Nick and Mike discuss the new online poker world record set at Americas Cardroom, the move by partypoker to use players’ real names at the tables, the big money up for grabs this fall in the major online poker tournament series, and a new feature on the GGNetwork called Bubble Protection. Also, tune in to the outro for a special announcement about upcoming episodes.


Full Transcript

Mike: Hello and welcome everybody to the Pokerfuse Podcast. This is episode number 23, coming at you on July 25th, 2019. I am your host Michael Gentile along with my co-host Nick Jones. Nick, how is it going today?

Nick: It’s hot, that’s how it’s going today.

Mike: Right, yes. I saw there was a heatwave going across Europe.

Nick: It’s so hot, it’s ridiculous. I even looked up the numbers in Yankee numbers so you could understand. It’s 35°C here, which I think is 95 Fahrenheit. It’s probably a temperature you get a lot, but in a country where no one has air-conditioning or really even fans because such things are unheard of, we are not well prepared for such eventualities.

Mike: Do you guys have high humidity or because you’re inland less so?

Nick: Humidity is not too bad, I guess.

Mike: I’ve heard there’s been some other news over in your neck of the woods recently.

Nick: Are you going to talk about politics?

Mike: A little bit, I do have a question though. I heard that this Boris Karlov or whatever his name –

Nick: Johnson, yes.

Mike: Boris Johnson, he is going to be the new Prime Minister? Or is that not-

Nick: He is, he is our new Prime Minister. All hail the great Boris Johnson.

Mike: The party just elected him, the people didn’t have a say because they elected the party? Is that correct?

Nick: That is correct, I’d say that’s exactly it. The conservative party members, of which there are a couple of hundred thousand, I think, had a little mini election and voted him in. So that’s all lovely.

Mike: Well, I guess that’s another area that our countries compete in.

Nick: Yes, that’s very true. I’ll tell you one thing we’re not going to be talking about this week, other than politics, which I don’t want to talk anymore about. We’re not going to be talking about US regulated online poker.

Mike: No, we are not. Take a break, I think that’s a good idea.

Nick: Yes, despite Pennsylvania being a thing and a huge deal and all of that. As much as we would love to bring you up to speed with some new information there really is nothing, is there?

Mike: No, no. Last week, we talked about the market opening on Monday and doing so without any online poker. In the past seven days, since our last episode, there have been no updates to report on.

Nick: That speaks volumes to the internal problems there have been rolling out regulated online gaming in the States despite the years of time they’ve had to prepare.

Mike: Yes, a little bit surprising.

Nick: Instead, we’re going to talk about unregulated online poker in the United States. That’s exciting and something to look forward to.

Mike: Yes, not something we do very often, but it should be quite interesting.

Nick: Let’s dive into the topics we got.

A New World Record at Americas Cardroom

Mike: Okay, when we’re talking about unregulated online poker in the US. Unlike, perhaps, in previous years, there’s very, very few that are widely accepted. I think the top unregulated online poker room in the US has got to be Americas Cardroom on the WPN network.

Nick: Yes, Bodog is there is well, aren’t they? I think, in terms of cash game traffic, although there’s only estimates they’re up there as well. They’re both two very big networks still serving the US market. I will say not unregulated, they are heavily regulated by Curacao , [crosstalk] but they are not regulated and licensed in the United States, and so operate in that country in a gray area of legality.

Mike: Just to be fair to our listeners when we say regulated in Carousel, understand that that is just a rubber stamp regulator. They traditionally have not done any real enforcement of rules or regulations. It’s more so in name than anything else.

Nick: It’s pretty laissez-faire, as it goes out there. Anyway, I think the first time we have talked about an offshore license US-facing online poker on the network on this podcast. It’s been going six months, which is remiss of us to an extent because they are very large. WPN is in the top 10 online poker networks globally in terms of cash game traffic. They save thousands of players every day, they’ve done software updates over the last six months. It’s not really a focus of us in our day to day jobs. We don’t write about US-facing sites that much but we did this week because WPM very much made the news and it’s worth us dipping our toes in.

Mike: Right. I saw that there is perhaps a Guinness Book of World Record, I’m not sure how to put that.

