DTD Chief's Online Poker Plea

DTD Chief's Online Poker Plea

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Is the recreational poker player being poorly served while playing online poker? Dusk Till Dawn owner Rob Yong certainly thinks so.

Yong's latest blog is an open letter to the poker community to try and shift its focus more towards the recreational player rather than the professional online grinder.

“I think most people now accept that the poker boom is definitely over and therefore the poker world needs online poker to make an extra effort to encourage new people to try this amazing game that you can play at any age and gives you the the opportunity meet so many new and interesting people. "Live card rooms do not have the marketing reach or financial budgets of the big online operators - it will be these companies that shape the future of our game.”

Yong, who bankrolled the €1m first prize at the ISPT event at Wembley, makes a number of controversial suggestions about how the online game could become a far better experience for amateur players starting by tackling bots, showing that online games aren't rigged and by dishing out proper punishments for those found guilty of cheating and collusion.

“We poker players don’t always think laterally after a bad beat, we know this is a billion dollar industry and common sense tells us the RNG is not going to be rigged against John Smith because he withdrew £200, but come out and tell us – show us the RNG stats on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, display them in your poker lobby, give us absolute confirmation that we were just unlucky! I know the auditors check the RNG’s for all of the online poker companies, but we don’t read the annual audit report. It would be a simple task to publish the last x million RNG hand results.”

The DTD chief also thinks that technology has gone too in favour of the pros and calls for a ban on poker tracking software, HUDs, data mining and online databases.

“Good poker players will win, bad poker players will lose, give us back the game we love, make online poker more like it was when Moneymaker won the WSOP - don’t magnify the pro’s edge to kill off the recreational players at an even faster rate, just look at this stuff available - don't tell us it's fair cause anyone can buy-it and learn to use it, we have full time jobs and families, some of us are just about young enough to work out how turn the the computer on and download the software never mind use this state of the art tracking software!”

Yong also calls for limits on multi-tabling, short-stacking, short-handed tables and is especially critical of bumhunting.

“I feel sick to my stomach when I see a player go bust and then the other 5 players just sit out until he reloads, how long is this player going to keep coming back? I'm not sure what is worse, that or the ridiculous waiting lists that you see when a weaker player has a decent stack in front of him at the cash game table.”

Chatbox warriors are also a cause for concern to the DTD man who cited the example of a well known online grinder who wrote that he hoped his mother 'got cancer' after losing a pot.

“A chat ban is not enough! That player would have been evicted from a live casino poker room, possibly barred for life if he was a repeat offender, instead he was allowed to continue multi-tabling away and insulting anyone who beat him in a pot that he had 0.1% equity over... please can you manage the etiquette and behaviour as close to a live game as possible.”

Yong is realistic enough to know that these potential changes won't happen overnight but if nothing else has refreshed a much needed debate (also championed by Phil Galfond in his 'Let's Make Some Changes' blog) about replenishing the poker gene pool.

He'll be putting some of his ideas to the test as the Dusk Till Dawn site launches its online club cash games on 1st September.

Our own Eve Goodman looks at the points raised in Rob's blog and asks Are You Contributing to the Death of the Recreational Online Poker Player?

Tags: Eve Goodman, Rob Yong, Phil Galfond, technology