Bundapoker.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya - Since my last batch of reviews, New Jersey‘s online poker rooms have improved the way in which they deliver their brand of poker to the masses.
It’s just too bad that most of the state’s poker playing faithful weren’t around to notice.
Where’d everybody go?
Throughout the spring cash-game volume continued to spiral downward, reaching a six-month low in early June before finally leveling off.
Granted, new iPoker industries typically experience early plateaus followed by sharp drop-offs. However, the rate of attrition in New Jersey has exceeded those experienced by other ring fenced markets, such as Italy.
The decreased interest in NJ online poker has also resulted in declining revenue totals, with month-over-month tallies dropping nearly 13 percent from April to May.
On a brighter note, since late-April, the 11.5 percent cash-game volume drop in New Jersey is roughly on par with the dip experienced by the worldwide market.
This relative stability can likely be Bundapoker.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya explained by a number of factors such as improved promotional schedules, upgraded software, more varied mobile options and the market’s inability to realistically fall much further.
In our latest round of reviews we look as each aspect of NJ’s poker rooms, making particular note of where they improved and what changes must still be made should they hope to survive the dog days of summer and, in what seems a near inevitability, the rise of PokerStars.
Review: PartyPoker NJ
NJ.PartyPoker.com and BorgataPoker.com share player liquidity and utilize the same software, with only their promotional schedules differing from one another. Therefore, in most categories they will be graded as one unit.
Traffic: Party / Borgata loses ground on pack
Relative to other sites, Party / Borgata has sustained above average losses.
According to PokerFuse Pro via PokerScout, the state’s most heavily trafficked network currently controls approximately 41 percent of all cash-game volume – 2.6 percent less than it did in late-April.
In the past 10 weeks, traffic is down 21 percent, although the majority of those losses were incurred in early-to-mid May. Since, the network has slowly bled customers at a steady weekly clip.
Players should expect to find anywhere from 40 – 70 ring games running during peak weeknight hours, mostly of the NLHE 6-Max variety, although some low stakes PLO and O8 can usually be found. Stakes range from $0.01 / $0.02 up through $3 / $6 and occasionally $5 / $10.
Twelve weeks ago, when the network was still flourishing, I counted upwards of 110 – 120 tables running concurrently on a Monday night.
Despite a much lower VIG, better payout structure and additional formats (Double or Nothing, Hyper-Turbos, Coin Flip), SNG volume has taken a huge hit, down somewhere in the area of 50 percent since April.
The inclusion of Sit & Go leaderboards may help to revitalize interest, but for now, don’t expect to find more than 20 SNGs to be running at once.
Tournament turnouts have also plummeted, with the week’s biggest Major – the Sunday $50k – rarely fulfilling its minimum benchmark. The Daily $10k, $5k and $2k Re-buy haven’t fared much better, with turnouts usually in the area of 90 – 120 runners.
In lieu of this, it’s unlikely that we’ll see another $100k Guaranteed for at least the duration of the summer.
Yet, like its SNGs, Party / Borgata’s MTT Bundapoker.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya schedule is stronger than it was three months ago.
At the time of this writing, the combination of Party and Borgata holds the slimmest of leads over WSOP.com. And unlike in Nevada, where WSOP’s traffic surge is justified, I have to believe that in New Jersey, players just prefer what WSOP has to offer.
Grade (last review grade in parenthesis): B- (B)
Value/promotions: Suddenly, Party is a player
For the longest time, I was thoroughly unimpressed with PartyPoker’s array of pedestrian promotions.
That all changed a few days ago.
The most welcome change is the ten-fold increase of its new player bonus. Players who make their first deposit on Party are now entitled to a 100% match bonus up to $1,000.
Augmenting the appeal of the promotion is the fact that the bonus clears at a 50% rakeback rate.
These two facets of the promotion (which apparently is not just a limited time offer) alone automatically vault Party’s new player bonus from bottom feeder to top dog.
The sole drawback of the deposit bonus is that it clears in only four increments, meaning that players attempting to unlock the full $1,000 will have to earn 1,000 loyalty points before they receive a dime. But considering that the bonus never expires, the delay should only impact the most casual players.