Nick: They ran the Venom, which is a huge single online poker tournament which had a very ambitious $5 million guarantee, which was the largest we think that’s been set by any operator that operates in the US market since Black Friday. We’re going back eight years now. WPN certainly run very ambitious tournaments before, very frequently had large overlays, they’ve also had lots of technical problems and denial of service attacks when they’ve run these big events. These are big risk tournaments for them and they smashed it. They smashed the guarantees and apparently setting a Guinness Book of World Records in what they did there.

Mike: Yes, I did go out to the Guinness Book of World Records websites to confirm that they did indeed have that record but found that if they do have it, the website has yet to be updated with that information.

Nick: You found more than me because I went and searched and I just searched because I can’t believe. Apparently, what they’ve set a world record for is largest online jackpot paid out in a cryptocurrency. They paid the winner, who I think is actually a Brazilian guy, they don’t just serve the US market, they operate globally. He won just over a million dollars and cashed out via Bitcoin and that money was in his Bitcoin wallet within minutes of the tournament ending. Apparently, they set record officiated by Guinness that it was the largest such jackpot win, which sounds extremely dubious that the Guinness Book of World Records would adjudicate such a record.

I went on their website and just searched cryptocurrency and couldn’t find anything. You did actually find something?

Mike: Yes, there’s two places that you can search. I went into the first place and it said there were no results but that for a complete search you should go to this other section of the website. When I went there, it pulled it up and said, no, no entries for this exist. That is why.

Nick: The record exists but no one has it. Wasn’t that right? It’s got something saying the largest cryptocurrency jackpot.

Mike: I put a screenshot up, I took a screenshot. Let’s see if I can pull it up handy dandy here and see exactly what it says.

Nick: Well, whether it’s a record or not, in the eyes of the Guinness Book, it certainly did set a record for the largest tournament the US players could play in for the last eight years and it was a huge success for the operator. It’s just a good reminder that these offshore poker rooms still operate every day for tens of thousands of players and run successful operations.

Mike: Nick, do you have some numbers in front of you? Can you tell us what was the buy-end for this tournament and how many runners did they get?

Nick: I certainly can. Let me just bring that up. It says $2,650 buy-end tournament, presumably, 2,500 of that went to the prize pool. It attracted in total just over two and a half thousand entries to build a prize pool of 6.3 million. Well over 20% over the guarantee that they set. They run it over just three-day once, and I think this might be one of the first times they’ve run multi-day tournaments because I think that was a fairly new feature they added. On the first day, they got 795, which is a great start. The second day, they only got 400. It looked almost certain that they would overlay.

They needed like 800 entries on day one C to hold an overlay. They ended up getting like 1300, which I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s their largest single day that they’ve ever done as well. An incredible number of people playing a pretty high stakes tournament.

Mike: I was able to the screenshot that I took. The category does exist, largest cryptocurrency winning jackpot in an online poker tournament, but it says there’s no current record holder for this title.

Nick: I don’t understand. I didn’t understand how that can be a real thing.

Mike: If I’m going to get, it’s that WPN has started the or Americas Cardroom has started the process. They’ve added the actual category or the actual record, but perhaps are still doing their due diligence on the verification that the cryptocurrency was actually shipped. Just a guess.

Nick: Maybe, I’m just behind the times, but I thought Guinness World Records was all about how larger deck card tower can you build and how many stacks of pencils can you put on your nose and things like that, not the largest cryptocurrency payment made for jackpot prize online, but maybe it’s just rolling with the times.

Mike: This is even very specific to include only online poker. It seems more specialized.

Nick: Maybe you can just pay to get your own award, record.

Mike: Another thing that I saw coming out of Americas Cardroom this week an interview with Norm Macdonald.

Nick: Who we say live.

Mike: I found that quite shocking.

Nick: Yes.

Mike: We saw live in the Bahamas this year.

Nick: Yes, I enjoyed him very much.

Mike: He was sitting there being interviewed and talking about playing on the site and how much he enjoys it. I think if I remember correctly, it’s been a few days now, was touting the transparency of the room. He is a comedian. I did find that funny that he was touting the transparency of Americas Cardroom. Possibly, that was his plan all along, I don’t know.

Nick: Do you know where was it recorded? Was it recorded during the WSOP or something?

Mike: I don’t know. It looked like it was in a hotel room. He was wearing an Americas Cardroom jersey or shirt of some sort. They may have said in the beginning of the interview, I just don’t recall.

