Rob Yong and Tom Waters disclosed plans on face verification, live audio chat and real name use.
The recent changes at partypoker shocked the poker community, but according to Head of partypoker, Tom Waters the reactions from the players were better, than they expected:
“Publicly the response from players has been good, numbers have been good, we’ve been happy with what we’ve seen so far. It’s early days, but it looks like it’s the right decision for us.”
According to a podcast on PokerFuse, with Yong and Waters, the number of unique players grew by 10% week-over-week two days after the changes came into effect.
They also admitted that it's still too early to draw any conclusions, but partypoker has no plans on reversing their new policy regardless of the traffic.
“There’s nothing [surer] for me that the downloadable hand histories and HUDs won’t be around in poker in three to four years’ time,” said Yong. “So, what would be the point of us rolling them back?”
“I couldn’t ever see a situation where we would roll back the clock back into the dark ages, and I think it’s the dark ages of poker. You see the image of the guy with the hoodie, you don’t know who he is with the chips on the table,” he added.
What even more, they have some even bigger plans in mind for the future. They'll add the "run it twice" option in cash games which is already a popular feature at many other sites, as well as launched new formats like five-card PLO and 8-game.
However, the most shocking plans include the use of real names at the tables, and Twitter-like "verification ticks" next to the player's name, which will imply, that a certain player at the table has already gone through various background checks.
The most radical is definitely the face verification, that would “take a picture of you while you’re playing and match that to your ID to show it’s definitely you,” said Yong. “Obviously, if someone turns that camera off, they won’t be verified,” he explained.
In addition, partypoker also plans on introducing live voice chat at the tables instead of the "dealer chat" box, so players “would be able to just press the mic button on the table,”
Partypoker has already confirmed the launch of the 100 big-blins buy-ins and they are currently considering the idea of forcing players to commit to playing a certain amount of hands before leaving the cash game tables in order to stop “hit and runs”.
The exact date of these changes hasn't been disclosed as most of them are still in the works and it's not even sure all of them will be made. “It’s not going to be an overnight change,” said Waters. “It won’t be a dramatic hit for players and we will trial it first [at] certain stakes, maybe at cash and also with partypoker live [online satellites].”
“Ultimately, if players turn around and say, 'We don’t like it,’ we’re not going to roll [it] out,” said Yong.
According to rakerace.com players the traffic at partypoker seemingly dropped down by a slight margin, and the games also got better - but no one reported anything drastic.
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