With many online poker rooms now employing software that allows for player segregation, a recent questions and answers session on the Two Plus Two poker forum with Bodog poker network representative revealed that they have no such plans. The bodog poker network is home to the large US facing poker room Bovada, so it’s an important issue for US players, however the response was a definitive NO.
The question of segregation, and the pros and cons of it has been a hot topic of late, with a mixed response from players. In a nutshell, from the networks perspective they say that it improves the overall ‘poker ecology’ of the network and allows newer players time to get to learn the game a little before being ‘released’ into the wider player pool, where let’s face it, some pretty good online players hang around and are waiting to jump on them. Many players state that this simply isn’t fair and everyone should be in the mix and more to the point should be able to play anyone at any time. So the big question as far as segregation is concerned is, should new players be kept safe and away from the bigger experienced players for a while, or in some cases such as at Party Poker, for an indeterminate amount of time?
It must be remembered that new players can and often do, start playing and hit tables that are well above the level that they should be playing. They lose, and they lose quickly, as they are up against serious online players, people who make a living from playing poker. Many of these players simply do not come back after a bad experience like that, and their poker days are over before they have really begun. This is not good for the network and in taking the bigger picture into account, it’s not good for the bigger players either. The last thing anyone wants is a new player coming in, depositing a few hundred bucks, losing it in one quick session and then gone for good....a network cannot grow that way. Players need a little time and sure a lot of them will have a bad time when they play with the bigger players, but at least they’ve been given half a chance. It must also be remembered that they only have a limited time, or amount of hands in the ‘safe zone’ and then they are indeed, in the mix.
Rooms that Use Player Segregation
At present a few rooms use segregation of player policies. Party Poker didn’t announce the fact that they were until they it was discovered by a player, and how they assess players and where to put them is pretty much unknown. However they have admitted they do and test different ways in which to do it. Full Tilt uses a different method and offers ‘New to the Game’ tables where players may play for a number of hands, and once this number is reached these tables are no longer visible in the lobby. US networks Merge (Carbon Poker) and Revolution (Lock Poker) both use segregation and this is done on a skin by skin basis. Many players agree that it’s a good thing for the future of online poker. No-one wants to see huge amounts of players coming and then leaving simply because they got beaten badly on their first few visits, and let’s face it, you have a choice of where to play.