Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sponge Poker – Nice Idea, but…

Hey, I’m back!  Tourist season is over, and that means so is my hiatus.  I plan to be blogging on a semi-regular basis for the next few weeks, as there’s still some work to be done at the store (we went the last two weeks with a busted AC system, thank you) and I have a trip planned to a small town in Nevada for some R&R.  Still, I wanted to start the “writing” season with a bang, so here’s a short review of a new social network poker site – Sponge Poker.

I first read about Sponge Poker online at Poker News Daily this week.  I’ve also noticed that the site has received some other reviews, most glowing for the potential this site has.  Sponge Poker is a Facebook-type app (FB users – enter “Sponge Poker”). What they’ve done is changed the interface (it’s their own software) to provide a very realistic playing mode. 

Sure, there are the usual “POT” and “FOLD” button, but most betting is done by actually “handling” the chips.  Just like on the tables, this provides the opportunity to see the occasional “tell” prior to the actual bet (as players start counting their chips before it’s their turn just like on the table).  Of course, you can use this to send a “false tell” too (did it once).  There are some other aspects of the game that do indeed provide what they say is, “the most realistic online poker game ever created.”

Signing up is free, and, as a bonus, the site is giving any player who builds their $1500 starting stack to $10,000 actual money – well, $10 – and it’s put in your PayPal account.  Still, $10 is $10.

Still, Sponge Poker is a free site.  Although the site claims that they won’t be giving out free chips endlessly (you can buy them just like at Zynga Poker), so far my experience is that most player are playing like they will…when there are players.  The all-in disease so familiar at Zynga lives here, too.  J-3?  All-in.  10-4?  All in!  A pair of twos?  HELL YES, ALL IN.  It’s nauseating.

The first night I played I won a few play bucks and had fun.  Since then it’s either been

a)    All in Circus, or

b)    No one there.

Seriously – go there now, sign up, and see if anyone is there.  It’s too bad that the site is so sparsely played, as the layout is one of the best I’ve played at.  But no one seems to know but the All-In-A**holes, so…I’ll check back at the site once the dust clears and the AIAs go somewhere else.