Major Upgrade Coming To Party / Borgata NJ Online Poker Software

Party Poker / Borgata Teases Significant Upgrades To Its NJ Online Poker Software

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The New Jersey online poker partnership of Partypoker and the Borgata is planning substantial upgrades to both its desktop and mobile poker clients in early 2015.

That’s per indications from Party reps on Twitter and Two Plus Two.

Party Rep hints at waitlist “solution”

After 13 months, it appears as though Party / Borgata will finally address one of the most glaring deficiencies of its NJ software: the absence of waitlists.

In May, players began an informal petition on Two Plus Two lobbying for the addition. For seven months their pleas were seemingly ignored.

Then, last Wednesday, the network’s new 2+2 representative responded: “Having spoken with our Product team today – we have a wait list solution planned to go live early 2015.”

Why not just introduce waitlists?

The usage of the term “waitlist solution” strongly implies that traditional waitlists will not be a part of the forthcoming update.

Waitlists are a standard feature at most online poker rooms. However, in recent years they’ve become the subject of some debate, with opponents arguing that they promote the practice of bumhunting – a catch-all term used to define regulars who purposely seek out weak players.

With this in mind, it’s at least conceivable that Party closely weighed the merits and drawbacks of various waitlist models before developing for an alternative, casual-friendly solution.

At least that scenario would partially excuse the network for taking such an obscene amount of time to implement what is, by most accounts, a core feature.

How Party / Borgata’s “waitlist solution” will function in practice is anyone’s guess. But I suspect that the network will follow in the footsteps of PokerStars, and institute something resembling table starters.

Party / Borgata mobile upgrades on tap for January

Party / Borgata is also gearing up for a long-overdue overhaul of its mobile online poker client:

Party first launched its iOS and Android apps shortly after going live in New Jersey last November.

Reactions to the initial roll-out ranged from unenthusiastic to hostile, with most players citing disappointment over the absence of Sit & Go’s and MTTs from the mobile app’s lobby.

Sit & Go’s were eventually added as part of a mid-2014 update. Logic dictates that the next update should grant players the ability to play multi-table tournaments from their mobile devices.

A few other possible areas in which NJ players may see improvement:

  • Mobile interface enhancements.
  • Improved mobile geo-targeting.
  • Multi-tabling functionality (unlikely).

When can NJ players expect the upgrades to go live?

If history is any indicator, the new updates will go live ahead of the start of the Garden State Super Series II on January 11.

The network’s last major update launched in early-September, just days before the network’s first edition of the GSSS.

This time around, Party will likely pay special attention to Q&A before going live with a software update, as the memories of September’s server malfunction still resonate with the site’s regular players.

Upgrade could pad Party / Borgata lead in NJ online poker market

Party / Borgata has enjoyed the benefits of a year-end liquidity surge. And moreso than NJ’s other two networks (WSOP NJ and 888 Poker NJ)

According to data gathered at PokerFuse Pro and provided by PokerScout, 7-day cash game averages on the network are currently 157, and trending slightly upwards.

That’s still a far cry from its late-December 2013 average of 235, but leaps and bounds better than its October 31 low point (117).

Should the upcoming software update be as material as early indications suggest (and the GSSS II a greater success than the first) expect Party / Borgata to widen that lead even further in January.

Under ideal circumstances, averages eclipsing the 200 concurrent player barrier are not out of the question.

- Robert DellaFave is a game designer and avid poker player. He writes for several publications centered on legal US online poker and the regulated online gambling industries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
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