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Cal

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  1. *This is an article I wrote for Bluff a few months back that tries to introduce what we do on this site to a broader public. Lots of members have emailed me asking where they can find this article, so I decided to post it up here on the site. PocketFives will be doing a monthly piece with Bluff, you can check out our contributions and the rest of the magazine at www.bluffmagazine.com. Here's the first of many PocketFives contributions to Bluff Mag:* Anyone with a television knows that tournament poker has hijacked almost every channel. The hefty prize pools, the celebrities, and the intense drama of the final tables offer a perfect recipe for entertainment. But what you might not realize is that a similar phenomenon is occurring in the online tournament scene. Players compete for millions of dollars in prize pools across dozens of sites every day (that's right, I said millions). The best players are piling in the money and some have become legitimate online celebrities. I work for www.pocketfives.com and we focus on online tournament poker and its players. The online tournament scene is a powerful force in the poker universe, so when the guys at Bluff approached me to write an article about online tournaments, I nearly sent them chocolates. Anyone who enjoys watching tournament poker on TV will find playing online to be even more exciting. Here's why. To understand exactly how big online tournament poker has become, log on any Sunday and check out the major sites. PokerStars runs a $200 buy-in tournament that has a prize pool guaranteed to be at least $500,000. PartyPoker's Sunday tournament guarantees $350,000 per week. UltimateBet, Paradise, Pacific, and Bodog also guarantee at least $100,000 in their major Sunday tournaments. That's well over $1,000,000 just between six tournaments! In short, you have multiple chances every Sunday to win a year's salary while you sit in your underwear in front of a computer. The enormous growth of online poker tournaments has mirrored the growth of live poker. For example, take PokerStars, the site that has produced the last two champions of the World Series of Poker. In the four months leading up to Chris Moneymaker's victory in the 2003 WSOP, PokerStars averaged 258 players per week in their $200 buy-in Sunday tournament. That made for an impressive prize pool of $51,000, which was excellent at the time. In the four months directly following Moneymaker's win, that same tourney tripled to about 750 players every week. After Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer's $5,000,000 victory in 2005, it was undeniable that online poker produced quality live players. Immediately following the tournaments first airing on ESPN, PokerStars' weekly attendance in the $200 tourney jumped to 1,850 players. The best part is that the bubble shows no sign of bursting. In the first four months of this year, 'Stars averaged an enormous 2,375 players per week. In two short years, the prize pool has jumped from $50,000 to over $500,000. This tournament is bursting at the seams, and the pros have taken notice. Carlos Mortensen won it two weeks in a row last November, Michael 'The Grinder' Mizrachi won it a week after final tabling the WPT World Poker Open, and TJ Cloutier reached the final table in May. While the live pros have begun cashing in on the growth of online tournaments, the sites themselves have produced their own breed of professional player. These highly skilled net-jockeys, most of whom are too busy to keep an active live tournament schedule, are making small fortunes in online tournaments. They jump from site to site, playing in all the big tournaments and scoring big every week. PocketFives.com specializes in tracking these players and recognizing their accomplishments. The ranking system is designed to promote the guys that dominate online tournaments on a daily basis. If you don't follow online poker, you probably haven't heard of the ranked online players, but they are GOOD. Many of the top guys are pulling in $3,000-$6,000 per week in pure profit, often playing four to six tournaments per day. Let's profile Chris 'brsavage' Savage, for