Partypoker announced yet another development to its online poker network this week by confirming timebanks will be changed and a new software update will bring re-entries to certain tournaments.
Re-entry formats, although similar to re-buys, differ in that a player must bust to re-enter and the amount of times the person can return to the tournament is limited by predetermined rules.
Timebanks, another key development in the software release, allow players who have money in the pot to take a little extra time when mulling a tough decision.
After listening to feedback from its customers, partypoker has increased times for cash games, sit and go, and multi-table tournaments. For a standard cash game table, timebanks now range from 15 seconds for micro stakes all the way to 30 seconds for high stakes.
Changes for Championship
The modifications come just over a month before the second annual New Jersey Championship of Online Poker (NJCOP II) is set to run April 16 to April 26. Partypoker released a tentative draft for the 10-day tournament highlighting an increase in total events to 32 and $1 million guaranteed prize pool, an upgrade of $400k from the 2014 series. The network also requested feedback from its players to help choose the final tournament schedule, asking residents in NJ as well as those in neighboring states who might travel to the Garden State for the tournament to weigh-in with their opinions and preferences.
While the Player’s Choice Tournaments come with a variety of format selections and number of players per table options, it doesn’t necessarily point out that re-entries could be permitted. For event variations, partypoker lists unlimited rebuys and add-ons, a single rebuy and add-on, single rebuy, bounty, freeze-out, and ante-up. However, it does say to “get creative” so re-buys might not necessarily be off the table.
The inaugural edition of the NJCOP experienced several hiccups, none more so than the tainted $500 High Roller that paid two places. The $200 Main Event guaranteed a $200,000 prize pool and $35,000 first-place prize, but it fell short with only 892 players and a $33,577 take for the winner.
For 2015, partypoker is guaranteeing an even higher winning prize of $50,000, albeit off a lower guaranteed total pool of $150k. Offering not only rebuys but also a reentry might be a smart move for partypoker to not only meet but exceed those expectations.
It is well known that Internet poker in New Jersey is struggling, and that certainly rings true for partypoker and its parent bwin.party. Last fall, Partypoker worldwide hit a new two-year traffic low, and the room in NJ has basically struggled ever since it entered the US market. Meanwhile, bwin.party is reportedly in discussions with several potential suitors for an acquisition takeover after its revenues dropped $40 million over the last 12 months.
Partypoker seems to be taking the necessary steps to improve its outlook. On March 1st, it introduced a more favorable loyalty program that significantly reduced the required points for the tiered rewards. Improving its software to accommodate player feedback and create a more life-like tournament experience through re-entries only betters the network’s odds for financial perpetuation.