Also of note, both Party and Borgata have added Sit & Go Leaderboards. From now until August 10, SNG grinders on both sites will be playing for their share of an additional $2,000 in cash per week.
Most of the network’s other promotions are yawn-worthy, with perhaps the sole exception being Borgata’s The Grind – and even that only awards the most committed players with anything resembling serious cashback.
Speaking of, when it comes to rakeback, both Party and Borgata player loyalty programs are severely lacking. At best, top tier players on Borgata can convert their accumulated points into a 15 percent cashback bonus or a paltry 5.3 percent direct conversion.
The situation on Party is even worse, as Palladium Elite (the site’s top tier) members are only entitled to a 10 percent cashback bonus. That’s atrocious.
However, given the sudden commonality of overlays and the restructuring of the network’s SNG fees, there is significantly more value to be had playing non-cash formats on Party / Borgata than just a few weeks prior.
Big improvement overall.
Grade: Party B (C), Borgata B- (C+)
Software: Better, but Party / Borgata’s client still irksome
Give Party NJ points for finally allowing players to view individual ring game tables, and for granting them the ability to view pertinent table stats. Take away those same points for not adding what is seemingly a trivial feature – wait lists.
The addition of SNGs to Party’s Android powered mobile app is also a pleasant, albeit long overdue upgrade.
But the fact remains that for the most part, Party’s client favors glitz over functionality, and that’s a problem.
Loading times are still in the 15 second range, strong authentication codes can take upwards of five minutes to hit my inbox (if they hit at all), half of the client’s promotional links are broken and I still have to hold my breath every time I jump from one menu tab to another.
But it looks great!
Furthermore, the notifications tab is still a mess, often times informing me that an achievement was met “Moments Ago” when in fact it happened in January.
Software and geo-location crashes are fewer and farther between, but still tend to occur during the most inopportune times.
Overall, Party’s client can be likened to a painting of the 19th century impressionism style – looks great from a distance, but upon closer examination, it’s ugliness is revealed.
Grade: C (C-)
Customer Service: The company is always right
Before delving into how deficient and detached Party’s customer service continues to be, let’s focus on the positives:
Party continues to incorporate player suggestions into their poker offering, resulting in a vastly improved NJCOP schedule, an overall better daily tournament roll-out, and fairer SNG payout tables.
Live chat and phone queue times are shorter and more in line with what the system predicts, although I suspect this has more to do with the network’s decreased traffic than anything else.
Party_Rep, the network’s dedicated Two Plus Two forum go-to, is a bit more responsive.
I have two major problems with Party’s customer service team:
Their complete unwillingness to acknowledge fault.
Their inability to answer all but the most rudimentary questions without escalating the issue to another department.
Furthermore, software upgrades are often implemented without corresponding patch notes, leaving players high and dry as to what was actually improved.
And worst of all, the network takes an exceedingly cold, “sorry, we can’t help you” attitude towards any issue where they believe they’re not at fault. One needn’t look further than the recent $50k Guaranteed debacle to see that.
Other player concerns are addressed via makeshift solutions that impede players willingness to continue using the site.
In short, I’m of the mind that Party’s wayward communication and poor solutions are the primary reason why it continues to lose customers.
Based on the merits of the few things they’ve done right, I’ll award them a passing grade, but only by the slimmest of margins.
Grade: D- (F)
Overall: Gradual improvement is better than no improvement
Compared to late-April, Party has done just enough to move up a half-letter grade. Its software and customer service are still a far cry from what they were in the pre-UIGEA days, but its aggressive promotional schedule and improved cash-game lobby are worthy of praise, as is its partial recognition of player requests.
Still, you would think that the partnership of Atlantic City’s most profitable casino in the Borgata and one of the largest publicly traded gaming companies in the world could do better.
Grade: C+ (C)
Review: WSOP NJ
WSOP.com is New Jersey’s Bundapoker.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya single biggest standalone site, and second largest network. While there were times WSOP NJ trailed Party by a significant margin, that gap has been all but eradicated.
