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The New Party Poker

Online gaming sites are always changing -- upgrading software, improving features and functionality, getting rid of bugs and bad ideas, inventing new offerings, etc. -- all in a furious effort to remain competitive. A consistent leader of the online gambling pack, Party Poker, is often at the cutting edge of these new and improved releases. Not only has Party Poker done it again with their latest upgrade, but with the elimination of one of their programs (skins), and brand new partnerships with other leading edge online casinos and online poker rooms. The first thing to be aware of with Party Poker’s new upgrade is that all the bugs may not yet have been completely ironed out (which simply means updates to the upgrades will be forthcoming). There have been some reports that uninstalling earlier versions of the Party Poker software after installing the new upgrade could lead to problems, so we would hold off on that uninstall if we were you.

Of course, now that we said that, some of you may be wondering why you would even bother downloading the upgrade. Here’s why: re: Lobby - Games are listed by blinds rather than maximum buy-in - Hands per Hour are included amongst the lobby stats - Cash games are divided into Limit, No Limit, and Pot Limit - More limits added to Cash Games - Player’s available cash and Party Points are prominently displayed - Filters are given to help narrow down your selection of tables/games - Tables are given names rather than numbers - The news ticker has been made more prominent - Tournaments are divided into groups for easier searching re: Tournaments - Tournament buy-ins now include entry fees - Tournament players start with more chips (Sit-and-Go’s: 2,000, Multi-Table: 3,000, “Events”: 5,000) - There’s a new tournament blind structure - More buy-ins available for Sit-and-Go’s - Sit-and-Go levels have changed so that now they are based on time rather than hands played - The payout structure is flatter re: Party Poker Accounts - Players can easily switch between Party Poker and Party Casino all from one place - The Account Page has been streamlined for greater efficiency and ease of use re: Miscellaneous features - Players can shrink windows for multi-tabling - Optional automatic window tiling and cascading As you may know, a skin is an independent site that uses another site’s software (in this case Party Poker’s) in exchange for a percentage of revenues. PartyGaming, parent company of Party Poker as well as host of Party Casino and Party Bingo has decided to terminate its skins, instead purchasing those sites as secondary PartyGaming sites (and presumably raking in 100% of the revenues). In place of their newly defunct skins, Party Poker is now joined by the following new members of the PartyGaming family: IntertopsPoker, MultiPoker, PlanetLuck Casino, PokerNow, and Starluck Casino Online. Party Poker’s most recent acquisition, as of February 2006, was former Party Poker skin Empire Poker, which they purchased for $250 million.

Those Party Poker folks are building quite the Empire (some bad puns just beg to be voiced). Party Poker, who according to Reuters signed up a record number of new players last year, is a publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange.


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