partypoker Adds More Casual Cash Game Stakes
There was a time when online poker rooms clamored for high-volume professional grinders, offering beautiful rakeback deals and all sorts of other wonderful incentives. While rakeback and loyalty programs are certainly still significant parts of the online poker culture, poker rooms have been making concerted, public efforts over the last few years to attract more recreational players to their sites. partypoker, in particular, has really moved toward living up to its name, giving its poker room and website a “social” feel, even rewarding players for completing “missions,” casual gaming style.
And speaking of casual gaming (that is one tremendous segue)… partypoker announced on Friday that it has expanded its “Casual Cash Games” offering, adding $10/$20 No-Limit Hold’em tables as well as expanding the concept to all cash game tables up to $0.50/$1. Casual Cash Games were introduced by partypoker back in May as a way to cater to the recreational player crowd. They play exactly the same as a regular cash game – no “fast fold” or hyper-super-turbo blinds or anything like that – except that anyone playing in them is only allowed to sit at one real money ring game table. Play in a Casual Cash Game, that’s it, you cannot open any other cash game tables until you leave the Casual Cash Game you are in. The reverse is also true – if you are playing on other regular cash game tables, you cannot join a Casual Cash Game until you close the others. Tournaments, however, do not count. Customers can play in tournaments while in a Casual Cash Game.
The idea behind the Casual Cash Game is that many players (and not coincidentally, the ones partypoker wants on its site) are just interested in playing poker for fun. Whereas the dedicated poker pros and serious amateurs grind out hand after hand, playing multiple tables at once in order to get in as many hands per hour as possible to maximize potential winnings and rewards, casual players are usually more interested in having a friendly game than winning (that’s not to say they don’t want to win).
Most casual (or recreational) players aren’t stupid, though. They know that the hardcore grinders can track their play with poker software and often seek out certain types of opponents based on their statistical profiles. Recreational players can feel picked on by these players; Casual Cash Games give them the chance to avoid them. Generally, the “sharks” will not want to play at these tables since they can only play on one at a time. Thus, casual players can have a safe environment where, while they are obviously not guaranteed to win, they can feel comfortable knowing they aren’t being hunted by a shark.
The addition of the $10/$20 Casual Cash Games is extra significant because partypoker got rid of “high stakes” cash games over two years ago. Since then, cash game stakes have topped out at $5/$10.
Despite the focus on recreational players, it does appear that partypoker is still going to try to make things more amenable to multi-tablers. In a post on Two Plus Two, a partypoker representative delivered the following message about the Casual Cash Games, briefly addressing multi-tablers as well:
After reviewing results from our small scale test of Casual Cash Games that we initiated a couple of months ago we have decided to introduce this unique format across more stake levels.
The CCG tables we introduced back in the spring have exceeded our expectations. But we remain very sensitive to the fact that it is vital that we strike the right balance between Casual Cash Games and standard cash games. We will continue to vigilantly monitor and adjust the offering accordingly.
One novelty that we will now incorporate is a reintroduced 10/20 NL table in CCG format. We believe the live and online poker community is full of mid/high stakes players who would enjoy playing 10/20 NL against other players who also only play in that one cash game on our site.
We recognize CCGs are not to everyone’s liking here on 2+2 but we can’t exactly ignore data and the popularity of CCGs so far.
Alongside this increased attention on CCGs we’ll continue to introduce changes to the lobby, our policies and to the table GUI that will make multitabling cash games on partypoker more appealing to anyone who wants to play cash games in a more devoted and dedicated manner than CCGs permit.
Casual Cash Games are denoted in the partypoker lobby with a smiley face. It also appears that those who opt to join games via the One-Click Lobby automatically get sent to a Casual Cash Game table.