Traffic: Cash-game traffic rivals Party’s
After ebbing and tiding throughout May and most of June, traffic on WSOP NJ is on a sustained upswing – the reasoning behind which initially eluded me.
First I checked out the software. Nothing new of note.
Then, after scouring through the site’s software and promotional page, I still couldn’t pinpoint why 7-day cash-game averages were up nearly 25 percent since mid-June.
Checking my email, I noticed that the network was offering a limited time 200% up to $100 match bonus on all reloads – but the majority of the surge occurred before that offer was extended. So that wasn’t it.
Then it hit me. WSOP.com is thriving A) because brand recognition is at an all-time high and B) it’s just good. More on this later.
Players should expect to find anywhere between 30 to 60 concurrent cash games running during prime time. Most fates are decided over a 6-Max NLHE table, with a smattering of PLO and 9-Max tables also to be found.
Stakes generally run the gamut from a minuscule $0.05 / $.10 to $5 / $10
SNG traffic is also performing rather well (15 -25 tables), largely in part to the network’s generous S&G Leaderboard promotion, which is currently awarding five times the weekly prize pool as Party / Borgata.
Tournament traffic has also rebounded slightly, in large part due to the inception of both the WSOP Online Championship Series and the recently concluded Mini-Fest. And while the WSOPOC ultimately did not live up to its vaulted expectations, it exhibited WSOP’s continued commitment to hosting high buy-in tournaments on at least a quarterly basis.
In addition, Mini-Fest did feature something sorely missing from the network’s regular MTT offerings, and that was mid-stakes ($20 – $50 buy-in) tournaments. It’s just too bad WSOP hasn’t incorporated more of them into its daily schedule. Maybe soon.
While we’re on the topic, most of WSOP’s higher buy-in daily and weekly tournaments – the $25,000 Weekly Sunday, $5,000 Nightly Guarantee and $10,000 Nightly in particular – are currently featuring modest overlays. The network’s MTT menu continues to be heavily skewed towards Re-buy and Add-on formats, rendering the buy-in amounts for some tourneys a bit deceptive. Buyer beware.
One final note – on July 5, 7-day cash game averages on WSOP were 137, a mere one player behind those on Party / Borgata. This is the closest the two networks have been since regulated online poker went live in late-November.
However, because traffic grades are based on performance relative to other sites and because WSOP still features slightly less overall traffic than Party / Borgata, I decided to leave its grade as is.
Grade: B- (B-)
Value/promotions: Tremendous, with one glaring exception
WSOP’s promotional schedule oozes of appeal. It’s 100% up to $1,000 first time deposit bonus is only superseded by a nearly equivalent bonus from Party, the latter of which unlocks bonuses at an increased cashback rate.
However WSOP is the only network to have taken its generosity one step further, by allowing current players to enjoy the same match bonus offer as newbies.
OK, so WSOP’s match bonuses expire after 90 days and are only equivalent to a 20 percent cashback deal. But on the positive side, they’re released in small $10 increments, meaning that even casual players should have no issue unlocking at least part of their bonus.
Increasing WSOP’s value are one-off promos like Multi-Table Madness, Summer App Dash and of course the S&G Leaderboards.
Add in live WSOP oriented promos like the 5-Seat Scramble, frequent WSOP satellites and a plethora of freerolls and tournament events, and poker players end up feeling like a kid in a candy store.
And lest we forget, WSOP takes no issue covering tremendous overlays, evidenced by the more than $100k it put up for the WSOPOC Main Event.
Right now, there’s hardly a valid reason to play on any other site – at least while the live WSOP is still running.
Well, there is one reason.
In order to round out its promotional slate, WSOP felt compelled to slash the cashback rewarded through its player loyalty program. Actually, “slash” is an understatement – more like decimate.
Although top tier players will enjoy either the same or increased rakeback, the Average Joe on WSOP will now receive approximately half the cashback they did before the change was implemented.
New Action Club tiers can be viewed here.
Head of Online Poker Bill Rini justified the new loyalty tiers in a post on Two Plus Two, but suffice to say, some players just weren’t having it.
I too, initially took issue with the sweeping change, but over time, grew to appreciate what the site is doing, and believe that if volume continues to increase, that the VIP benefits program will be modified once again – this time for the better.