example. He had an incredible 2004 and was at the top of our list when we first released our tournament rankings. You can find him playing in the big tournaments on UltimateBet, PokerStars, ParadisePoker, and PartyPoker on any day of the week. Here are some of his accomplishments over the last year and a half: Twelve Ultimate Bet Aruba Tournament victories in 2004, most of which paid $10,000 cash; two victories in the PartyPoker daily specials, each paying over $25,000; three WSOP seats; six victories in the daily $30 rebuy tournament on Paradise, which totaled about $50,000, and third place in the Bodog Superbowl Special for $30K. In his best week online, he won over $70,000, including final-tabling the above-mentioned $200 tournament on 'Stars. Chris also has had success in the live realm, winning a bracelet and $81,000 in the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Event in this year's World Poker Open in Tunica. These are only a few of his big wins. You can find him cashing in tournaments on a daily basis. Coincidentally, as I was writing this article, brsavage won his 2005 WSOPpackage in a $650 satellite on 'Stars. Another incredible online player is Brett 'Gank' Jungblut. You've probably already heard of Gank. He's a former member of 'The Crew' and the 2004 Omaha 8/b WSOP Champion. What you may not know is that he is an absolute force online and is ranked in the Top 10. Gank regularly plays in up to eight tournaments at once, sometimes playing 30 tournaments per day. He has two 19" monitors that he uses simultaneously to keep the multitude of tables from overlapping. He's literally making final tables every day and has become quite a celebrity online. His engaging personality has created a large following, and you can often find dozens of observers in his games, chatting on the cyber-rail or simply watching and learning from his aggressive play. Numerous other online pros have garnered widespread respect and fan bases. The chat boxes on all the sites allow anyone with a computer to interact with the best online players. Jim 'KrazyKanuck' Worth was one of the earliest online celebrities. He was simply a nice guy that people noticed winning - a lot. When someone would ask a strategy question, he would give an honest answer. He gained respect and adulation on all the sites he played, and he even got a job with ub.com as their Tournament Ambassador. Click on any of his tables when you see him playing on UB and you're likely to find a full room of 200 observers, some chatting, and some just learning by watching him play. Todd 'NSXT2' Arnold is another player who has earned a huge following. He mainly plays on Paradise, where he can always be found chatting it up with his opponents and observers. His mastery of the psychological side of online poker has earned him the respect of the entire online poker community. Mark 'P0kerH0' Kroon's super-aggressive style has made him a fan favorite. He's one of the few players who has figured out how to call huge raises with 7-4 offsuit and win consistently. Pete 'TheBeat' Giordano is perhaps the most consistent winner since the inception of online tournaments. He's had great success in live events and could be a touring pro, but he prefers the flexibility and quality of life that his online poker skills provide him. Ask any serious online tournament player to tell you the top ten players, and Pete will surely make the list. Accessibility to these online pros is something that has no parallel in live poker. Not only can you chat with the best players, but you can also watch their game and learn from their play. With online poker, you can observe any table of any tournament at any time. If you'd like to know how a great player plays in the middle rounds of a tournament, simply find one of our ranked players and observe. You can see how many hands they're playing, how they play their big/small stack, when they shift gears, what kind of image they portray, etc. The pace of online poker is so quick that observing a big online tournament can be extremely entertaining, and if you take the time to watch one of the ranked players play a tournament from start to finish, you're likely to pick up on something which will help you improve your own game.
