Thursday, March 22, 2012

PokerStars Zoom Poker, like the Internet, could catch on...

As promised (threatened) here’s my take on PokerStars Zoom Poker.  I mentioned before about its “addictive” properties…in fact, I stopped off to play 50 hands just before writing this.  After three weeks of play (play money, of course, since I’m in the USA, FU-DOJ), I can report that:
  • Despite the fact that I’m more a tournament guy than a ring game guy, I love it;
  • I’ve doubled my play money stake to about $1.3 million in about 30 session of play at about 30 minutes each (yeah, I know, NBD, but it’s not like I play all the time); and
  • Like so many things in life, when magnified, flaws become evident.  In other words, fish get fishier, sharks get meaner, and if you’ve got holes in your game, you can drive a truck through them here.
If you missed all the excitement, here is the unofficial write-up (I forget where it came from, or I’d credit them):
              Real money Zoom Poker arrived on PokerStars over the weekend, with the game now available at NL2, NL5 and NL10 for Hold’em and the equivalent limits for Pot Limit Omaha.
              The game, which is very similar to the Rush Poker that proved popular on the now-suspended site Full Tilt, sees participants seated at either full ring or six-max tables, according to their preference, and then moved to another table as soon as they drop out of the hand. There is even a “fold fast” option, which sees players moved as soon as they decide to fold their hand, even if other players are still to act before them.
              Players on poker forums are reporting that they can get in excess of 250 hands per hour just playing a single table, and the software allows up to four to be played simultaneously. Up to 1,500 players are taking part in the game at any time.
              Zoom Poker is expected to be unveiled at higher stake levels in due course. “There might still be a few little bugs and things to work out before the higher stakes get here,” a PokerStars spokesman commented. The real money launch follows several months of testing the software system at play money tables.

I also just read a Poker News Daily report where other cash poker sites recorded a decline in traffic at the same time Zoom was introduced, and it was speculated that 25% of all cash game players on PokerStars were at Zoom tables.  Yikes!

I asked for comments here and on a couple of other forums, and I trolled some of the forums to see what other players are saying.  Basically players are polarized - they either love it, or think it sucks.  They either see plenty of fish and eat well, or for some reason have no patience and no success.  There is no in-between.  My favorite comment:   This is the sickest game ever. Love it so much lol. I'm a fish for new shiny things though.

I could write a book on strategy, but there’s no need - start with your basic ABC game, and then…decide whether you want to toss it away.  You see, EVERYONE ELSE is playing ABC (OK, almost everyone else), and they fall in love with their cards and forget everything else, including POSITION.  I am living proof to tell you that (a) you can play small ball (as there are more limpers than one might expect), and (b) you can bluff.  Really.

There is speculation that Zoom is only for nits, and while it does draw them a’plenty, there are some serious students of poker there who play position, play head games, and use their big stacks to bully other players.  It’s a cash game on steroids with different faces (but you’d be surprised how fast you see the same faces at your table due to the fact that you can play up to four tables at a time).

One final interesting note - yes, the Zynga factor (all-in clown ass move) exists on the play money tables (as it does at every play money table) but it’s more prevalent at the low-limit 6-max game than at the 20,000 full ring game.  Why?  Don’t know and don’t care.  A moron is a moron.


1 comment:

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