Rant: Ultimate Poker Sacrificed Quality to Be First into Legal US Online Poker

Ultimate Poker

Ultimate Poker succeeded in becoming the first site to offer legal real-money online poker but it came at a cost.

“We have spent the last year or so with our engineers making sure we fully complied with all the technical requirements of the new regulations here in Nevada.” Ultimate Poker CEO Tobin Prior said in an interview with PokerNews.com.

Out of the gate it was clear that while the software may satisfy regulatory requirements, it left much to be desired as far as the player experience.

You can't resize tables or switch off the sound of poker chips and whizzing cards, there are bet sizing issues, no game filters, no 100bb tables, auto-post feature issues, and lobbies that don’t have starting stack sizes or blind levels.

Unreliable Software May Hurt Brand Trust

Ultimate Poker Chairman, Tom Breitling said, “We have worked closely with state regulators to demonstrate our unique and compelling poker platform that, above all, players know they can trust.”

That’s commendable, but it's hard to fully trust software that put two aces of clubs on a flop for one player in the first few days of action.

Antonio Esfandiari
Antonio Esfandiari is one of the pros wearing the UP patch.

Luckily, there's a hand history feature so you can record the evidence should the problem ever occur again. I know because an Ultimate Poker representative said so on the 2+2 thread.

“If you're ever concerned, there is a hand history tool in the account history dialog box. It's primitive, but it'll show you what the hand was.”

It’s primitive! Here’s an idea. Instead of paying Antonio Esfandiari his weight in gold, why not invest a bit more money in development?

The best reply to a complaint yet came from Ultimate Poker spokesman SCOTTYY who is posting in the 2+2 forum. In response to the myriad of complaints about the client's lag issues he responded with this absolute gem.

“We will have a faster deal with the next release.”

How odd. I would have thought they might have gotten that one right for the first release.

After all, first impressions are supposed to count for something right? Wrong!

This release by Ultimate Poker has nothing to do with first impressions and everything to do with the advantages of being first into a market that will soon be saturated with options.

It's likely that UP will have these issues worked out in short order, but poker players' patience for poor software might not give them the chance.

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