Admittedly, it is tough for players based in the United States to get excited about a new online poker site. Many players want to support new sites, such as LuckyChewyPoker by Andrew Lichtenberger and the upcoming RunItOncePoker by Phil Galfond, but they are out of reach for the time being. However, those in many regions throughout the world that are not ring-fenced can take advantage of sites being designed by poker pros for a range of poker players.
One of the newest sites in the larger global market is PPIPoker-dot-net. The site just launched this month but has garnered few reviews since many poker writers are based in the US. While this particularly writer is in that category and hasn’t been able to try the site, there is a bit of information available about it. It seems as if the site ambassadors and software features are aimed at making poker fun for all players, from new players who want to see that river card after they folded to pros who use HUDs and straddles.
Lineup of Ambassadors
A new online poker site may have one player as an initial ambassador to bring attention to the site, but PPIPoker introduced six of them, several quite well known in the world of poker. To be fair, however, the owners of the site had quite a pool of pros from which to choose, as the site is owned and operated by Poker Players International, an agency for the gaming industry.
The most well-known of the pros is Mike Leah, who plays as “goLeafsgoEh” and has been a staple in the live and online poker world for many years. Casey Jarzabek is also quite popular, especially in the online poker scene, and plays as “BigDogpckt5s.” Those Canadians are joined by Danny Noseworthy, as well as Helio Neves from Brazil, Pedro Oliveira from Portugal, and Darya Krashennikova from Russia.
The lineup of pros range from those who have won millions (Leah has the most with $3 million online and $5.5 million live) to those like Krashennikova who focuses on lower stakes games but has a following on Twitch.
More than just familiar names, though, PPIPoker claims its roster is an “extension of the exemplary standards and values we promote.” Most online poker sites don’t offer a mission statement for its list of team pros, but this one is putting its brand on the line with the six players’ reputations.
Adding Fun Features to Software
PPIPoker is doing a few things that other sites have only discussed or with which they have possibly dabbled. Within weeks of the site’s launch, numerous features were incorporated into the site that set it apart from its competitors at an early stage.
Pro players will be interested in PokerCraft, the HUD and stats tracker that is built in to the software for tournaments and cash games. For those cash games, players can not only straddle to boost the betting action, they can also enter VIP rooms to set up their own games with whatever stakes they choose.
Recreational and new players will probably enjoy the Fortune Spins for random prizes in sit-n-goes, as well as using the all-in insurance or rabbit hunting features. And players at many levels can have fun with the run-it-3-times feature. Staking is also available in the poker client, which offers players to buy pieces of others or sell pieces of themselves in various events. While this is often done by third-party websites, PPIPoker is one of the first to offer it on the site itself.
Not an Advertisement
Touting the fun aspects of PPIPoker may read as an advertisement, but rest assured that PokerUpdate has no affiliation or agreement with the site. The bottom line is that listing the features makes a person want to play the game and experiment with said features.
This is what online poker needs. Online poker sites need to offer fun features, easy software to use, and games at any level to intrigue a range of players. Several websites have tried the run-it-twice feature, but to run it three times adds a new level to the game. Players need to stay excited about the game, whether they play for fun or as a career. Spicing it up requires more than changing the look of the lobby or appealing to only one demographic.
Of course, the site must first attract enough players to be viable and create games that others want to join. And things like rake, rewards, and guarantees must also be considered when choosing a place to play. But if all of those things fall into place, there may be a recipe here for a new kind of poker site.
Operators have been struggling to find ways to keep the pros while attracting new and recreational ones. It is far too early to tell if PPIPoker is going to be able to do that, but the efforts put into the site thus far are promising. Maybe online poker has a brighter future than many predicted.