PartyPoker Updates and Start of KO Series
All online poker sites change with time, adjusting to evolving gaming environments and regulations. PartyPoker seems to do more than most. The GVC-owned online poker operator seems to make more changes than others and actually solicits player feedback with the intent to incorporate suggestions and desires into the site.
PartyPoker released quite a few upgrades and a lot of information in the past two months. This included a December software update to offer “run it twice” options, new heads-up optimization, more mobile poker options, information about bots, and the kickoff of its latest KO Series. And what’s the deal with facial recognition?
Let’s break it down.
Run It Twice
The December software update for Windows and Mac users brought a popular feature to the online cash games. Run It Twice is something that many players use in private live games to run the community cards twice.
The cards that decide the game – the turn and river, all five cards, or river only – are drawn twice to satisfy the curiosity of players. This can result in the original winner keeping the pot or the two players splitting the pot if the second run delivers a different outcome.
Originally, Run It Twice was only available in fastforward games, but the plan is to expand it to more cash games and mobile games over time.
We having a debate on “Run It Twice” – when you play a cash game what do you choose ?
— Rob Yong (@rob_yong_) January 8, 2020
Other Update Improvements
Speaking of fastforward, PartyPoker designed a special lobby just for those games, similar to those for SPINS and Short Deck games.
The December update also created an improvement for all-in situations. If one player is all in and another is not, the new function makes it easier to see opponents’ stack sizes, the size of the pot, and how much remains in a stack behind an all-in move.
For tournament players, the ITM (in-the-money) indicator was made more prominent for SNG (sit & go) tournaments. The display was set into the top-left corner of the screen with different colors to show the stages of the tournament that players are in at the moment. Other information in the box is the player’s position, number of players remaining, value of next pay jump, amount of current payout, and total bounties in PKOs.
Speaking of bounties, the Big Bounty theme offers a brighter display to make it easier to see, especially for multi-tabling players.
King of the Hill Heads-Up
As mentioned in the video above, King of the Hill was actually released very recently. This helps reduce the number of players waiting for certain heads-up tables.
King of the Hill limits the number of cash game heads-up tables available at each stake. Players who want seats at those tables compete against each other to fill tables quicker. With the ability to wait for only one table at a time, more action is encouraged.
The goal is to improve the player experience while also helping PartyPoker keep up with “cash game ecology” by offering a fairer situation.
Mobile fastforward Options
PartyPoker also recently introduced fastforward cash games for mobile players. For those who enjoy the fast-fold poker that requires less time to commit to games, they can play single-handed fastforward cash games.
In addition, all fastforward players now have a new lobby, mentioned above. But players can also now switch between SPINS and fastforward games and play them both at the same time if desired. The in-game currency of Diamonds is also now available in fastforward games, as well as bubble chat, emojis, and animated all-ins.
13 Months of Bot Bans
The Poker Fraud Team at PartyPoker has been working for more than a year to find and delete online poker bots detected on its site. Bots include any account using prohibited tools or collusion to garner an unfair advantage in play.
Every player can report bots, which is how many of the bots are detected. The Fraud Team also boasts of a number of former online poker pros who understand how to analyze play to detect any discrepancies or unusual behavior that should be investigated.
When accounts are closed, the monies seized are redistributed to players who were victimized by the bot accounts. So far, the history of the Poker Fraud Team’s efforts shows these results:
–December 2018: 76 accounts closed, $416,967 redistributed
–January 2019: 32 accounts, $126,029
–February 2019: 27 accounts, $66,944
–March 2019: 142 accounts, $124,913
–April 2019: 94 accounts, $182,254
–May 2019: 42 accounts, $50,798
–June 2019: 67 accounts, $34,122
–July 2019: 121 accounts, $174,336
–August 2019: 48 accounts, $181,407
–September 2019: 16 accounts, $13,076
–October 2019: 57 accounts, $15,629
–November 2019: 46 accounts, $11,378
–December 2019: 21 accounts, $6,761
To date, a total of 789 accounts have been closed through the end of 2019 with $1,404,614 redistributed back to PartyPoker players.
