PartyPoker Casual Cash Games Cause Player Controversy

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PartyPoker Casual Cash games
Recreational players can now look for smileys for casual cash games. (Image:

PartyPoker has made no secret of its intention to attract more recreational online poker players. One of its most recent moves to encourage those players to join the Internet poker action is the recent introduction of Casual Cash Games.

The premise of the tables is to keep grinders and more professional players, who may attempt to make new and casual players their targets, away from Casual Cash Games. Those playing at these tables are not allowed to play any other cash games or sit-n-gos at the same time.

Casual Cash Games have Appeal

PartyPoker introduced the Casual Cash Games by touting the program as “a great game – for when you’re not grinding.” The games are indicated in the online poker lobby of the site by smileys, and players there are restricted to play on a single table at a time.

The site’s promotional page claims that the games are not easier, but simply for players who want to play one cash game while doing other things, like “watching their favourite show at the same time, or texting friends.” Players are, however, able to play multi-table tournaments while they have a Casual Cash Games table open.

As of May 6, the games became available at a few select stakes on the dot-com site and expanded as time goes on, depending upon the interests of players and results of the initial games.

The philosophy of attracting recreational players has been adapted by a number of online poker sites, but PartyPoker is the largest to move solidly in that direction. The company has offered beginner tables in the past, but the limited number of players in those games proved difficult for the site to continue. Another attempt to save new and casual players from the professional players who might prey on them was via a segregation policy that came to an end due to a high number of complaints.

All Players Not Happy with Smileys

In conjunction with the Casual Cash Games introduction, another feature will allow players to see who is multi-tabling on the site. If a player sits out at one table while multi-tabling, he or she will be removed from all tables until unclicking the “sit out” button. Sitting out for 27 hands or more will result in an automatic removal from all tables. Players who repeatedly sit out and return in a way that looks like a pattern to those overseeing the players can be subject to forced out of all games.

The attempt to curb “bumhunting,” as it is referred to by professional players, is something also being addressed by PokerStars in order to keep experienced online poker players from preying on the inexperienced and amateur players.

These types of programs are not sitting well with many players. Those who make a living from online poker by taking money from the new and casual players have taken to forums to express their discontent with the process that keeps them from making a living. Since regular players at higher stakes often pay much of the rake that keeps online poker sites in business, they feel that their needs are being ignored in favor of recreational players.

Results of the new program will not be known until cash game and overall site traffic has the chance to offer numbers for analysts.

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