Nick: Well, there you go. WPN still doing the same.

partypoker Introduces Real Names at its Online poker Tables

Mike: We saw, come across the wire this morning, that PartyPoker has implemented the change to allow players to use their real names on the website on the poker site. That was a change that Tom Waters and Rob Yong announced on our podcast previously.

Nick: Yes, it was perhaps, I think, the most interesting and novel idea that they discussed when we had one of the dozens of ideas that they want to see implemented. This was the one that I think we’ve discussed the most. I think we both raised some concerns. We have the idea but yes, he said they want to move to an online poker room where everyone is using their real names. They took a step towards that today. What’s very interesting is that last weekend, Rob Yong was on Twitter, saying that real names were going to come. They were going to come in August. They were going to be trialed at high stakes cash game tables.

He talked about how that he was going to restart Trickett room, which was like an invite-only high stakes table that you could rail because normally on PartyPoker table, you can’t rail the tables. Frequented by Rob and Sam Trickett, and other PartyPoker ambassadors and that kind of thing.

He was going to restart that and it’ll be real names and he had a string of tweets about it. Then, I just feel, two days later, partypoker put out PR and say it’s actually going to be July, it’s going to be the low stakes tables and it’s going to be public.

Mike: Is that how it got rolled out?

Nick: We’re not quite sure as we speak now, the status of it. Today, we saw it went live two tables, one cent, two cents, They were flagged 'real names only’ and presumably if you sat down there, then, your real name would be shown at the table rather than your screen name. The PR suggested you could use your real name, there’s no point having that, you can optionally choose it. It’s more or less tables where you can choose to sit on.

However, when I went preparing for this podcast and to write the story, tried to play these tables, they disappeared. We’re not sure if there was a deployment issue or maybe it’s because I’m in the UK and so they’re not showing in this market or they’ve just been withdrawn briefly, I’m not sure. As it stands right now, we can’t play them, but there were two tables of six-max, no limit one cent, two cents per games.

Mike: Those are still not able to be observed by anybody that’s not sitting at the table?

Nick: Yes, although I think the tables are all anonymous, if you load up a table, you just see like player one, player two, player three, and I presume that’s going to be the same with these real names. You’ve got to be sat. I think even if you’re sat, you have to have posted a blind before you see who everyone is around you . I presume the real names thing will work like that. Come out ahead of time is going to be trialed publicly for real money, I mean, fair play to them. I have my doubts that this idea would see the light of day. Well, I haven’t quite seen it but it’s really going to happen. We will see how it plays are exposed.

Mike: I’m a little bit surprised. I saw that the Trickett’s room is back up and running, right?

Nick: I’m not sure about that.

Mike: I thought I had seen coming across Twitter that Rob was talking about Trickett’s room and getting games going. [crosstalk]

Nick: Yes, he’s trying to launch them as a regular 100, 200 game and then a month late, two 250, 500 games, all of these was-

Mike: May not have gone live yet.

Nick: Yes, and all these are going to be real names. Also, they’re going to have their own special integrity team watching them to make sure everyone plays legitimately or that kind of thing. He even posted a screenshot of a private room like WhatsApp group or iPhone group of 13 people that he’s invited to play this game. He’s trying to get the ball rolling there, and I thought this would be the debut of the real name feature, but obviously, the punch poker online team, they’ve got different plans.

Mike: I saw that he was communicating back and forth with Daniel Negreanu about potentially playing in these games.

Nick: Oh really?

Mike: Yes. There was nothing definitive by Daniel as far as committing to joining a game at a specific date or time but he did believe it quite open-ended as in, I think his response was something along the lines of, “I usually play tournaments, but I may be persuaded to jump in a cash game or two.”

Nick: That would be certainly a great draw for railbirds if the likes of Daniel sat down at the table. What are your thoughts about the use of real names?

Mike: It has a lot of PR value. I think it gives users the impression of transparency, which is a good thing. I do think there are so many complications and issues. Some people may not mind having their real name out there, I’m going to assume that there are going to be plenty of players that will mind. If it comes down to something that starts dividing up liquidity, that’s where the poker room is going to have an issue.

If there’s enough people on both sides to keep the stakes running at whatever stakes they end up rolling it out in, then yes, I think it’s fine. Let people play with their real name if they like to and let people don’t if they don’t.

