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PartyPoker's "Casual Cash Games" Draws Ire of Regulars

PartyPoker has announced the implementation of a new “Casual Cash Game” concept that has incensed a number of regular players who feel that the poker site may be going a bit too far in aiming to protect recreational players.

With a rollout expected tomorrow, May 6, the new feature allows players who play only one cash game at a time to congregate together on a single table, excluding the grinders who play a number of tables simultaneously. The idea, according to a PartyPoker representative who explained the new concept on a 2 + 2 thread, is to “create a more relaxing game environment for those not up for the high-intensity grind all the time.”

Players seated on a Casual Cash Game table will still be allowed to multi-table tournaments, but will be restricted to the lone ring game surrounded by tablemates who are facing the same restrictions. Casual Cash Games will be identified by a friendly smiley face in the cash game lobby.

Regular or winning players typically multi-table in order to reap cashback rewards from player loyalty programs while also turning a profit at the expense of lesser-skilled (casual) players. Being segregated from the fish who are a big part of their livelihood has irked a number of PartyPoker grinders who let their feelings be known about the new concept on the 2 + 2 forum.

A poster identified as ‘gotdanuts’ stated that recreational players can now play with “training wheels fenced off from better players.” Another poster identified as ‘thunderbolts’ felt that PartyPoker’s new scheme was failing in Customer Service 101, which is to please regular players who bring in large amounts of rake to the poker site.

Keep your regs (reasonably) happy,” ‘thunderbolts’ posted. “That way they stay regs. Instead, Stars gets almost all of my rake, and I’m sure the same is true of many other people who used to play almost exclusively on Party.”

PartyPoker revamped its software last September with a goal of catering to recreational players. The primary focus of the software upgrade was to emphasize missions, achievements and social interaction among its players. The latest Casual Cash Games concept follows that line of thinking.

The online poker industry as a whole has been trending toward attracting casual players, much to the chagrin of regulars who are finding it exceedingly more difficult to maintain the same levels of profitability. Along with competition becoming more fierce as players who are serious about poker continue to get better, segregating the casual players (fish) from the grinders also lessens the bankrolls of those who play online poker for hours on end daily.

The new Casual Cash Games will be available only at certain stake levels at first, according to the PartyPoker blog. But expansion plans are in the offing as players become more familiar with the innovative concept.

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.