Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Quality vs. Quantity

This arguement is made over lots of topics. Food, alcohol, sex, and... I know this is a surprise... ONLINE POKER!

I bet that topic tie-in hit you in the back of the head like a boomerang from an Outback Steakhouse commerical. /End failed attempt at online sarcasm.

I know there's been posts detailing win rates per big bet from playing like an ABC monkey robot over double digit tables on lower limit tables vs. moving up in limits and playing few less tables for greater stakes. Yes, the safe, profitable way is to play low limits playing only your own cards and you will be a winner simply from playing +EV cards/situations over and over blah blah blah.
But I would like to broach the subject on the online poker room experience itself. Why do established players choose one site over another? I have played at and have funds at several online sites and even though each one has a similar random number generator (RNG) spitting out the virtual cards to be shown on our monitors, players choose to play at site A over site B for different reasons. It could be the customer service, the comps (bonuses, swag, freerolls), competition, art work of the room, ease of use buttons, game selection.

A quality (when I say quality, I'm referring to his/her preference in online site not necessarily their poker skill level) player who enjoys the game as a hobby and/or has no desire to try to keep up with 5 games at a time might say to a quantity player "how the hell can you stand that site man?!?! it has the worst customer service, software that looks like it was built by Ms. Anderson's third grade tech lab, and the avatar in the three seat just won't stop staring at my junk".

In other words the quality player might be looking for customer service that doesn't take more red tape then your basic military requisition request to do something simple like changing your address (ARE YOU LISTENING YET PARTYPOKER?!!?!). He/she is probably searching for a pretty looking interface with plenty of customizable options on betting buttons, hand histories to be loaded into pokertracker, and timely resolutions to disputes on possible collusion/cheating, tournament disconnects/deals, and prompt cash-outs.

On the other hand the quantity player punching out a quarter of a big bet profit per hour on 10+ tables (which adds up VERY quickly, see a math guru site for actual numbers) might argue to the quality player that "dude, why do you care if the site has a customer service that's run by emus, just look at how big the fish tank is and how much I'm making in rakeback!".

The quantity player who multi-tables like a person with ADHD on speed probably isn't concerned with the layout of the interface except for ease of use betting buttons/commands, and is more concerned with the speed of the deal, and the availablity of games.

Different needs/wants for different styled players. So where does that leave the prospective poker sites looking to attract new players and/or improve their exsisting site?

Do you market the availabilty of playing against the pros (Full Tilt), having the largest game selection (PartyPoker), best customer service and tournaments (PokerStars), quickest deal/RNG plus available games other then Hold Em'/Omaha/Stud (UltimateBet), anytime reloadable bonuses with easy to use sportbook (BoDog), easy to clear bonuses and easy rackback offers (Absolute) attachment to a casino for super-fishy slot players coming over to the poker site (Crypto, Pacific, and Prima networks), seeing similar names every night, overlay on tournaments (any smaller site).

Is it possible to smush all these sites into one? Isn't variety the spice of life, and why don't wives recognize that? I already secured my place on the couch and in hell thankyouverymuch.

Online poker players should be thankful that these options are open to them. Much like choosing a bank, favorite grocery store, or which drive thru to grab dinner from this evening, online poker sites offer their own quirks and advantages. Do you want Arby sauce with that sir? Of course, silly question. Same basic services being offered in a slighty different way. Wendy's fries >>> McDonald's fries just so you know.

My personal poker preferences lean towards wanting availablity in my favorite game (PLO8), bonuses that do not have an expiration date (since I have no desire to five table just to bonus whore, and getting three hours of sleep each night hurts while working the next morning), cheapy tourneys being run continuously, and cash outs that do not take a week to receive.

Most of my play goes to Full Tilt, PokerStars, and BoDog for the reasons I listed. It doesn't mean the other sites suck, or are dysfunctional (except for Party's customer service which rivals a tattered ballcap wearing American trying to get service at a high priced French restaurant).

Is there a solution to poker sites catering to the quality vs. quantity player? If I knew the answer I would be typing this on a laptop from St. Kitts with some tropical foo-foo drink and topless models serving me pizza rolls.


I will be heading up to Grand Casino Hinckley tomorrow to show my parents my appreciation for the free day care they are kind enough to provide. And maybe hit up the poker room and penny slot or four. Then this weekend I'll be participating in the Minneapolis vs. St. Paul bowling tourney I qualified for two weeks ago. I heard the chick with the name tattoo'd on her neck will be there to answer compelling questions on branding herself in such a questionable manner that new scientific laws spawned to describe it. That, and I'm hoping to earn a little more cash for Vegas or at least pay off my bar tab while drinking during the tourney.

Look again at your calendar WPBT tournament folks... Dec. 10th is getting closer :)

Thanks for dropping by, and go check out Meek's Poker Bank Roll yet for a viewpoint not taken by other bloggers. My bankroll would probably be staring back at me repeating "are we there yet?". Sigh.

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