Nick: We’ll see. I would assume that they’re going to move towards phasing out the anonymous names. I think if the trial works and they replacing an entire stake with real names only tables, I would guess, just because I feel like it’s one of those changes that only really works if it’s forced upon people rather than giving people the option because like you say, there’s haven’t going to be no an issue just splitting liquidity if nothing else and no PartyPoker have really paired back. They used to have loads of different table types. They had their casual cash games for ages, which would just— If you just one tabling, you could play a casual cash game and they had a bunch of other different variants and that kinds of things.

Recently they paid it back to try and pull liquidity in one place. My guess is long-term, they hope to make it mandatory.

Mike: I’m going to guess that there’s going to be a significant number of people that would not want to have their real name displayed and, as a result, they could be pairing down their potential player pool because people will seek other operators that don’t require them to use a real name. I guess the amount of people that might be opposed to that is still yet to be determined.

Fall Online Tournament Series Announcements

Mike: As we get into the back end of the summer we can start seeing the online poker operators around the world announcing their autumn or their fall tournament series, that’s usually a pretty big time of the year for online poker. We’re already starting to see some announcements come through. Nick, what do we know on this topic?

Nick: Yes, things are definitely starting to take shape. Punch Poker Winner Max, PokerStars, and MPN, I’m guessing, other than maybe Unibet coming along there, the big ones have all, at least, revealed some details. They revealed the dates, if not more, of their big tournament series. The one that we might have already talked about before on this podcast is Punch Poker Powerfest. It’s actually starting this Sunday. The most interesting thing about that is that they are basically running Powerfest, which is their flagship tournament series on its own. No one else is running a tournament series at this time.

It’s honestly a pretty dead time and they are taking quite a pun with this one. It’s $28 million guaranteed. Depending on your perspective, it’s either real reduction or a really big growth. It’s a lot smaller than a $60 million series that they ran a while back but it was in a different time of year. They’ve never run one at the end of the July into August before, ever. Just looking at the stats like they had, they did a $30 million one so basically the same in March. March is definitely a more popular time, busier time in online poker. It did a $40 million in May 2018. It seems pretty ambitious being that they’ve got no cover for anything else.

It’s really hot weather in Europe right now, which is never a good thing. It’s the summer holidays. It really seems they have to play it out. I’ve actually seen Partypoker reps posting a bit on Twitter about their MTTs declining and asking for reasons why. I don’t know if you saw some of that conversation?

Mike: I did. Yes, I too think this is hugely ambitious and not having other operators running tournament series adjacent to Powerfest, makes it quite risky. Though, I have to say that Partypoker has been the online poker room that has touted overlays as a huge marketing opportunity. Perhaps overlay alert is going to be the theme for the upcoming Powerfest series.

Nick: Yes, they do clever things with their series, a lot of that 28 million, or some of that 28 million, will be their regular schedule that they rebrand for the two weeks of Powerfest. Sometimes, the numbers aren’t quite as big as past what the headline figure says but even so with them, it’s interesting timing seeing, I think it was Patrick Leonard and Rob Yong having a conversation on Twitter about regular MTTs declining despite them doing everything right. Why do you think this is? which was an interesting discussion if you want to read it. It’s an interesting time and just a few days before this event kicks off. I wonder if they are concerned at all about the potential turnout for some of these bigger events.

Mike: When I first saw that, my mind immediately went back to when Rob was on the pod. I recalled him saying, and correct me if I’m wrong, that cash games were in pretty steep decline at that time. Do you remember, is that?

Nick: Only if he was talking about the industry overall. In fact, Punch Poker’s cash game traffic is done pretty well against the competition. In fact, since the hard change, and we’re probably going to be diving into these numbers in some content coming up, but I think their cash game traffic has done really well the last month since they burnt out. It certainly hasn’t collapsed like some might have expected. Considering the seasonality, I think that’s actually holding up quite nicely. Yes, it’ll be interesting to see with that tournament.

They’re basically running on their own till August 11. The only other thing that’s running is 888 have got a Micro Stakes Championship series from August 4th to 11th. Is that next week or the week after? That’s pretty low key but they’re running that at their .com and .eu market. Then, that’s it for August.

Mike: Six-figure guarantee for 888?

Nick: Yes, I don’t know off the top of my head, could be low seven.

Mike: I was joking.

Nick: Oh, I missed it.