  2. When I tell someone new to online poker about our site, the first thing I'm asked is "Why Pocket Fives?" This is often followed by some comment like "Aren't Pocket Aces better?" To this last question, I, of course, reply, "No." Pocket fives is the most culturally rich hand in poker. Nicknamed "Presto," this hand has developed its own subculture over the past 15 years, particularly in online card rooms and message boards. This culture was initially developed on rec.gambling forums in the early 90's. The proliferation of online poker has since solidified this hand in poker lore. As I'm sure most of you have seen, players love to show their pocket fives any chance they get. It seems that for many players, especially online players, there is a mystical aura surrounding this hand that somehow makes it special and gives it a better chance of winning. Some players will go to great lengths to "suck out" with this hand so that they can exclaim "PRESTO!" in the chat box once the cards are show down. More sensible players still get a kick out of showing their pocket fives as they fold. You also may remember Raymer exclaiming "Presto" after winning a race with 55 at the 2004 WSOP final table on ESPN. I've seen numerous posts in which people claim 55 must be a rigged hand because it wins WAY more often than it should on this or that poker website. The subculture surrounding this hand has intrigued me ever since I started playing online. When we were planning the site, we knew our niche was online poker and we wanted to find a name that reflected an online feel to our users. This was no easy task considering almost every domain name under the sun was already taken. During one of our brainstorming sessions we thought of PocketFives.com. We all thought it was perfect but figured someone had snatched up that domain name long ago. To our surprise, the domain was available, and we had a name for our new site. For those interested, the development of the name "Presto" for pocket fives can actually be traced by looking through old rec.gambling threads. These threads show that Presto began as an exclamation for a natural 21 among rec.gambling blackjack users in the early 90's. Poker players shared this forum with blackjack players, and they wanted a hand of their own to call "Presto." A friend sent me this post below that does a great job of summing up the origin of Presto and how pocket fives acquired the nickname. So for all you curious folks, enjoy: From: Abdul Jalib Subject: Re: Presto? Date: 1999/10/12 Organization: Positive Expected Value, Unlimited Newsgroups: rec.gambling.poker DrToast writes: I've noticed the recent discussion on Presto, so I'm gonna be brave and admit I don't know the origins of Presto. Okay, sure it's 55, but how 'bout some long timer RGPer explain the birth of Presto. Response by "Abdul": In ancient times, Steve Jacobs would get annoyed when I jumped over several steps in my mathematical derivations or logical arguments and he would write "Presto!" Frank Irwin knew me by sight, and as fate would have it, Frank Irwin, Steve Jacobs, Blair, and I were all in Vegas one weekend. (I had a different name then, before I went into hiding from all the blackjack pit critters getting onto the net. If you are net.sage enough to know the name of the other person involved in the presto story, then you probably know my real name anyway.) I was playing single deck at Four Queens, and Frank pointed me out to Steve and Blair, who sat down at my table, unbeknownst to me. Every time someone at the table got a blackjack, Steve Jacobs yelled "Presto!" This did get me suspicious that it was he. Finally I left the table and so did he and he confessed and we laughed about it with Frank. There was a drunk following us who had done a completely boneheaded play at the table, so I didn't think it could be a rec.gambler; I was wondering why a boneheaded drunk would be following us around... but I then found out it was Blair! Thereby "presto" on blackjack became the call sign for blackjack playing rec.gamblers. "Irwin?" became the countersign, due to the popularity of his chip in the toilet story and his involvement in the caper. This was long before the newsgroup split, of course, so the hold'em players heard this story and they wanted their own hand to yell "presto" on. The obvious choices were either AA or AT-AK, but no consensus could be reached. There were several threads posted in which 55 had miraculously won, and people started nominating 55 to be the presto hand. Then I made a post in which 55 miraculously won. At this point Steve Jacobs stepped in and declared 55 the official presto hand. To this day, hundreds of years later, 55 retains the name "presto", immortalized on BARGE chips just about every year. -Abdul
  3. Back in 2002, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson had an idea - he wanted to create the best poker software on the market, designed and endorsed by the pros. His mindset was simple - create the best product and the players will come. He got together with Andy Bloch and some of his other poker friends, and FullTiltPoker.com was born. Keep in mind this was 2002, before the explosion of online poker. About a year later, online qualifier Chris Moneymaker had won the World Series, the WPT was on TV, and Chris, Andy, and their poker friends became household names. "We got pretty lucky with Full Tilt," Andy says. "Since we started putting the site together before the boom, we were able to launch at a great time to take advantage of online poker's growth surge." Not only that, their newfound celebrity status gave them a kind of marketing leverage that other sites could only fear. By the