game that is almost an all-in or fold situation from the jump will now be like, “Welp, this thing has gone on too long. Time to just shut it down.”

If there is one advantage to this it is that players can enter a BLAST Poker game knowing the maximum amount of time it will take to complete, making the scheduling of their poker a bit easier.

The cut-off point for the BLAST games is dependent on the prize pool multiplier that is generated. The higher the multiplier, the longer the maximum duration of the contest. Let’s take a look at what we’ve got:

2x and 5x multipliers: three blind levels or six minutes max
10x multiplier: four blind levels or eight minutes max
100x multiplier: five blind levels or ten minutes max
1,000x and 10,000x multipliers: six blind levels or twelve minutes max

I suppose this might not be all that bad, as who really wants to fight over a 20 cent prize pool in a 10 cent BLAST Poker Sit & Go for more than six minutes? Speaking of which, the buy-in options for BLAST Poker are 10 cents, $ 1, $ 5, and $ 30, which are fewer than most sites offer. Normally, we would see at least one option between $ 5 and $ 30.

The prize pool multiplier will be either 2x or 5x about 97 percent of the time, with some variation based on the size of the buy-in itself. The 10x multiplier will come up three to four percent of the time.

Only BLAST Poker games of the lowest prize pool multiplier will be winner-take-all. After that, it is a 70/30 split for first and second place in the 5x multiplier games and 60/25/15 at the 10x and 100x levels. At the highest two prize pool multipliers – 1,000x and 10,000x – all four players will win money, with a 60/20/10/10 split.

Poker News Daily