PartyPoker Rolls Out Cash Game Antes and High-Stakes MTTs

PartyPoker Rolls Out Cash Game Antes and High-Stakes MTTs

The changes at PartyPoker have been implemented at a random and sometimes expedient pace.

Most of the changes are minor, with some tournaments added here and an ante added there. But almost all of it has been happening via Rob Yong.

On the books, Yong is the owner of Dusk Till Dawn, a casino and cardroom in Lenton, which is in Nottingham in the UK. By looking at his Twitter bio, he is a PartyPoker “partner” and does have an email address with PartyPoker LIVE.

By reading his social media feed, though, it seems as though Yong is heading up a slew of changes at PartyPoker, most notably his “FairPlay” initiative.

No matter his role at the online poker site, Yong’s Twitter feed reveals a number of changes happening or in the works at PartyPoker.

Cash Game Updates

Yong took to Twitter with a video update on September 23 to answer player questions and provide some PartyPoker updates regarding cash games.

He commented on combining some of the Fast Forward leaderboards.

Yong then addressed an issue that had been bugging high-stakes online poker players since it was implemented. Players in cash games above a certain buy-in level were required to use their real names instead of screen names or aliases when playing. It also applied to heads-up games and online satellites into live tournaments.

When Yong spoke about this in June, he said it was to make the games “as ethical and straight and trustworthy” as in a live poker room.

However, there were some very vocal opponents of this change. In response, PartyPoker reimplemented the anonymous option for the high-stakes games.

Yong also mentioned hand histories. Through #MyGame, which has been sufficiently secured, players are now able to export anonymous hand histories to better track their own results.

Finally, as of October 3, cash game antes were going to be implemented. However, the numerous options for antes and the process for doing it with Fast Forward games held it up.

MTT Schedule Changes

For high-stakes players seeking $530 buy-ins and above, Yong announced last week that new daily options would be available:

–Six MTTs on Tuesdays

–Six MTTs on Thursdays

–Eight MTTs on Sundays

–Two MTTs on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays

He did express concerns about running so many high rollers online when many of those regular players will be at PartyPoker LIVE events and not playing online, but he hopes to build a solid online foundation initially and move forward from there.

Days later, Yong announced more changes to the high rollers. Considering the high turnout last Tuesday for the new schedule, PartyPoker upped its guarantees for last Thursday and this Sunday in response.

Last Thursday saw more than $700K in guarantees, doubling that of PartyPoker’s competition.

More increases may continue on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays if players continue to respond well.

In the category of high buy-in tournaments, ranging from $55 to $320, Yong said that quite a few options are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, including more six-max and turbo MTTs.

He also mentioned in the tweet that many tournaments will change to better overall structures but reduced clocks to facilitate earlier finish times.

Regarding mid-stakes to low-stakes tournaments, which includes MTTs with $33 buy-ins and lower, there are more opportunities for those players. This includes the following:

–Increased number of turbo MTTs

–Deepstacks starting every hour, with more during peak times

–Improved clocks and structures for bounty events starting every half-past hour

–Revamped Monster Series

Yong acknowledged that all of the tournaments may not work in the long run, but setting up this basic infrastructure will allow PartyPoker to see what works and what doesn’t work. They will be able to adjust as needed while giving players more opportunities to satellite into live events.

He emphasized that PartyPoker is fully committed to this price point and its players. Efforts are serious to improve the availability of MTTs while listening to players as to what they want.

Satellite Changes

Yong took to Twitter again to announce changes to satellites.

Currently, ticket satellites have expiration dates of 7-28 days on those tickets.

Beginning on October 27, players will win tournament dollars instead of tickets. They are more flexible and offer 12 months before expiration. Some high-risk events will offer direct satellites, but most satellites will offer complete flexibility with tournament dollars.

More Bot Bans

As usual, PartyPoker continued its investigation into bots on the site. The Poker Fraud Team consists of former pro poker players who look into suspicious activity.

For the month of September, there were only 16 bot accounts detected, 13 of which came from the dot-com site and three from the dot-eu market.

A total of $9,338 was confiscated from the dot-com accounts and €3,368 from the dot-eu accounts, all of which is being analyzed and scheduled for return to affected players.

It seems that so many bots have been banned so far this year that there are fewer operating in general on PartyPoker.

July was a significant month with 121 fraudulent accounts closed, but August saw a decrease, with only 48 accounts closed. September is down significantly from those numbers.

The process continues, though, so as to keep the site as free of bots as possible.


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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