time they launched, Ferguson, Bloch, Phil Ivey, John Juanda, Jennifer Harman, Erick Lindgren, Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel, Phil Gordon, and Clonie Gowen were all a part of "Team Full Tilt." These guys really put their minds together to create an impressive site. We at PocketFives.com think Full Tilt is going to become one of the biggest players in the industry. We decided a feature piece on Full Tilt was in order. Since I'd seen Andy on our site a few times I called him up for some input. The first thing I asked Andy was a very straightforward question: Why should an online poker player try Full Tilt? He obviously had a lot to say in response. He first mentioned user options. Team Full Tilt has tried to give online players everything they could want. Their graphical hand history allows you to easily go back through hands to see what was shown down. They have an assortment of avatars so that users can choose how they want to appear at the table - or players can simply turn off the avatars if they don't like them. His favorite feature is the ability to choose your position at the table. Once you've taken your seat, you can rotate yourself to the middle, the corner, etc. So if you have multiple screens overlapping, you can position yourself to where you can always see your cards as they are dealt. Andy's next reason to play Full Tilt was the blind structure. It's simply one of the very best blind structures for skilled players on the internet. He says, "We designed the blind structure so that there will never be any big jumps in the blinds. They never double - you will never be sitting on a comfortable stack and then suddenly realize your in trouble as the blinds move up to the next level. Our blinds move up slowly and you rarely see our tournaments become all-in fests at the end." Their blind structure has been highly praised by some of the top players online, as you've probably seen if you are a regular reader of the PocketFives.com forums. Pros play on Full Tilt literally everyday. The pro presence is Full Tilt's biggest marketing ploy. In fact, when I called Andy to interview him for this piece he was in the heads up of a $20 Seven Card Stud tourney, which he went on to win. Pros that are not on Team Full Tilt also frequent the site. You're likely to see the likes of John D'Agostino, Steve Brecher, Rafe Furst, or Hoyt Corkins in any $100 buy in and up tourney you play on Full Tilt. Andy says most of these pros don't have ownership in the company but they do get extra benefits. Full Tilt will help cover part of their buy-in fees at some live tournaments if they play on the site and wear Full Tilt gear at live events. This is a great deal for these pros since they would probably spend the same time playing on a different site without benefits if it weren't for Full Tilt. Andy made some very interesting comments concerning normal players that get to play with the pros on Full Tilt. He says the advantages of playing against the pros are threefold. First, the players can go out and tell their friends that they've played against the pros. It's fun for them and great marketing for Full Tilt. Second, players stand to learn a lot playing against the pros, especially in the tournaments. Third, and perhaps most important for our readers, is that the pros in the cash games often drop a ton of cash. Phil Ivey plays $2000-$4000 limit poker regularly. Is he really going to play his best at the $1-$2 or even $10-$20 No Limit Tables online? Not all the pros always play loose in the cash games, but, for the most part, they have a lot of money and are playing below their normal levels. A good player can really clean up at the right table. Andy also addressed a question I've often seen addressed about Full Tilt - if all the pros play there, shouldn't a less experienced player stick to a site like PartyPoker? He says no, because the presence of the pros is attracting a lot of inexperienced players to the site. They'll sit down at a $5-$10 Omaha H/L table just to play with Layne Flack, when they might not even know the rules of the game! Combine that with the fact that not all the pros try very hard to make money, and you've got a very profitable situation for a solid player when the pros are present. This writer has cleaned up on a few occasions at Flack's table. I've also heard lots of stories about enormous wins off the pros, so I know exactly what Andy means. Full Tilt is one of the fastest growing online poker sites, and we see no reason why it's going to slow down. The user options are second to none, the tournament structure is great, the software is constantly updated and improved, and you get to play with the pros. All they really need is more players to fill their tables. PocketFives.com strongly believes this site will be one of the top four or five online sites by number of users within two years. Sign up for Full Tilt now and enjoy the ride! Current Full Tilt Promotions: 100% Sign-up Bonus up to $600 10 WSOP Seat Guaranteed Freeroll - No joke, this is the biggest freeroll tournament in the history of online poker. To gain entry to the Freeroll you must gain 10,000 FullTilt points between April 10th and June 10th. Acquiring these points will not be a difficult task for someone who plays regularly 30 WSOP Seat Guaranteed $500 buy-in Tourney. Their running tons of satellites, but this is an enormous tournament. We're expecting an overlay. And last, but not least, Full Tilt will give you $10,000,000 dollars if you win the WSOP after qualifying through their site. Ten Million Dollars. That's got a nice ring to it. All of these promotions are explained in detail on Full Tilt's front page.
