Ultimate Poker Announces Software Upgrades
Ultimate Poker, the first legal, regulated online poker room to launch in the United States when it did so in Nevada at the end of April 2013, released several upgrades to its client software this week that should be welcomed by its customers.
One of the bigger updates has nothing to do with gameplay, but rather the ability to actually login to play in the games. Poker players who wish to login to Ultimate Poker in Nevada must have their location verified, as they are required to be within state borders. This geolocation process has involved triangulating a player’s cell phone signal to get a read on their location. Now, because problems having to do with public wi-fi hotspots have been fixed, Ultimate Poker players can have their locations verified if they are using regular wi-fi without the need to have an active cell phone on them. Should there be an issue with wi-fi geolocation, the cell phone will still be the fallback option.
Ultimate Poker ran into various problems last year with geolocation. When Ultimate Poker launched, Verizon did not allow its customers to have their signals geolocated, so nobody with a Verizon phone could access the poker room. That got resolved within a couple weeks, but for months, the accuracy of geolocation services was also a problem. Because triangulation is an inexact science, Ultimate Poker could not risk allowing people from outside Nevada to logon. Therefore, a buffer zone of sorts was established just inside the state’s borders inside which players would be unable to login to prevent people from across the border accidentally being geolocated on the wrong side of the line. Obviously, this didn’t sit well with those who wanted to play; that buffer zone was eventually narrowed.
In October 2013, both Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com were the victims of AT&T maintenance which resulted in geolocation services going down on two different days. With the new wi-fi geolocation, these sorts of issues should be eliminated.
The same wi-fi geolocation is being implemented in New Jersey for those who want to play on Ultimate Casino. Additionally, Ultimate Casino has added 25 new games from Amaya Gaming.
While Ultimate Poker has generally been well-liked, its software offering has been meager. In an effort to be first to market, it did without many fairly basic features that players have been used to on other sites. Now, several of those have been added:
• The table now has a link to the previous hand report, making it quick and easy to review what just happened.
• Time bank – players can now click a button to request more time for an important or difficult decision
• Opponents can be color coded for instant identification of player types (as determined by the person doing the color coding, of course)
• Tournament re-buy and add-on displays in the tournament lobby are now available
• Waitlists for full tables are now active
• Auto-bonusing – allows real-time tracking and receipt of bonuses.
You may look at this list of upgrades and think that they are nothing special. You would be correct. They aren’t anything special in the online poker industry. In fact, they are totally standard. But that is exactly how barebones Ultimate Poker’s client software has been. It was still totally playable, as none of these things are make or break details, but online poker software is much more useable and player friendly if things like waitlists and automated bonus tracking are included as features. Personally, I remember back around 2005 or so when internet casino bonuses were lucrative, I deposited hundreds of dollars at a time on casino sites and had to manually keep track of how much I had wagered and then e-mail customer service to make sure I had met the playthrough requirements. It didn’t make me want to forgo the easy money, but boy, was it a pain.
In a press release, Ultimate Gaming Chief Executive Officer Tobin Prior said of the improvements, “These software releases mark a significant initial step forward in terms of our company’s focus on responding to our customers’ needs and making steady progress on improving the online gaming experience.”
Nevada players will also now have the option to deposit and withdraw funds with an Ultimate Prepaid Debit Card, an option that already exists for New Jersey customers.
On a related deposit and cash out note, Ultimate Gaming’s partnership with the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Nevada will go live soon, if it hasn’t already. In March, the two announced that Ultimate Poker will be the online poker room for the casino, as well as its related properties Montego Bay Hotel Casino, Peppermill Hotel Casino, Rainbow Hotel Casino, and Western Village Inn and Casino. Players will be able to make financial transactions for the online poker room at any of those properties.