Some major changes have taken place in the global online poker community lately. We’ll take a closer look at the good, the bad and the ugly resulting from such alterations on three major poker networks, PartyPoker, Full Tilt and 888Poker.
The Good: PartyPoker Abolishes Most Withdrawal Fees
“You spoke, we listened,” announced PartyPoker on Friday. “Withdrawal fees to be scrapped.”
Members of PartyPoker were ecstatic to hear that PartyPoker is paying attention to their feedback. The most common complaint has been in relation to withdrawal fees, and the abundance thereof (benefits of the loyalty store came in a close second).
Thanks to the raised voices of players, as of now, the majority of the operator’s withdrawal options come with zero fees.
The announcement came from the online poker operator on July 31, and went into effect immediately. Players processing withdrawals via the following methods will no longer be charged a fee to do so:
– Bank Wire/Transfer
– GoPlay (prepaid MasterCard)
– Kalixa Pa
Unfortunately, the use of the following online payment processors will still carry a withdrawal fee, but PartyPoker claims to be “working diligently to eliminate these fees” as well:
The Bad: Full Tilt Reduces Games, Traffic Drops 15%
Last week, Full Tilt initiated a complete makeover of its online poker software in an effort to cater to recreational poker players only. The operator obliterated what was left of its moderate-to-high-stake cash games, removed customized table selection from the lobby and eliminated heads-up cash tables altogether.
It was a risky move on Full Tilt’s part, but one that would finally separate it from its sister-site, PokerStars. The former is now designed solely for casual gamers, while the latter remains the top choice in the world for high-stake grinders.
The result, however, was a staggering loss of 15% of their cash game traffic in a single week’s time. According to PokerScout, Full Tilt is now attracting a 7day average of about 800 players to the rings games, 15% less than last week’s reported traffic.
The Ugly: 888Poker GTDs Upped to Appease Players
Any tournament grinder at 888Poker will vehemently criticize the operator’s servers of late. Disconnections have run rampant since late last year, rumored to be the cause of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks on the part of hackers.
Just recently, 888Poker launched a software upgrade that features a ‘Tournament Pause’, wherein the operator can flip a virtual switch and instantly pause the status of all tournaments when a significant number of players get disconnected, but what players really want is for the problem to come to an end.
Now, as another method of appeasing the tournament playing masses, 888Poker has increased the guaranteed prize pools across 8 of its daily and weekly featured events. On a sliding scale, the smallest increase was seen at the daily $1 Snap Tournament, where the guarantee was bumped from $500 to $750, while the largest boost comes by way of a $25,000 to $30,000 GTD increase at the weekly Quarterback.