Grade: B+ (B)
Software: Functions better than it looks
Pedestrian aesthetics aside, WSOP’s software has reached the point where it can be considered both stable and functional.
While players who enjoy in-depth customization are best left looking elsewhere, WSOP’s minimalist approach to online poker keeps things clean without sacrificing the essentials.
Time banks, wait lists, lobby filters, quick access to the cashier – they’re all there and all operate smoothly.
In many ways, WSOP’s client (which is also the same one utilized by 888) is the antithesis of Party / Borgata’s. Whereas the latter looks better, it’s functionality is severely hindered by glitches and lag. WSOP’s, on the other hand, is fairly drab but client hangups are rare and intuitiveness abounds.
That’s not to say players won’t experience the occasional crash or geo-targeting discrepancy (Mac users in particular have experienced issues), but compared to the state of disarray it was in last November, WSOP should be commended for its efforts.
Even its Android and iOS apps are clean, concise and well-thought out. More importantly, they work. Just remember to mute that god-awful background music.
So if you’re not expecting PokerStars, and by this point most New Jersey players aren’t, WSOP’s client will serve as a more than serviceable, if slightly antiquated, placeholder.
Grade: B (B-)
Customer service: Spotty at times, but mostly strong
The fact that WSOP did not forewarn players regarding the implementation of a new player loyalty scheme until after the fact causes the network to lose a few points.
And Bill Rini’s decision to take a more detached approach to forum involvement, while justified, certainly doesn’t help either.
Furthermore, I’m still not exactly sure why after an unexpected server shutdown, WSOP doesn’t distribute the prize pool based on ICM counts, as opposed to even distribution.
That out of the way, Rini is hands-down the best of NJ’s 2+2 forum reps, and generally speaking, outside of a few depositing issues, complaints on the forums are few and far between.
Customer service reps are somewhat knowledgeable, albeit perfunctory, but pleasant enough.
But the fact that I’ve only needed to reach them on a select few occasions speaks volume as to how little trouble I’ve had playing on WSOP.
Grade: B+ (A-)
Overall: Another solid effort
Customer service and the revamping of its VIP scheme aside, WSOP’s past two months have been its best, and I didn’t even touch upon how admirable a job it did cross-promoting its online offering with the live WSOP and catering to players who have had difficulty loading funds via traditional methods, particularly credit/debit cards.
My concern is that with the live WSOP coming to a close, will WSOP scale back on its generosity, contenting itself to only roll out the red carpet each June, or will it continue down the path it’s going?
In either case, WSOP has done more in the past month to raise U.S. regulated poker awareness than NJ’s other three networks have since their inception, and that’s worth something.
Just not enough to bump it up to the “A” range.
Grade: B+ (B+)
Review: 888 Poker NJ
888Poker NJ is the sole tenant of the All American Poker Network (AAPN).
It is currently the third largest network in New Jersey. It’s also by far the most volatile, often relying on fire sale-like promos to draw traffic back to the site.
Traffic: Promotions pull 888 from the brink of obscurity
If it wasn’t for its seasonal promotions and generous freerolls, 888 would have probably already gone the way of the dinosaur. But as for now, the site is in the midst of a modest resurgence.
However, since April 23, 7-day cash-game averages have fallen 18 percent. Though that’s a far cry from the 43.5 percent it dropped from late-April to early June.
Still, at a current average of 64 concurrent ring game players, traffic is down 56 percent from its February peak of 146.
See what I mean by volatile?
On an average weekday it is not uncommon to find somewhere between 20 and 25 ring games running on 888, although those looking for variation are best headed elsewhere, as over 90 percent of active tables are NLHE 6-Max. The remainder tend to be of the low stakes PLO ($0.10 / $0.25 – $.5 / $1) variety.
As for the 6-Max games, I’ve rarely seen stakes higher than $1 / $2.
Sit & Go’s are not popular on 888, which is unsurprising considering there is absolutely zero incentive for playing them.
Daily tournament guarantees are low, with most ranging from $100 to at most $2,000. Due to the low buy-in to guaranteed ratio, overlays on 888 are a rarity, with only the high roller and Major events typically featuring increased value.
