In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
PokerStars Dark Mode
Some might say PokerStars enabled “dark mode” after the Scheinbergs left, but in this case we are talking about a software feature.
The new “dark mode” was deployed last week for UK and EU clients. This is just the start and ultimately all clients should be equipped with the slick new design.
PokerStars reacts to a much requested change as “Dark Mode”, also called “Night Mode”, has been a more and more popular choice with computer and mobile device users for a while now.
The bright font on dark backgrounds is often better to read and more relaxing for the eyes. In addition to removing strain on the eyes, dark mode also reduces power consumption.
The mode is optional and it can be changed in the client under Settings > Lobby > Lobby View and by ticking/unticking the “dark mode” option.
partypoker adds private games
Following the worldwide poker trend of private games, partypoker has announced “Club Games”. This is almost a decade after PokerStars introduced “Home Games”, which has been an unfairly neglected feature all these years and only really gained traction in the Twitch communities.
The poker landscape has indeed changed and even before the Corona crisis players have been more in need of tools that help them play against one another, if it’s for real money or play money. They want to be able to choose their opponents and settle their confrontations on the felt in private – live and online.
And yes, partypoker is late to the… party, but as they have proven in the past, waiting and really looking at what the competition is doing, can help to build an improved and more exciting copy.
While PokerStars’ Home Games and those of other operators are still not available on mobile, partypoker also offers the new feature for phone and tablet. This is a massive advantage over almost all of the other the big sites and it can be a real contender against the currently ultra popular play money apps.
In addition to that all private games use real names. The much debated functionality has been dividing the poker community, but for private games, where you should want to know your fellow players, this feature does indeed make a lot more sense.
iPoker Network gains skins
On 19th May 2020, after 17 years of operation, Microgaming‘s online poker network MPN ceased to exist. Most of their skins have since been moved to the iPoker network. It’s been the largest migration of players in recent online poker history with 9 skins having been moved. This number will go up to ten once Guts.com will ultimately also have made the move.
Of the original 16 skins three had shut down right when the network closure was announced. Out of the remaining three only OlyBet has completed the move to a different network, which is GGPoker. 32Red shut down and One Time Poker will most likely follow to do so.
The iPoker network sits in 10th place on PokerScout and it is to be assumed that most MPN skins migrated here for their heavy UK focus. One could say it might be short-sighted if GGPoker had been an available choice. The online poker network phenomenon is currently the third most successful poker site in the world with a lot of attention and traffic from the poker world.
That being said, it is interesting to see, however, that other sites also switched networks and actually left GGPoker in favour of iPoker. The Swedish online gambling company Enlabs also announced this week that they are going to migrate all sites over to the iPoker network.
Summer starts hitting home as Mediterranean poker traffic declines
The stay-at-home measures in Italy, Spain and France have been eased and summer has begun. As it has been widely expected, players are now once again leaving their houses and refraining from playing online poker.
Numbers are back to where they were before mid March and if this is any indication, the poker boom as we are experiencing it at the moment will globally decline in due time.
Italy and Spain were the first in Europe to get hit hard by the Corona pandemic and it seems they are also leading the way in showing us how poker traffic will be moving once things “normalize” again.