Being a skill game and being a gambling game are not mutually exclusive. Poker is both. Backgammon is also a skill intensive game often played for money. When played for money its also gambling.
Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome, with the primary intent of winning money or material goods.
Pulled this from Wikipedia. Definitely describes what is happening in a poker game despite it being possible to gamble with an edge.
Feb. 24, 2019 | 6:16 p.m.
Also saw so stupid things from regulars at PLO200, people were literally going crazy with rainbow trash to win 20bb STP-s. Raise+3-bet= All-in. Im no lottery expert but I´m starting to think that at this point it must be more profitable to fold, take that money and buy a pile of lottery tickets instead. Thats not poker, 0% of skill, just pure gambling.
I personally think this is one of the best parts about splash pots. They are fairly skill intensive esp the 3-20bb range due to changing preflop dynamics. If regulars wanna just do crazy things for a pile of gold coins ya go ahead. Sounds good to me. Better then the regulars playing well lol.
Also there is no such thing as a "true poker game". Its a massive family of games with all sorts of rules. Some of which have more of a "luck" element at one end of the spectrum (maybe hyper SNGs are an example, flip plaques gonna be the extreme of this), others have relatively little "luck" element (NLHE cash perhaps). Apparently the game that has a very very good balance between "luck" and skill is Stud. When NLHE cash became a thing Stud was the "real poker game" and people complained. I m sure the same thing happened when PLO became more popular. "too much variance, everyone just flips for stacks" is what a lot of NLHE players thought i m sure. I certainly felt that way a bit lol.
The right balance between enough "luck" and skill is critical component of strong game design. Not enough random events and the game gets stale and the players with the edge becomes too clear and its not fun for the underdogs. Try playing chess for 200$ a game and see what happens. Even backgammon for 2$ a point haha.
Fwiw I agree that perhaps the way the huge splashes are done could be reconsidered due to disparity in stack sizes. They are rare enough though that it doesnt really matter anyways. At the higher stakes they almost never happen. Biggest I ve seen is like 20bb and I ve played a decent volume on RIO so far at the 200plo and 500nl games.
Feb. 23, 2019 | 10:31 a.m.
Only slightly though. Very close to 0ev but lots of fun EV and lullz for the dudes you most likely wanna be playing against. So in the end its probably actually +ev.
Never mind the fact that 3-10bb splashes are actually very skill intensive. In fact I d say thats almost one of the downfalls. Theres a chance that splashes are actually too punishing for weaker players.
But w/e if you wanna play software filled "skillful" formats with loads of regs, stars is still gonna be going strong for a long while yet.
Feb. 22, 2019 | 1:59 p.m.
Seeing frequencies on a display wasnt a thing until pokertracker was a thing lol. I guess all poker before poker tracker wasnt real pokers...
Anon is just different. In fact Alex Scott from MPN wrote an article about how the biggest winners in their pool actually win more in anon. And the weak players have more fun losing. So its win win for everyone. I guess if you hate winning more and wanna battle reg filled line ups with super powerful software that costs 40$+/m then theres options around for that as well. Just not gonna be RIO poker.
Feb. 22, 2019 | 1:47 p.m.
If you read through Phils blog posts you see that anon was a compromise to effectively ban HUDs. You can still color mark villains as well as take notes (and they stick for 4hrs) which is uncommon for anon oriented sites.
Splash the pot is the nuts btw. Juices up the action and makes the game way more fun. And the net rake is as good or better then the major providers.
Feb. 8, 2019 | 1:47 p.m.
Helpful tool for the cause.
Feb. 7, 2019 | 9:32 a.m.
They just take 51% of the rake and throw it back into the pots for people to play for. It would nt be any different if they gave it to you in the form of a play through bonus and you had to wager it again. Except that splash pots are WAY WAY WAY more fun then any stupid play through bonus or points system. Favorites in the game are going to win the money wagered at a higher rate then everyone else no matter how the bonuses are distributed unless underdogs chose not to play.
Splash pots increase the number of totally absurd situations that occur and keep you thinking "wow wonder whats gonna happen the next hand!". This is very important from a fun gaming experience perspective. Ben Brode has discussed these concepts in relation to Hearthstone. They are particularly fun and rewarding (from a fun perspective) when they increase the size of the game tree and make for more complex decisions. This definitely happens with splash pots.