I do however give 888 at least some credit for hosting a varied daily tournament schedule. Re-buy and standard format MTTs are balanced proportionately, as are full-ring and 6-max offerings. Buy-ins typically range from $1 to $100 on weekdays, and up to $200 on Sundays.
But paid entry tournaments boasting more than 100 runners are a novelty, and for that reason, along with 888′s general inability to retain players, it’s traffic grade suffers.
Grade: D+ (C-)
Value/promotions: Ranges from average to otherworldly
I’ll say this, 888 sure knows how to run a promotion.
Just when 888 appears to be teetering on the brink of irrelevance, it’ll roll out a lucrative cashback promo. First, it was a 50% cashback deal, then an 80%.
And now, grinders who make at least one deposit during the promotional period are entitled to twice the loyalty points.
A celebration of the site’s newly implemented player loyalty program, the aptly named Double Points promo effectively hoists the amount of rakeback players can receive up to 70 percent.
With even the most casual players receiving a dime back for every buck they contribute to the pot, Double Points is far and away the best standalone promotion in New Jersey.
But even without twice the rakeback, 888′s long awaited 888Poker Rewards scheme is the most accessible and worthwhile in NJ – although given the competition that still isn’t saying much.
There there are the daily freerolls. Each day grinders who play 30 raked hands or sign up for five tourneys will receive two tickets to a $5,000 free entry MTT. That’s in addition to the two tickets they’ll receive for free.
All told, 888 is putting out $250,000, all in the hopes of attracting new players.
One problem: After the promotion ends, what reason do these players have to stick around?
Having a fairly generous player loyalty program is a nice start, but compared to its sister site WSOP, 888′s promotional schedule is lacking. Even its 100% first time deposit bonus up to $888, which was once the best in NJ, comes up short in comparison to what WSOP and Party are currently offering.
Regardless of its dubiously aggressive approach to promotions, the value to be had by playing cash-games and freerolls on 888 is nearly unprecedented. But I wouldn’t be surprised if another 50 percent of its fair-weather patrons abandon ship once the free money stops flowing.
Give 888 credit for running a promotion that makes players legitimately earn their status, whilst still making life easier on them, but I have to question how long the site can rely on its current promotional strategy.
Grade: B- (C-)
Software: With time comes stability
888′s poker client is the same one utilized by WSOP. As such, they are aesthetic and functional mirrors of one another. WSOP features slightly crisper graphics, appears a bit more prone to crashes and tends to give Mac users a few more headaches. Beyond that, they’re virtually the same.
Where 888 has really made strides is in the mobile arena. Two months ago, I couldn’t even log-on to the mobile app. Now, more times than not I’m provided with a relatively seamless on-the-go poker playing experience.
I’d be lying if the system verified my location with 100 percent accuracy, but because the app (which again, is virtually identical to WSOP’s mobile offering) is generally so responsive, I’m willing to forgive the occasional geo-targeting glitch.
Yet, the intermittent server crash prevents me from bolstering 888′s software up a half grade.
Grade: B (B)
Customer service: Reps are uninformed
The biggest issue I take with 888′s customer service team lies not with its representatives, but with management.
Customer service reps are rarely informed about the sites new promotions, leaving them unable to answer the simplest question. And the fact that 888 tends to bury the rigid terms of its promos deep within the recesses of their fine print doesn’t help matters.
The site’s Two Plus Two forum rep rarely provides clarity, instead choosing to escalate select issues to the proper department. Rarely do I see accounts of customers who’ve had their issues resolved.
That, and 888 is the only network not to feature a dedicated forum page. The best players get is a single 888poker USA thread, rendering issues players deserve to know about exceedingly difficult to find.
But maybe that’s all part of the site’s grand scheme. After all, would they really want the masses knowing how poorly it handles tournament cancellations?
Grade: C- (C-)
Overall: Too inconsistent to recommend
My advice to hardcore NJ players: play on 888 whenever it hosts a rakeback promotion, but read the fine print first. All too often, player expectations do not line up with what 888 is actually selling. It’s these kinds of shady, deceptive practices that leaves me skeptical about making 888 my go-to site.
