Ultimate Poker Upgrade Adds Features, Rewards Program, No New Games
After launching in late April and completing a 90-day field trial in July, Ultimate Poker today rolled out a much anticipated software upgrade that includes both cosmetic and functional changes to the lobby and tables, features helping to facilitate multi-tabling, late registration for tournaments, and a new rewards program.
Not included in the upgrade are the addition of any new variants beyond fixed-limit and no-limit hold’em. Nor is there yet available a Mac version of the Ultimate Poker client.
The upgrade includes the ability to resize tables, a much asked for improvement that helps make multi-tabling more feasible, although the lobby still cannot be resized. Another change involves the way players are alerted when action is pending, with the screen flashing and a sound indicating a player’s turn rather than the table being brought to the fore. A circular ring appears to indicate a player’s turn as well.
Other changes to the look of Ultimate Poker include resized avatars now sitting upon box-like pedestals, more avatars from which to choose, and larger cards. The timer bar appears differently as well, with new preset bet buttons (half-pot, pot) also added. Additionally, blinds will not be auto-posted as before when joining a table.
Among other changes listed by Poker Product Manager Chris Danek in a post in the Ultimate Poker support thread on Two Plus Two include “relocated rake to the center of the table, improved table backgrounds… more visible action buttons… a complete overhaul of sounds, better advance action buttons, anti-ratholing features, a better buyin dialog box, no more ‘focus stealing.’ new lobby graphics, a revamp of the fonts used throughout the table, and a host of graphics bugfixes.”
The ability to late register for tournaments will be greatly welcomed by many, and will likely help the site increase fields for featured tournaments such as the $10,000 Sundays. Satellites offering “U$” prizes for buying into tournaments are now offered, as are some re-buy tourneys.
A new rewards program called “Color UP” has been introduced with the upgrade as well, a points-based program that enables players to earn points by playing raked tourneys or cash games. Points can then be redeemed for cash bonuses, UP merchandise, or other services.
Statuses range from White, Red, and Green on up to Cranberry, Gold, and Platinum, with 10 tiers altogether. In addition to multiplying points earned, moving up to a higher tier also can grant players entry into weekly freerolls. The “Color UP” program begins with the software upgrade; that is, no previous play counts toward the program with all players starting with zero points upon installing the update.
In a press release accompanying the rollout of the software upgrade, Ultimate Gaming Chief Marketing Officer Joe Versaci indicated “this is just the first step” when it comes to site improvements, and that UP is “working hard to continually enhance and enrich the product by introducing new features and upgrades.”
Ultimate Poker has now dealt over 12.5 million hands of real money poker since initially launching nearly four months ago. In June the site featured several WSOP-related promotions, including satellite tournaments awarding entries into the WSOP Main Event, and in late July-early August more promotions came surrounding the dealing of the site’s 10 millionth hand.
The site has also signed a small roster of pros to its fledgling “Team Ultimate,” a group including Brand Ambassador Antonio Esfandiari, Jonathan Little, William Reynolds, Jason Somerville, Gavin Griffin, Dan O’Brien, Lauren Kling, Phil Collins, Randy Dorfman, and Terrence Chan.
Ultimate Poker remains the sole operating online poker site in Nevada, with the planned-for launch by Caesars of its WSOP.com site continuing to be delayed and no other site having yet reached the point of going live.