Nothing is going to be more "fair" then literally taking the raked monies and throwing it back into the pot for everyone to play for. We came to RIO to play poker, and now lets play some poker. Playing with a bit of antes is just as much "real poker" as any other game. Live poker is full of fun ways to juice up the action like straddles, kill pots, 72 bonuses, bomb pots, big blind ante and the list goes on and on. Splash pots do EXACTLY the same thing except that its special because its something that must be executed online.
No chasing bonuses with little hope of playing them through, no grinding out a million+ hands a year, no going through backdoor affiliates to get some shady deal, no opening chests getting random rewards that are nearly useless. Think about how refreshing this is!
Oh lets not forget theres actually a system that actually effectively bans HUDs and seating scripts for once. All you need to do is log in and play. No nonsense.
Feb. 7, 2019 | 8:54 a.m.
Seems a reasonably successful launch. Small stakes pools have at least as much action as most non party/stars sites. And this is with random hiccups with deposit issues and stuff. Games are good too and STP is confirmed pretty fun.
Feb. 6, 2019 | 4:28 p.m.
Was playing today myself and I think the splashes come in at a decent frequency esp lower which loosens the game up again. Games where definitely nice.
Keep in mind its still a work in progress and RIO are definitely going to be adjusting the STP to keep games exciting and fun.
Feb. 6, 2019 | 4:24 p.m.
The site only actually rakes half of those numbers. The other half gets dumped into the pot in the form of splash pots (which are confirmed super fun btw).
When you take this into account + a nice deposit bonus RIO is at least competitive with major providers. Then if you want even more you can get on the streaming program and get an easy extra 25%.
Feb. 6, 2019 | 4 p.m.
Would blow me away if live events where not on the table for some point in the future. Most online poker providers, even the smaller networks, have some kind of live tour.
Step 1 is have a smooth launch and get the party started. Step 2 is everything else :D.
Feb. 6, 2019 | 7:30 a.m.
One thing to add is that everyone should get on twitch tomorrow. Either stream yourself or watch a RIO player streaming while you are playing. Sneak it in at work. Anything. Just spam twitch, get the poker channel to the top, and lets overwhelm that lobby. We do not want someone streaming stars at the top and all we should see is those funny avatars going to battle over splashed pots.
Feb. 5, 2019 | 4:15 p.m.
Ya I mean at micros I would be raising pot at least every time I isolated a limper. The other players wont punish you for it so you can really go nuts building pots IP vs weak opposition.
As far as the smooth calling goes idk if thats entirely the way to think about. Theres a lot of value in developing an extremely aggressive 3b strategy in NL esp vs weak players. Again the weak opposition won t punish you for it. Hands you may be thinking that make good flat calls probably make even better 3bets. Esp big suited broadway hands, big pairs, and bunch of suited aces. They tend to hit dominating hands and draws that you can either go hard for value or barrel off and contest the pot with at least a gutter.
Talking cash play 100bb haha. Idk about tournaments. Completely different lol.
Feb. 4, 2019 | 1:15 a.m.
Thats quite clever. What I love about this is that its something that you could only do online. Live theres bomb pots, kill pots, jackpots etc but nothing like this has been done for specifically for online environment.
Reminds me a bit of what blizzard does with hearthstone. Takes a game that feels a lot like a genuine card game but adds a ton of elements that could only be done in a digital format. Heard that game did pretty well :D.
So pumped to see what else the team dreams up down the line.
Feb. 3, 2019 | 5:49 p.m.
"51% rakeback for all players" is false marketing: not all players will have 51% in the long term and that's a FACT; recreationals will have less, pros will have more
What RIO is doing is taking 51% of the rake and then throwing it back into the pool of money that everyone plays for aka "the pot". Literally taking 51% of the rake taken and juicing up the next pots for EVERY PLAYER to battle for. Seeing as every player has the same baseline equity at the start of every hand this means every player has a equal share of that pot. What you chose to do with that equity is your decision. How is this a bad idea? What cause you need to play some poker to win the money in the middle? Isnt that the point of the whole game and what happens in every single hand ever dealt? I strongly doubt casual players are going to mind juicier, fatter pots to play for.
I would imagine there could be some extra bonuses for net depositors at some point. Anyone in the beta got a 30e gift to throw around. They are giving extra RB to those who go through the effort of streaming and promoting the site. I doubt RIO is closed to the idea of offering extra incentives to net depositors somewhere down the line. The 51% is just the main promotion to get the action going.