The reality is that 888 is a ticking time-bomb. Eventually, it’ll stop handing out barrels of free cash, and when in does, unless its communication and policies vastly improve, I can’t see it surviving.
Probably it’s best bet would be to share liquidity with WSOP, and let the latter call the shots. That way, at least WSOP/888 would stand a greater chance once online poker behemoth PokerStars enters the mix.
But based solely on the merits of its improved mobile app and recent promos, I’ll bump 888 up a half grade, but I can’t see them ever going much higher.
Grade C (C-)
Review: Ultimate Poker NJ
Ultimate Poker is New Jersey’s perennial basement dweller, and despite some aggressive moves, it has seemingly accepted its fate as a non-player in the state’s nascent iPoker industry.
Traffic: What traffic?
As to not insult the efforts of the Ultimate Poker team, which for the most part have been exemplary, I’ll try to keep my comments brief.
At 10:00 PM on a weekday, I couldn’t find a single cash-game running. On weekends, players might find one or two active 6-max tables, but it’s a roll of the dice.
7-day ring game averages hover somewhere between 3 and 4. SNG volume is nonexistent.
And with most of the site’s tournament guarantees drastically reduced, turnouts for paid entry tournaments are rarely above 20. Even freerolls have trouble breaking the triple-digit turnout marker.
If those numbers don’t spell disaster, then I don’t know what does.
Grade: F (D-)
Value/promotions: More confounding than appealing
I don’t know what UP was thinking when they launched Cash Game Crazy.
On paper, it’s one of the most potentially lucrative cashback deals I’ve ever seen. But upon further examination, it utterly lacks appeal.
Cash Game Crazy awards players who participate in UP’s Winner Take All raked ring games with 100% rakeback. Except that the rakeback is actually paid in the form of U$ – the site’s currency.
What this essentially means is that any rakeback generated can only be put towards tournament buy-ins and for use at UCasino slot machines, and not for reentry into ring games.
If that weren’t confounding enough, shortly after rolling out the promo, UP cut the guarantees for its biggest daily and weekly MTTs by a staggering 80 percent or more.
What we’re left with is no way to earn U$, since the site’s cash game lobby is a barren wasteland, and no real desire to spend them even if we could.
The recently announced The Big 10 tournament series is sort of appealing, if only because the top players will receive a bonus payout, but hardly enough to recoup all the value that was lost.
Now, do I blame UP for taking a more conservative stance – hardly. But is it’s more moderate approach to online poker offer any real value to players? Not especially.
Grade: C- (B-)
Software: Latest patch bolsters UP’s client up to acceptable
After nearly eight months, UP’s client is approaching a nearly acceptable level of quality.
The geo-location process no longer relies on the use of a mobile device, the network has implemented a pre-paid card as an alternative funding option (particularly useful for Visa credit/debit card users), limited hand histories are finally available and time banks are now operations.
And by implementing wait lists, UP has at least one feature that PartyPoker NJ – which has been in the iGaming business since its infancy - is lacking.
Great stuff, but it comes at a time when online poker traffic in NJ is near its lowest point, and long after most players already gave up on UP. It’s too bad really.
Grade: C (D-)
Customer Service: So long Terrence
Terrence Chan was the driving force behind Ultimate Poker’s Player Care team. With his sudden departure, the stronger facet of UP’s business is now a big question mark.
Thus far, there has been no noticeable falloff in quality. Questions are still answered in a timely matter. And UP’s Aces continue to be courteous, responsive and knowledgeable of the game.
Yet, I have to wonder how much longer players will be able to expect this kind of quality, even if call volume remains low.
Grade: B+ (A-)
Overall: Time to pack it in
As much as I’ve been an advocate of Bundapoker.com Agen Texas Poker Dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya Ultimate Poker’s home-grown approach to online poker, I can’t see it surviving long into the PokerStars era. Its prospects in Nevada, where PokerStars will remain a non-player are better, but even there it trails WSOP.com by a wide margin.
Chan’s departure foreshadows what is probably the departure of Ultimate Poker from NJ’s market. Sorry UP, it’s been a fun ride.