  4. Few people, if any, have won more money in online poker tournaments over the past year than Chris Savage, PocketFives.com's#1 ranked online tournament player. Chris is from Baton Rouge, which explains the "br" in his screen name. We recently caught up with Chris at the Binion's World Poker Open in Tunica, where he got his first major live win - the $1500 Limit Hold'em event. He won $79,000 for his efforts, plus a $10,000 seat in the main event! Savage simply dominated the field, never losing the chip lead at the final table. We had a late breakfast with Chris at the Atrium Café in the GoldStrike Casino and asked him a few questions. We also heard some great stories from the event that he won and some other interesting anecdotes. Below are the highlights of our conversation with this incredible poker pro. PocketFives.com: Congratulations on winning your first bracelet - tell us a little bit about the final table. Savage: I came in with a huge stack; only one other player was even close to me, and the two of us had over half of the 264,000 chips in play. I put my stack to work, opening aggressively from the start. At one point I had raised about 30 of 35 pots. Robert Perry, the player with the other big stack, had some tough breaks and my chip lead grew. The other players at my table were all excellent players, but my stack gave me a huge advantage. They knew they were going to have to win any pot they played with me, and that enormous pressure allowed me to steal a ton of blinds and consistently chip-up. I had a 7-1 chip lead by the time it was heads-up PocketFives.com: Was this win your biggest payday to date, and can you tell us about some of your online wins? Savage: Yes, this is my biggest win so far. I've had lot of online wins, but none this big. I've hit multiple payouts of $25K or better, spread out across PartyPoker, UltimateBet, and PokerStars. I've won over 20 seats to live events, and I've done well in the $30 rebuys on Paradise many times, most all in the last year. PocketFives.com: You've had an enormous year. Take us back to before you were making a ton of money playing poker - specifically, how did you get started playing online? Savage: I got really interested in Hold'em after a friend of mine took me to a local tourney a while back. I didn't win the tourney, but had a great time and decided to learn more about the game. I signed up for a play chip account on UltimateBet. I saw a ton of hands for free and thought I was ready to start playing for cash. I was wrong, and actually lost a lot of money in the beginning. However, I kept working on my game and kept getting advice from players that I saw doing well. Before I knew it I was making it deep into tournaments and discussing strategy with people like Shawn Rice. PocketFives.com: Tell me about your style of play and what makes it a winning style. Savage: Every move I make has a purpose. I don't like to speculate, but every time I make a move I want my opponent to be speculating. I don't like to enter a pot unless I'm the raiser and I have a clear idea of where I want to go with the hand. For online tourneys, you can't be scared to die in the early rounds. I'm willing to take a coin flip early so that I can get more maneuverability later on. If I bust, I'll buy into another tourney or go watch TV. There will always be another tourney to get into. Once I have a bigger stack that I can play comfortably, I like to see flops and get a strong impression of where I stand before making any big moves. Of course I'll go all in with aces preflop if the action dictates it, but I would rather wait and get my chips in with a 95% chance of winning after the flop than with an 80% shot preflop. You have to be patient enough to wait for your opportunity and sharp enough to take advantage of it when it comes along. Freddy Deeb is the player that I respect most in that regard. I've played with him many times, and he systematically waits until he is sure his hand is best before all his chips go into the pot. PocketFives.com: You're known to be a great closer - what does it take to perform so well at Final tables? Savage: Hyperaggression. For example, when it's down to 14, suddenly you're table is 7 handed and the nature of the game changes. I raise a lot here, changing tempo and betting with strength. It usually takes the other players a while to catch on, and some of them are so worried about moving up in the payouts that they give little resistance. You have to be fearless at this point in the tournament. When you're down to the final table, figure out where you can take down the easy pots and take them. When the play gets shorthanded again, I turn the aggression back up, but I usually don't get all my chips in the middle unless I'm sure I have the