Feb. 3, 2019 | 4:58 p.m.
The big splashes are going to be and should be rare. Most are gonna be 1-5bb it sounds like and that makes sense. Wouldnt make sense for splashes to be one in every 200 hands only but also not going to be enough $$ in the splash pool for have 20bb splashes every 10 hands.
All the splashes are effectively just an ante. Ante format that is normal is like what? 1/4bb to 1/2bb from each player? This puts 1.5 - 3bb into the pot on top of the 1.5bb from the blinds. This is what the splash pots are going to do except it DOES NOT even come out of your stack! It does change the way the game is played a bit but for the better. You actually get to play the game instead of folding all the time. In larger splashes like 4-5bb or so it ll actually be a good idea to limp (odds on a call are a lot better) especially in PLO. This is really really cool as it expands the game tree in all sorts of directions and creates very interesting game states. We ll get unfamiliar scenarios where we need to think on our feet to find the best lines.
Optimal ish strategies in current 6 max formats are not as interesting as they could be imo. Play more then ~25% of your hands and you either need a very big edge at the game or you are gonna get punished. This means 3/4 or more of the game is folding preflop and sitting out instead of being in the action mixing it up.
"He shoves" - Who shoves Q6o 100bb deep just to win 4bb-s?
Phil was just using extreme examples to illustrate a concept. Some one who jams a lot because will win splash pots frequently. However because its -ev to do so the rest of the table will profit and therefore reap the benefits of the splash. Same when some crazy player jams 45bb randomly in a normal game. He wins the 1.5bb pot frequently, but really its the rest of the table that profits from that mistake.
I know this was just an example but I have a feeling its gonna happen way more frequently than now, especially in NLH. Some random dudes from Brazil or Russia are gonna start to shove any 2. Is this really what online poker needs right now, is this good for online poker?
Idk about other players but I personally have dreams about players making incorrect rando jams haha. One of the things I miss the most from micro stakes tbh lol. Much more of an exciting idea then 6 tight players playing a super solid game and making few mistakes.
Feb. 3, 2019 | 8:17 a.m.
I vote for keeping the innovations coming post launch. You have at least a couple people working with you who have a mind for game design and I d love to see innovative formats that keep the classic ideas that we know and love but then add in elements that keep the active alive and the creative strategy development flowing.
Feb. 2, 2019 | 10:15 p.m.
Once upon a time I was a casual player and I currently live with a casual card player. I ll admit the idea of actually beating the game and making a profit definitely drew me in. But I definitely would not have kept playing for as long as I have and worked at the game as I have if it wasnt for the fact that poker is just a really cool game. I ve played a lot of the CCGs like MTG and HS as well but still theres something special about poker.
About the money I think its part of what makes it special. Not just that you can win it but because it makes the game for real. Mistakes hurt, sick plays are rewarded. Add in a healthy dose of gamble so it keeps the action alive and pushes one to stay on top of their mental game.
I cant stop thinking about how fun splash pots are gonna be. The variety of game states is gonna expanded and your never exactly sure what to expect the next hand. Then every once in a blue moon something ridiculous happens and we flip for 100bi or whatever lol.
My gf is a passionate game player and RIO is going to bring her out of the woodworks. She hates the nonsense software of 2nd/3rd tier sites. Stars chests insult her intelligence. Doesnt want to spend her free time off work dealing with crap software like HEM2. She just wants to play a bit of poker on a site that gives a shit and has good software at a reasonable price. RIO is literally the only site thats going to check all the boxes for her. This demographic has no where great to play and is really important to the game.
Feb. 2, 2019 | 10:08 p.m.
Also comparing it to old stars system is a bit absurd. Firstly it does not exist anymore. Secondly only Supernova and Supernova elite got anywhere near any decent RB. Secondly to achieve those levels you had to grind like a madman. Just was not attainable for the vast majority of the population even among full time players.
So really the majority of the pool got like 10-20% tops under old stars system. Then god knows what players get under the new system. Even with party pokers system you need to play a decent chunk of hands at 1/2 or 2/5 to get the weekly 40%. I play there a lot and dont always hit those quotas.
Just cut the RIO numbers is about half and compare that to what the major providers are doing. Kinda obv that RIO is at least competitive. Then if you look at 888, GGnetwork, Ipoker, Unibet then RIO is better by quite the margin.