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Wait Lists Coming to partypoker New Jersey in 2015

Partypoker* has been one of the leaders of the online poker scene for many moons (I know, define “leader”). The company supposedly knows what players want and how to put together a solid software package (stop snickering). That makes it all the more perplexing that partypoker consciously decided NOT to include the most basic of features in its software for the New Jersey market: the wait list. But now, as if via Christmas miracle, the poker room has announced that wait lists are coming next year. Rejoice, for all your prayers have been answered!

Players on Two Plus Two have been petitioning partypoker to add a wait list feature since May, though the rally has not been all that strong, probably since there are not many players on partypoker in New Jersey. PokerScout shows the Party Borgata Network, which consists of BorgataPoker.com and nj.partypoker.com, as having an average of 150 cash-game players over the last seven days. That only makes it the 39th largest poker room or network on the internet, though it is still bigger than any of its competitors in the Garden State. WSOP.com has 120 cash game players and the All American Poker Network has just 65.

At any rate, people have wanted a wait list for quite some time and last week, Colette, a representative from the poker room, responded in the Two Plus Two thread with the brief statement, “Having spoken with our Product team today – we have a wait list solution planned to go live early 2015.” take a number wait list

So, that’s good. At the same time, though, there is some skepticism because of the wording of the response. What is a “wait list solution?” Is it a real wait list or is it some sort of quasi-wait list? Is it a “wait list solution” like Cheez Wiz is a processed “cheese product?” Is it like a Price is Right situation where you wait in line and then a producer chooses who actually gets to play based on charisma?

Believe it or not, there are some people who think wait lists are bad for online poker. One opinion has it that wait lists are the domain of “regulars” and that recreational players have no interest in them, as they just want to play in a game as quickly as possible. They will find an open table, sit down, and get to it. Regulars, assumed to be the strongest players, practice careful table selection and look for a table with weak players. With a wait list, they can clog up a table by queueing up for a wait list, rather than starting a new table. This limits the number of active tables and therefore makes it even harder to get into a game, or so the theory goes.

Most people, though, feel that wait lists are necessary. Many players don’t want to start new tables and play short-handed – they would much rather play at a full table, be it six-max or nine-max. Without a wait list, players have to just sit at their computers, monitoring the lobby or individual tables and hope that as soon as a spot opens, they can click quickly enough to snipe the seat from someone else. It is akin to virtual musical chairs, except without the ability to strategically linger in front of a chair as long as possible before hurrying to the next one before the music stops.

One of the strangest aspects of party’s lack of a wait list in their New Jersey software is that it actually does exist. The wait list feature is in the software, it has simply not been activated. It is there, taunting players, daring players to try to click on a grayed-out button (I just realized I use the spellings “gray” and “grey” completely interchangeably – I should really pick on and stick with it).

It will be interesting to see what this “wait list solution” is. I’m envisioning something that looks like a standard wait list at first glance, but moves players to the top of the list based on average daily PartyPoints over a rolling 30-day period. The player with the fewest points gets the first spot. Or maybe players line up and are sorted by distance from the equator, in ascending order. Personally, I think the most appropriate solution would be to make people just play “war.” It is a card game, after all, at this is a poker room.

*I hate that partypoker changed its name to all lowercase letters. Microsoft Word keeps capitalizing it whenever I put it at the beginning of a sentence, as it should.

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