On the first hand of the unofficial nine-handed final table, Michael Gilligan moved all-in from middle position and action folded around to Thomas O’Shea in the big blind. O’Shea called and the hands were tabled. ...
A Look At The Ultimate Poker Software: Nevada's First Real Money Online Poker Room
An Early Review Of Nevada's First Online Poker Room
Ultimate Poker launched today and dealt the first real-money online poker hand in Nevada. For more information about the company behind the product take a look at the latest issue of Card Player Magazine.
Continue reading for Card Player’s take on the software.
The first step was surprisingly easy. We headed over to UltimatePoker.com, downloaded and installed the software. Following the on-screen prompts, the entire process was simplified and within minutes the poker client was up and running.
After registering a new player nickname and verifying our identity and location by text message, we had full access to the main poker lobby. But before we could sit down and play, we needed to make our initial deposit.
The real benefit of a licensed and regulated online poker market in Nevada is the deposit process. What once took hours, if not days, has been streamlined to minutes. In addition to the option of mailing a paper check, players can use a bank wire or deposit up to $300 immediately with an instant check.
Perhaps the most popular option will be a cash deposit at any of Station Casino’s 16 different properties scattered around Las Vegas. These locations essentially act as 24/7 banks, able to take deposits and administer cash out requests at the cashier’s cage, making the funds available instantly.
Those located outside of Nevada can still register for an account, but they will be unable to deposit or play until they are in the state.
The Main Poker Lobby
Those who have played online poker in the past will see a very familiar lobby design at Ultimate Poker. Poker offerings are divided into three different categories: Ring Games, Sit And Gos and Tournaments.
Players have the option to sort the available tables by stakes, table name, buy-in, number of players and even more detailed information such as the average size of the pot, number of hands per hour and percentage of players who see the flop.
From the main lobby a player can access their cashier page, or wallet, which shows their account balance, information and transaction history. In the account history tab, users can also look at a complete history of their games and hands played. Those who are problem gamblers can even self-impose limits on their play in the responsible gaming tab.
Those looking for cash game action will be pleased to know that Ultimate Poker offers limit hold’em with stakes as low as $0.05-$0.10 and as high as $10-$20. They also offer no-limit hold’em with blinds as low as $0.1-$0.2 and as high as $3-$6. There are full-ring nine-handed tables and six-max tables available.
Ultimate Gaming Chief Technology Officer Chris Derossi stated that stakes and limits were not a regulatory issue by the Nevada Gaming Commission, it’s simply a matter of offering what the players request. Other games, however, do need to be approved by the NGC.
For the moment, only hold’em is being spread, but Derossi told Card Player that more games and variations, such as Omaha, Stud and Lowball will follow in the near future.
Sit And Go
Clicking on the sit and go tab will give you a number of options at varying buy-in levels. Players can compete for as little as $0.25 or as high as $100. These sit and go’s are offered full ring, six-max or heads-up, known on the site as 1v1.
Right now, most of the tournaments offered in the Ultimate Poker lobby are based on the current promotions being run on the site, though Derossi confirmed that more tournaments would be available in the coming weeks as the site continues to add new users.
There is a $50 buy-in $1,000 guaranteed tournament at 8 p.m. each day and a $100 buy-in $10,000 guaranteed tournament at 6 p.m. every Sunday.
Once seated at a live table, users will notice a typical online poker layout. Players can change the color of the table background, choose between classic or four-color decks, and even pick out their own avatar from a pool of 28 options.
At the table, players can talk with both the other players in the game and observers by using the chat box in the lower left corner. Another tab allows users to look at their current session’s statistics, displaying percentages such as flops seen from the blinds or pots won at showdown.
The more serious online poker players will be happy to see that using the View option in the lobby, multiple game tables can be tiled or cascaded. Those who find themselves competing against a particular obnoxious opponent can even have that player’s chat muted.
Ultimate Poker subscribes to a purely percentage-based rake structure, rather than the typical tier system used in your local cardroom. At the moment, all no-limit hold’em games are raked at 4.5 percent with a cap depending on what stakes you are playing.
For instance, if you are playing $0.25-$0.50, the most the software will rake is $3, regardless of how large the pot gets. If you are playing six-max or heads-up games, the cap is lowered.
For limit hold’em games, and we presume future limit variations of other games, the rake is 4 percent with a generous cap that rivals even the offshore online poker sites.
The Not So Good
The biggest gripe users will have is the fact that you can only play on a PC, meaning Mac users are currently shut out unless they download VMware, which allows PC software to run on a Mac platform, and Windows 7 before downloading the Ultimate Poker client.
Additionally, players on smaller screens may find themselves frustrated by the fact that you can’t currently re-size game tables or the lobby. Those who wish to take notes on particular opponents will have to wait for an future software update.
Overall, however, we were more than impressed by Ultimate Poker’s new product. The software is smooth, the response times are speedy, the graphics are clean and perhaps most importantly, it’s incredibly easy to jump on and start playing quickly.
Right now, anyone who deposits is eligible for a $10,000 freeroll taking place on May 26, where 1 in 3 players will make the money. Players can also jump into daily $100 freerolls or win their way into another freeroll for 1 million Station Casino’s Boarding Pass Points.
Sundays also bring on the Staycation freeroll, where players compete for free accommodations at Station Casino properties in Las Vegas.
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