Unibet are the latest online poker site to follow in the footsteps of the Bodog Recreational Poker model by creating a new product aligned with the masses of recreational players.
It might have taken three years, but the poker world is finally catching up with the vision of the Bodog Recreational Poker Model.
It seems the view is unanimous.
The future of online poker lies in the recreational players hands, and not the grinders.
888Poker and PartyPoker have both introduced sweeping changes to their online product showing a clear emphasis on providing a more relaxed environment for the games amateurs, and well respected live tournament players Joe Hachem and Daniel Negreanu have also been vocal about the need to do everything we can to attract more amateurs into the game.
It seems Unibet has had their ears to the ground and have heard the rumbling of horse’s hooves.
Just before Christmas, Unibet announced plans to follow Ladbrokes out of the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) door where they would set up shop in partnership with Fast Poker developer Relax Gaming.
That stand-alone product is now ready for beta launching (Wed 19 Feb) and PokerFuse writer Nick Jones has had a good poke around the engine room to see how this little pussycat purrs.
The new layout is simplicity personified.
Gone are the rows and rows of gaming options and instead they have been replaced with the crystal clear choices of Texas Hold’em, Omaha or Fast Hold’em.
It’s death to the derivatives as all that remains is the choice of stake, with words like ‘Turbo’ left for the movie industry.
The screenshots make the game feel like a game again. They seem to have borrowed a lot of ideas from the PKR platform with a lot of focus on player customization, avatars, and a lot of other funky stuff a grinder would turn their nose up at, but a recreational player will lap up like a cat next to a bowl of milk.
If the product is a success the recreational players will come, and this in turn will attract grinders looking for some fresh fish. Unibet are aware of this and have made the playing field as even as they can with the removal of hand histories, a non-HUD experience, and the inability to select your own tables or seats. In fact, you don’t even have the ability to rail cash games or SNGs although this facility is still available for MTTs.
Wednesday’s launch will be Windows only with a Mac client in the offing. The beta-product will run alongside the MPN offering until all the creases have been ironed whereby MPN will be dropped like a bad smell.
With Rob Yong also trying his utmost to create a more recreational player friendly online cash game environment at Dusk till Dawn (DTD), and the PokerStars 7 client also promising to have a more fish friendly feel, we are on the right track…finally.