You know how it goes: first, you’re the hero, then you’re the villain. Welcome to Real Life 101, UltimatePoker.com. You’re now in Phase Two of being the first legal online poker site in Nevada.
After a bit more than a week among the masses, hundreds of thousands of hands already played, and up to 80 tables running at once, now the gripers are starting to pipe up, and they have plenty to say.
The complaints are all over the map, but range from issues with software, site interface, speed and even getting verified to play. UltimatePoker’s overseers over at land-based Stations Casinos say they are aware of the issues and are working on them, but are unperturbed at the same time.
“What was really important to us was getting the early-mover advantage,” said site developer Ultimate Gaming’s chief marketing officer Joe Versaci. “We figured what we should do is prioritize the most popular game with the skinniest offering. That allows us to get through the field trial with few things that could hold us up in terms of hurdles.” Allow us to translate: “We wanted to beat all the other companies who were scrambling to get online first, so we lost no sleep using a mediocre product for beta testing to do that.”
Among the issues that surfaced quickly were a lack of readily available hand histories (normally easy to find on every upscale online poker site); no Omaha or 7 Card Stud cash games; and an inability to shrink tables down for easier visibility if you are playing multiple games at once. The choice to disable card animations was also not available to players.
All these (and no doubt more issues as well) will be reviewed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board at Ultimate’s first public hearing following the initial 30-day trial period. Hopefully, that doesn’t translate into an angry mob; poker players take this stuff very seriously, after all.
Versaci said Ultimate is already working on about 400 details the site wants to fix, “things like new tournament features, a new user interface, and some really great and unique hand-drawn avatars, all [of which] are in the pipeline.”
One major glitch was that Mac users have to buy a $200 software program that allows them to run Windows; Ultimate has offered to reimburse players for the expense when and if their rake output meets that mark.
A major kickoff glitch with Verizon mobile, which prevented users from being able to be verified via text message to that service, is still being hammered out, with resolution close, according to Versaci. “Once we have that, we’ll have 99 percent of all the cellphone users in Nevada and the Las Vegas market,” he noted.
And hopefully, not 99 percent who are ticked off at software issues.