Mike: [chuckles] No, I just was saying, thinking that a six-figure guarantee is quite laughable.

Nick: Yes, It is Micro Stakes tournament, they’re like one cent, 10 cents buy-in type things, but I imagine it’s into the seven figures just.

Mike: Okay.

Nick: Then, we hit the September’s and that’s when we start seeing overlap and that’s where we start to see the big events. Punch Poker is back, they have their KO series, which seems to be the one that they do try and coincide with everyone else. They did that back in April-May time, I think they lost KO series, which was pretty big overlapped with-

Mike: It was quite successful.

Nick: Yes, that overlapped with Scoop. Seriously, on one hand, they say, “Oh, we just do our own schedules and stuff,” and they do that with the Powerfest. I think with the KO series, they try and line that up a bit better. This week was the week where I feel like everyone’s— All the operators sitting waiting to see who announces first then everyone else decides whether they want to overlap or not. MPN, we reported first that they revealed an interim schedule for the UCOP series with million euros guaranteed, which is the joint biggest that they’ve ever done. They’re a smaller network but that’s a good series that does well for them.

Winamax, just today, I think, announced their next Winamax series, first two weeks of September, €40 million guaranteed. That is their biggest ever, I believe. A million up on last time. PokerStars’ Wcoop, September 5th to the 25th, that was just released hours ago. No details at all, but I’m going to say absolute is going to be $80 million guaranteed. That overlaps with pretty much— Yes, it overlaps Partypoker’s KO series and all of UCOP series. They haven’t done anything too tricky there and gone and done it in October or something just to mess with everybody.

Mike: What was the guarantee last year for Wcoop? [crosstalk]

Nick: There’s a reason why I think it’s going to be 80, I presume the Wcoop last year was 70 and then Scoop was 75. They’re going up five million each half year in steps so yes, it’s def-

Mike: Right for quite a while, that trend has been holding?

Nick: Yes, for like three years now. Now, they’re jumping up by 10. I even think Scoop have added some last-minute events on which did actually increase the overall series guarantees a bit. They always go over it by like 20% so they’ll guarantee 80 million, which is absolutely huge and impressive that they can grow it every time. They will probably do over 100 million because they’re very good at running these massive tournament series. That’s pretty much the landscape scoped out for Autumn . So if you don’t mind poker play, you can check up on those dates and plan your play around it.

It’s looking like it’s going to be another record-breaking month, we do write this every year like largest ever month in online poker tournament history. It will be the same again like everyone’s equaling or bettering what they’ve done before in most metrics.

Mike: Noe, the main operators, and I’m speaking Party, and PokerStars, and you can lump Winamax into that group as well. Are they also planning series in their segregated European market?

Mike: They are.

Mike: During that period?

Nick: They are. PokerStars will absolutely do— They have a tournament series almost every month in Europe. They will be like three before autumn, I imagine.

Mike: Okay.

Nick: Winamax, they’re already in Europe, then what else have we got? 888 is actually the only other operator that other than they’ve got this championship series which is in Europe. Presumably, they will have an XL series in September but they’ve been super weird in the last year about organizing anything of any note. Who knows what they’ll do, probably something.

Mike: I was curious if the operators were going to be competing against themselves or running their segregated European series in tandem around the same time that they’re running the rest of the world series, and also wondering if we expect, I guess, the answer is going to be no here, but what’s the possibility that we see Portugal come through and approve another operator between now and fall?

Nick: Well, your last question is zero chance, I would imagine. There’s absolutely nothing to suggest that there’ll be another this year, I don’t think. The self-cannibalization thing is interesting because obviously that only applies to PokerStars who still allows international players on their southern European network. It wouldn’t make sense but again, they don’t have two networks. Partypoker doesn’t, if anything like it, they probably benefit from running them at the same time because those players who do play in southern Europe from— I don’t know. There is a list of countries where you can still do that, it’s obviously shrinking with local regulations.

Say, a German could still play, I believe on both networks. They will probably benefit from having both clients open and playing both of the tournament. There doesn’t seem to be too much attempt, either way, to sync them up or not.

Mike: That’s interesting. Well, yes, lots of big money.

Nick: It’s going to be another huge autumn for sure.

