On Thursday, Party Poker unveiled their much anticipated software upgrade to players, their first major refresh since merging platforms with BWIN late last year. The new software, which bwin.party is calling a “refreshed next generation online poker product,” adds a variety of new features, new interface as well as a brand new look and feel.
Party Poker is calling the release a “first phase release” and launching the new software as a Mac and PC download. Players can also check out the new software via a non-download version available for play on a browser as well as a mobile product available on Android and a brand new iOS app.
New Software Features
Highlights of the software changes include a new 1-click lobby and a heavy emphasis on social features such as Missions, Achievements and Friends, which tend to cater more to the recreational player:
1-Click Lobby: Popularized by other poker rooms, 1-Click lobby allows a player to get an instant seat at a table with a single click. Party Poker will customize the 1-Click Lobby with Filters and Favorites to list a player’s favorite games with upcoming tournaments. For players that don’t like change, they still have the Classic view that they can use at any time.
Missions: Party describes Missions as “giving you targets to aim for, challenging you to try new things and improve your game.” Once a mission has been accepted (such as properly managing a bankroll) a player will be able to track and pause the Mission as they progress. When a player completes a mission they will be given extra rewards including cash, tournament tickets and bonuses.
Achievements: Players love to brag about their scores. With Achievements, players now have a way to show off their skills through special “Collectible,” “Milestones” and “Highlights” Achievements. As you collect more achievements players will boost their Achievement score, which will be displayed on a player’s profile page.
Friends: Online poker is constantly pushing towards a more social environment. With Party Poker’s new “Friends” feature, which mimics a social network, players can follow their poker playing friends while reaching out to new ones.
To help you make new friends, Party Poker will even recommend people you might know. For players that would choose not to participate, privacy settings can be adjusted.
What’s Next for bwin.Party?
Today’s new software platform marks nearly nine months since bwin.party merged the BWIN and Party Poker player pools.
Traffic spiked immediately upon launch, but over the last few months Party Poker traffic (not to mention stock price) has seen a gradual decline to where they set today as the 5th largest online poker network in the world. The new software represents a major upgrade as well as a continuation of the commitment to the recreational player model that many other major networks have focused on over the last few years.
Party Poker also plans to be at the forefront of a late November launch in New Jersey, where they hope to regain a foothold on at least some U.S. traffic for the first time since 2006. Undoubtedly, a version of the software that launched today will be a part of Party Poker’s New Jersey product as well.
A Quick Look at the New Software
Lobby View (Default)
Table View (Default)
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