Paradise lost

12. October 2005 | Category: 50outs

I’ll start today with my take on the “big move” by PartyGaming last weekend. For those who don’t know what happened: Partypoker splitted from it’s poker network partners (Intertops, Empirepoker , Eurobet and others), creating a new “network” by leaving them all together but drawing out itself. Partypoker is still hosting their technical infrastructure as before but has moved it’s own client base (about 9 million players from what I hear) to a whole new plattform. Now we have Partypoker with it’s gigantic playerbase (~50,000 online) and “X-Poker” (formerly known as party skins) with a pretty much smaller player count (~8,000 online). So what’s it all about you ask? Well, in fact most of the professional players (real pro’s, aspiring pro’s, semi-pro’s and wanna-be’s) are playing on one or more of those skins due to the simple fact that they get rakeback to play there. Partypoker has the policy to pay their affiliates based on rake but prohibits them to give anything from it back to their customers (therefore the term “rakeback”) while the skins were doing this. For a high-volume multi-tabling player this are quickly a few thousand bucks each month. In fact, there a lot of break-even players that made their money due to the rakeback. Now, imagine this: an “X-Poker” network with not so many players on it and a very high percentage of well-playing pro’s. Not what you are looking for.

Party’s reasons are obvious for me: gain more right now as they expect a lot of players coming back from the skins to “the mother” and position itself for their next big move, the “PartyCasino” in 2006. The addition of black-jack tables and sidebets on the flop into the last software version shows already which way they are heading. Expect poker to be only one part of the services they are offering very soon. Will it work out? That is a though question and is discussed in depth in various forums; the reactions range from “boycott party!” to applause, the stock price went down notable. My oppionion: it will work. While we serious poker players (including me, lol) don’t care about the casino games a lot of other’s do. Poker may lose some players due to their loses on the casino games but we may gain some others coming in because of the casino games (much like in b&m). Overall my estimate is that the height of the “poker bubble” is more or less reached (party heading to include different games just confirms that to me) and we might even see a slight downswing in average players in the near future. I doubt the “bubble will burst” but we might get back to “normal” on a very high level compared to 4 years ago.

Pokerstars was quick, offering a nice deposit bonus of $150 to get some of the players that decide to leave Partypoker now. Pokerstars in not paying any rakebacks of rake based commision to affiliates now – if they would come with a nice program these days before the dust settles I guess they could reach the #1 status regarding connected players. Why they don’t do that i beyond me.

Our own consequences are marginal as we are not in the group described above as “pro’s” and therfore have no serious rakeback deal going. We play mostly on stars, some tournament action on party after whoring a bonus and that’s it. I do have an account with eurobet and a rakeback deal going but never really used that so we lose almost nothing here.

In actual play Katja is playing limit holdem on TitanPoker to finally get this $500 first-deposit bonus and some PLO on stars while I keep on 30/60 and tournaments on stars. Yesterday I played about 10 but failed to make anything (lost AA vs. 99, KK vs. JJ, straight vs. flush, AQ vs. A3 and more like this).

We sadly could not make it to Baden this year (EPT event and european stud championship “PokerEM”) but since the last 7 trips to Baden were losing trips it is not to bad… I guess. Right now a nice series (Fiesta al lago with WPT event) is running at the Bellagio and we already had tickets for that but because of business reasons can’t go there either. Foxwood is out of reach also so the next scheduled trip will be Tunica next year.

I heard about a “funny” hand my friend and former weightbet opponent Frank had in Baden: he was playing NLHE cash game and had build a nice stack of about 13,000eur when a young danish guy came to the table. The game was fun with many jokes and live straddles and everything when Frank got A5s and limped, flop was K55. There was a bet and he made a heafty raise, two players folded but the danish guy called. Turn was a J and Frank moved in but got called. River K, danish guy showd KJ for the better fullhouse. This alone is a though beat already but now the other two players explained that they were mucking AK and JJ (!). This means the danish guy has hit three miracles (K on flop-2 outer, J on turn-1 outer, K on river-1 outer) in a row for a 20,000eur pot. This pot could have happened the very same way to me and I just wonder if this seat was meant to be mine…?!

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