PartyPoker's FastForward Falling Short of PokerStars' Zoom Poker

Published on Aug 16th, 2012

In recent days, PartyPoker's network, which includes sites like WPT Poker, rolled out FastForward, a fast-play option that's similar to Zoom Poker on PokerStars and Rush Poker on the old Full Tilt. According to PartyPoker's website, "You don't even have to wait for the action to hit you; if you don't want to play a hand, just hit the 'Forward Fold' button and you'll instantly be dealt into a new hand. Players at your table won't even know you have folded until it's your turn to act."

FastForward players can open up to four tables at a time in the same pool or across the multiple pools that PartyPoker offers. If you choose the former option, you'll tell the FastForward interface how many tables you'd like to buy into. You won't ever sit at the same table as yourself, as an algorithm exists to prevent that very scenario from occurring.

According to a recent update from PokerScout, which tracks cash game volume across the major online poker sites, FastForward's popularity has fallen well short of Zoom Poker. PokerScout officials explained the sizable discrepancy: "Although the data is preliminary, FastForward has thus far failed to attract players to the same extent as Zoom Poker on PokerStars. At PartyPoker, 8% to 9% of real money ring game players are in fast-fold games. In contrast, PokerStars had some 25% of players in fast-fold games after the launch in March."

In a March update from PokerScout shortly after Zoom Poker was unveiled, real money ring game traffic on PartyPoker, iPoker, Ongame, and Microgaming all sank by 5%. Where did the players go? PokerStars, of course, which saw its cash game traffic tick up 3% likely due to Zoom Poker.

PokerScout asserted at the time, "Interest in Zoom Poker remains high, with the game accounting for 26% of all cash game players. One Zoom Poker player is roughly equivalent to three regular players, so the number of cash game hands dealt on PokerStars has increased by 50% or more. With at least three-quarters of a site's revenue typically coming from cash game rake, PokerStars has benefited enormously from Zoom Poker."

Whereas PokerStars' cash game traffic grew by at least 50% as a result of rolling out Zoom Poker, according to PokerScout, PartyPoker's ring game volume has only risen 3% to 10%. PokerScout speculated, "One possible explanation for the underperformance is that a small but important segment of players who were enthusiastic about fast-fold poker left PartyPoker for PokerStars when Zoom launched in March. If that is true, then PartyPoker may be facing a fight to regain those players and boost the FastForward numbers."

PartyPoker is also a late mover in the fast-fold market, which could also be hurting its chances of success. For example, preceding FastForward were high-speed poker games like Zoom Poker, PokerTube's InstaDeal, iPoker's Speed Hold'em, Microgaming's Blaze Poker, and Relax Gaming's Fast Poker.

According to Pokerfuse, PartyPoker added heads-up tables to its FastForward offering on Monday, the same day that PokerScout's most recent update came out. Zoom Poker lacks a heads-up option, which could give FastForward a leg up on the competition. Pokerfuse argued that heads-up FastForward tables could mitigate bum-hunting: "To proponents, it would offer a solution to a common problem with heads-up lobbies: Dozens of players sitting waiting to play a recreational player, and professionals choosing not to play one another."

According to PokerScout, cash game traffic on PartyPoker is off by nearly half year-over-year compared to a 37% decline for iPoker and a 23% fall for PokerStars. Real money ring game traffic as a whole is down 23% year-over-year. PartyPoker is the third most trafficked online poker room in the world and has a seven-day running average of 2,350 cash game players, about 300 behind the iPoker Network. PokerStars has a veritable stranglehold in cash game volume with a seven-day running average of 22,600 players.

If you want to give FastForward a try, you can sign up for WPT Poker through PocketFives' links using the code P5WPT and then make a minimum deposit. If you do, you'll get a $100 bonus plus one free month of PocketFives Training with the sign-up fee waived, a $65 value. You must use the code P5WPT to qualify. Sign up here.


  1. Traffic on party is appauling during ozzie times.. And if every game wasnt a rebuy maybe they'd pick up more players, Hardly worth playing a 1k gtd $6 rebuy with a bunch of rich donks when ur only getting top 4\5 getting paid...

  2. How come noone does zoom/speed/fastforward mtts and sng?

    Originally Posted by katz4551 View Post

    How come noone does zoom/speed/fastforward mtts and sng?

    FTP had rush MTTs...I'm sure its only a matter of time before they will be running somewhere again.

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