best of it. PocketFives.com: That's incredible advice, much easier said than done. Just curious, how many tournaments do you play on any given day, and how many tables can you play at once? Savage: I stick to the big buy-in tourneys that start at 8pm or later. All the money comes in at night online, except on Sundays. I'll always play the $350K guaranteed Sunday tournament on Stars. I love nightly $30 rebuys on Paradise, and UltimateBet always has a good selection as well. I usually stick to tourneys where first prize will pay $10K or more, and I usually play three or four tourneys at once. PocketFives.com: Four tourneys at once seems taxing, but I understand that's a pretty common set-up for many tourney pros. Do you think you would perform significantly better in any one tourney individually if you had no other tables open? Savage: Not really. I'm a decisive player, I've seen so many hands and know the situations well. I'm still able to keep track of how my opponents are playing with four tables running, so I feel comfortable playing multiple tournaments, especially since it gives me the opportunity to win much more money. PocketFives.com: What online players and sites do you have the most respect for and why? Savage: Pound for pound, I feel UltimateBet has the most competitive tournaments. The prize pools on Party and Stars are much bigger, mainly because there are a ton of inexperienced players playing on those sites and simply building the pools. You're going against a solid field every time you sit down at a big buy-in event on UB. I specifically appreciate PokerStars service for being there at the end of a tournament to officially chop it up for you if the players agree to do so. This means a lot
  5. *This Promotion is for Non US PocketFivers Only, meaning the fields in these tournaments will be much smaller than usual. This will create incredible value for those who play. How to qualify: We're running three tournaments on Gnuf.comover the next three weeks. Each tournament will have a $1000 Gnuf.com Invitational Seat added to the winner. The winner of each tournament will then come back to play in a fourth and final three man tournament on the fourth week. The winner of this tournament wins the $12,000 WSOP Package. You must sign up through a Gnuf link on PocketFives to be eligible. It's that simple! The first tournament ran on Thursday, May 17th at 2:30 PM ET. We only had 24 players in the tournament - you can't beat this value! The second tournament is Thursday, May 24th at 8:30 CET. That's 2:30 ET. The password is fives. This tournament will be a $3 rebuy with the $1000 Gnuf seat added! Good luck to you. Let us know when you win and we will cover you on PocketFivesLive at the Main Event! Remember, if you want to participate in these tournaments you must sign up through our link: Gnuf.com
  6. http://www.pocketfives.com/plays/logo.jpg http://www.pocketfives.com/plays/pocket.jpg
  7. Poker Sites: PocketFives.comrecommends that all serious players have a variety of the following sites in their Online Poker Arsenal. Sites that accept US players are shown with the * symbol: *CarbonPoker- CarbonPoker is on the Merge Gaming Network and offers players a wide variety of both poker and casino style games.Get 30% rakeback on CarbonPoker! *Full Tilt Poker- 100% deposit bonus up to $600, one of the fastest growing sites, great tournament structures and the best user options.Enter referral code FIVESRBto get 27% rakeback on Full Tilt Poker! *PokerStars- Another great tournament site with enormous prize pools and top notch service and competition. 100% deposit bonus up to $600. Use bonus code "STARS600" when making your deposits. *Bodog - 10% Instant deposit bonus. Very soft cash games. Definitely a site that all serious online players should check out. *UltimateBet - Great tournament site, best structures on the net. *Absolute Poker - One of the longest standing poker sites in the industry. PartyPoker - Thousands upon thousands of weak players here everyday. You'll always be able to find the game you're looking for on Party. Titan Poker - Part of one of the largest poker networks that serves most countries outside of the United States. Titan Poker has been a reputable name in the industry for years. MansionPoker - Mansion is one of the fastest growing new sites. They are constantly running some of the best value-added deals on the net, check them out! *Players Only - Another site with soft cash games. Players Only is a leading site on the Cake Poker Network. Sun Poker - Long time P5s partner and reliable skin of the Cryptologic Network. bwin - Part of the OnGame Network, bwin has been growing in popularity with cash-games and good tournament volume as well as offering sports betting and online casino.
