Yesterday I tried out Party Poker, and honestly didn’t take to it as much as I have Pacific Poker. (My initial experiences are here.) Playing for longer last night I did notice some improvements, though. (Note that my experiences may be coloured by winning a 54 person satellite to get to a Poker Den satellite.)
The quality of the players seems higher, for one. Not so much initially where people were calling any bet with a weak top pair, but later in the game it became quite tight. The reason for that could be that Pacific Poker have been advertising so much recently that virtually everyone signs up to them first (like I did).
The other important improvement is that the blinds don’t go up so quickly. I think this promotes tighter play as there isn’t quite as much a landgrab for chips at the beginning of a tournament. As a result, I saw very few bad beats (and none were inflicted on me or by me) whereas over on Pacific I had a couple whilst I was playing during the same time. (This included being called with A Q off by A J spades, fair enough. The flop came Q J junk with two clubs, one spade. I bet, the other guy went all in and I had him covered and had top pair with the big ace kicker so called. The turn showed a spade, then the river, and I lost two those two running flush cards.) There have been discussions on other forums about there being a lot of bad beats on Pacific and I can’t honestly say whether it has more to do with the players, the rate the blinds increase, or the algorithm. It does seem odd, however, how often a pocket pair loses to a straight that was never really there for the drawing.
So maybe I will give Party Poker a bit more of a chance…