With no HUDS permitted and major resources dedicated to bot detection we are committed to a level playing field for all players and returned $1.4m to players from banned accounts in 2019. Why play anywhere else? https://t.co/oCZUitTao7 18+. Play responsibly. begambleaware pic.twitter.com/bsselsyMBr
— partypoker (@partypoker) January 23, 2020
Third-Party Tools Prohibited
PartyPoker keeps players updated as to the third-party tools permitted or prohibited when playing on the site. The only programs now allowed to be open and used while the gaming client is open are:
All other online poker programs have been banned due to violations of PartyPoker’s terms and conditions. These banned tools include anything that plays without human intervention, makes decisions for a player, or circumvents hand history restrictions.
Re; As promised, Hand Histories [anonymous only] are now available to download @partypoker in 'mygame' tab. Apologies for delay but wanted to be 100% happy with encryption. We have also contacted @PokerTracker @holdemmanager so they can make exporting compatible. KTF Rob 🙏 pic.twitter.com/gUYBCUCiV3
— Rob Yong (@rob_yong_) November 8, 2019
There are some sites that can be used but only when PartyPoker is not running. Those are:
New Ban on Queueing
A new ban went into effect on the first day of 2020 to prohibit queueing. This happens when a player or group of players intentionally avoids certain opponents during “blind” registration periods. This happens with things like STTs, in which player screen names are hidden until the game begins.
This goes also with bans on ratholing or “going south,” which happens when a player removes some of their chips to reduce their stake in a game. This is now banned in fastforward games to prohibit players from leaving a fastforward group and then immediately rejoining with a buy-in of less than what they previous showed on the table.
A policy currently under consideration pertains to the use of facial recognition. It seems as if PartyPoker consultant Rob Yong plans to work with the site to implement it to stop cheaters and bots from opening or buying new accounts and to stop multi-accounting and ghosting.
The plan is to require facial recognition upon signing into a PartyPoker account but also as a random check on final table players and those competing in high-stakes cash games.
Yong took to Twitter to get a feel for player reactions, and an overwhelming number of the 5,460 votes support facial recognition.
I am going to ask @partypoker to implement Facial Recognition on Sign in [+ randomly when ITM/Final Tables + Higher Stakes Cash Games to 1) stop cheaters/bots opening/buying new accounts 2) stop multi – accounting 3] Stop ghosting – Do you support this ?
— Rob Yong (@rob_yong_) January 30, 2020
KO Series Underway
The latest edition of the PartyPoker KO Series started yesterday, February 2, and it will run through February 16. The schedule boasts of 230 tournaments with more than $10 million in prize pool guarantees.
Buy-ins range from $2.20 to $2,100 per tournament, and all of them will be in the progressive knockout (PKO) format. The schedule offers a variety of formats – Big Ante PLO, 6-Max and 8-Max NLHE, and Mix Max options – as well as six event tiers – micro, low, mid, high, high roller, and super high roller.
The final day of action will offer several big guarantees. As for the two Main Events and their various tiers alone, there will be more than $1.4 million in guarantees. Those eight individual events are set for Sunday, February 16:
–Event 67 (low): $5.50 NLHE 8-Max ($20K GTD)
–Event 67 (mid): $55 NLHE 8-Max ($200K GTD)
–Event 67 (high): $320 NLHE 8-Max ($500K GTD)
–Event 67 (super high roller): $2,100 NLHE 8-Max ($500K GTD)
–Event 68 (low): $5.50 PLO 6-Max ($5K GTD)
–Event 68 (mid): $55 PLO 6-Max ($20K GTD)
–Event 68 (high): $320 PLO 6-Max ($50K GTD)
–Event 68 (super high roller): $2,100 PLO 6-Max ($200K GTD)
The full schedule is on the PartyPoker website.
Mamma said knock you out! Great news, #KOSeries returns from February 2nd and brings with it more than $10 million worth of guaranteed PKO prize pools. We can't wait, can you? https://t.co/ya0vkc10ph 18+. Play responsibly. begambleaware pic.twitter.com/sPePYzDeTr
— partypoker (@partypoker) January 22, 2020