  8. Regulated online poker in the US is becoming a reality - three states have already cleared the path for online poker and more are actively considering it. Despite the favorable news and momentum for online poker over the past year, I've had difficulty grasping this new reality. That started to change last month when I visited the offices of Ultimate Poker in Las Vegas. Ultimate Poker and its parent company, Fertitta Interactive, are clearly gearing up for a market opportunity that is very real and potentially massive. This Ultimate Poker review will give a sneak peak at what is currently happening behind the scenes. Fertitta Interactive is majority owned by Station Casinos. As you may know, the Station Casinos are owned by the Fertitta brothers, the same duo that owns the UFC. In the cab on the way to meet with Ultimate Poker I assumed I was going to Fertitta's headquarters. I expected to be surrounded by UFC paraphernalia while meeting with the poker team in a tucked-away corner of the office. After all, there is currently no real market for them in the U.S., so I wasn't expecting much. I couldn't have been more mistaken. Ultimate Poker already has its own office (pictured below) - a 20,000 square foot warehouse just off the Strip behind CityCenter. Fertitta is not starting small and feeling things out. They are making a huge investment early to try to become the major player in regulated U.S. online poker. As you can see from the pictures, the office is still being built out, but there are already various salaried employees grinding away in the offices that line the walls of the main room. These salaried employees are not random casino guys with no online experience - many of them have worked in some capacity with PokerStars over the years. I met with Joe Versaci, whom Adam Small and I had met with various times when he was the head of North American marketing for PokerStars. Joe is joined at Ultimate Poker by PokerStars vet Scott Yeates, one of the minds behind the beloved PokerStars VIP Program. Then there's Terrence TChan Chan, who started his career by building PokerStars' support team before going on to become a professional poker player and MMA fighter. These guys definitely know what they are doing. For software, Fertitta Interactive purchased CyberArts, a gaming software company that has been in the business since 1995. The purchase of CyberArts positions the Ultimate Gaming brand to compete in various gaming markets across several platforms worldwide, but the focus will be on regulated online poker in the United States. CyberArts' CEO Chris Derossi stayed on to lead Ultimate Poker's software team. Ultimate Poker is bullish on the prospects of a compact forming quickly as states review their options and realize the added benefits of increased liquidity. They weren't able to share any specific projections on a number of states in the near future, but the amount of resources they are pouring into this is telling. I haven't spoken much with the other companies that have received Nevada licenses, but I hope to find others making a similar investment. It's going to be a long road, but the Fertitta brothers are ready for that. They've already persevered through a similar state-by-state regulation battle with UFC. PocketFives will keep you updated on all the state by state regulation news as it breaks. For now, we can all take some comfort in the fact that a strong, reputable group like Fertitta is making a major investment in regulated US online poker. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  9. Hey guys, our designer is working on some solutions for that button. Agree its obtrusive, especially below the usernames that have an undertitle. I think the last mockup had it to the right of the username, so there may have been some miscommunication in the implementation.
  10. I forgot to mention that you can also "Block" someone from following you if you wish. From your Rail page, click on the Railbirds link at the top of the right console. A list of your Railbirds will display. You'll see a Red +Rail button and a purple Block button by each. Just click the Block button to prevent your updates from appearing in that user's Rail.
  11. Your PocketFives Rail allows you to quickly and easily get the latest poker updates on the players of your choice. Click the yellow "Rail" button in the red navigation menu (while logged in) to access your personal Rail page. Think of it as an extension of our Local Communities - we use a similar format and the same filters. The difference is that you can completely customize the list of players you Rail, similar to Twitter. For those new to the term, "Railing" basically means watching someone while they play poker. We've always loved the term and thought it fit perfectly for this feature. Railbirds are players that are Railing (following) you. Railees are the players you are Railing (following). You'll now find "+Rail" buttons near P5s usernames and avatars all over the site - look under usernames here in the forum view and you'll see the red button. If a player catches your eye simply click that +Rail button to add him to your Rail. Click on the "Rail" link in the header navigation bar to find a chronological list of updates from all of the players you are railing. From this page you can Rail more players, view or block Railbirds, and find a list of suggested users to Rail. Just like on the Local Communities, you'll be able see online cashes, live cashes, Tweets, recent forum posts, etc for the users that you Rail. If you were already using our Friends system you'll notice that all of your friends have been converted to Railees and Railbirds. Please keep in mind that this is a beta version. There will be some bugs - when you find one please post the details in this thread, including what browser you are using. We'd also love to hear your suggestions for additions. WackyJaxon already suggested the option for members to see their own updates on their Rail page. The developers are working on that now - by this time tomorrow there should be an option in the Filter Dropdown allowing you to include your personal updates in your Rail. Thanks for checking it out - we hope it becomes a part of your daily experience here!
  12. Hey guys, I just had to moderate this thread to remove some customer service related complaints/posts. Please keep the AMA focused on more general questions for Bill. Feel free to post your specific issues on the NJ local wall, in a different thread, or directly to WSOP.com support.
  13. You can also try posting your request here: http://www.pocketfives.com/canada/ontario-poker-community/ Bump it a couple of times to keep it at the top.
  14. Gotcha - that notification number is currently working for me. That number will reset to 0 for you every time you check the Scotland Poker page. It will start counting up again as new updates you haven't seen yet hit that page. If you knew that already and still think there is an issue please post your browser type here and I'll have a developer look into it!
  15. Smithy, do you mean the # of new posts notification that appears over the name of your Location in the horizontal navigation on all pages of the site? If so I'm seeing a notification number for Tennessee now.
  16. Monthly is still there in the Rankings tab Pimp, but it is two clicks away. We're showing the top 20 now and you can click Show More to load more in the same window. You can also find the monthly PLB on the sidebar to the right of forum pages.
  17. Hey P5s, Our new front page design has been our focus over the last few months and we're excited to launch it today. We hope you like what you see! The main goals of this redesign were to add more dynamic content to the front page and to better highlight member achievements The Featured tab shows the largest tournament scores and big milestones. We also added some custom queries, such as the PocketFiver that made the biggest jump in the rankings and the total combined cashes for all PocketFivers over the past week. The new Rankings tab also does a better job of highlighting players, including a scouting report preview, biggest score listing, and a larger avatar. This design will also fit well with some of the future projects we have planned. It's time to get started on those now! If you have any feedback or notice any bugs please post them in this thread here. If you have any ideas for custom queries you'd like to see added to the Featured Tab please post those as well. All feedback is appreciated!
  18. My wish was granted - ibcatfan called me with J-9 and nailed a full house. Donezo
  19. I've been all in 5 times in the last 5 minutes, all uncalled. Had a hand each time, but surprised everyone is passing up the shot at the $50 bounty.
  20. This will be added in NG, maybe even this week.
  21. Glad everyone likes it so far! (kidding) Keep the feedback coming in. Let it soak in and give us more feedback. We're definitely open to making changes. In general, the tab system allows us to show more information now and add more information later. The displays within the tabs can be changed, and we can add new tabs if you'd like to see more. What kind of summary information would you like to see in the default tab?
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