Bubble Protection Debuts on GGNetwork

Nick: Bubble protection is probably a term that no one is familiar with. We’re only familiar with because we wrote a story on this topic nine years ago or something. A couple of services pops up, one called the Bubble Protection and one called Beat the Bubble. They were third party services that, for a premium, you could pay insurance so that if you bubbled an online poker tournament, which is you bust out just before everyone makes the money, then they will refund you your bond. You could pay that money to basically dodge the frustration and anger of busting out just before making the money.

Those idea services didn’t really take off, they withered and died. The whole concept has been resurrected this week with a network that we talked quite a lot about on this podcast because they always do a bunch of interesting things which is GG Network. They’ve launched built-in bubble protection.

Mike: Built-in is going to be built-in to the client. My first question would do you have to pay a premium? Is there a cost?

Nick: No. This is the interesting thing, it is free and it is available automatically to anyone. The only condition is that it’s only offered to people who register early for tournaments before the tournament begins. Late registers don’t get the bubble protection to encourage people to always fill in. Other than that, it is completely free. It is just an extra thing that they are adding to the prize pool.

Mike: Wow, that’s a nice incentive to put to get people in seats early. I was wondering if there’s no cost to it then, what’s the draw? Yes, I like that.

Nick: Ultimately, when it comes to the cost, GGN isn’t massive. My first question related to this is how do they define the bubble? Because technically, it could just— Perhaps the most specific definition is the bubble is the one person before, the money bubble is that last person. I think more colloquially, being on the bubble can be the last few people whenever it really dark, it starts getting tense. Even those sites that we mentioned eight years ago that ran, somebody was like “You could take out more insurance to cover yourself on the five-person bubble or the 10 person bubble.” GGN’s implementation is the same in that the bigger the tournament, the wider the bubble halo is that they’ll protect.

If a tournament has less than 100 entries, and they don’t they don’t do anything for tournament less than 10 entries, which is understandable. Anything less than 100 then, there’s just one spot that pays out. When you look at that, if you had a tournament with 99 people in and they are basically refunding one buy-end. That is like 1% of-

Mike: Rake, it’s like a rake-free tournament. 10% entry fee, they’re giving back money into the prize pool, that much extra?

Nick: No, they’re not there at all. No, they will still make a fee, right? If there’s 100 entries, they will make, let’s say $5 to $10 per entry. They will make like $500 to $1000. Then, they will give back $10 to one person.

Mike: It’s $10.

Nick: In that circumstance, it’s like they cost themselves like 5% to 10% of what the operator would take, they’re putting back into the prize pool.

Mike: Okay, got it.

Nick: Then as the tournament grows, they pay out more spots, I think that’s the smaller tournaments that’s the best-case scenario. If you imagine it’s just a 10-person tournament, and they are paying back one extra spot, that’s huge. There’s probably only two spots or three spots pay and now they’re going to pay off four spots. That might actually be, in that scenario, rake-free, but as it gets bigger, they pay out less. I think they pay out like 10 spots in a 10,000 person tournament. Yes, that’s it. That’s exactly 10 extra spots in 10,000 entries or more.

What I found quite interesting with this is, obviously it doesn’t— When you talk about third-party service where you’re the only one with bubble protection, not only does that maybe alleviate the stress and the variance of being on the bubble, but you’re actually playing a different game to your opponents, because you are not scared about busting out. In some respects, you’ve entered the pay one step before everybody else. To you, it’s like you’ve made the money, and you’ve got this tiny little bubble all to your own, and you can actually pay differently to your opponents. I think that’s what’s interesting about third-party services. With this, obviously, everyone except for late registers has that.

What it effectively does is it just moves the bubble one spot down or a couple of spots down. The bubble still exists, but now you just have this new pay tier before the money. The situation is exactly the same, except they just created this thin extra halo tier, pay tier for most participants in the tournament.

Mike: No wonder.

Nick: It’s free money, so there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s just that the dynamics of it is interesting and a bit different.

Mike: Would you happen to have an estimate of how many people on average late reg for an online tournament?

Nick: I’ve got no idea.

Mike: 10%?

Nick: I’ve got no idea. It might be as much as like 30%, 40% potentially. Obviously, it all depends on how long the registration period is and how well it’s promoting the client, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s more like 20%, 30%, particularly for guarantee tournament’s because I think people jump in when it starts if hasn’t met its guarantee.

Mike: Obviously, the higher the percentage of people that late-reg, the more advantage that the people that get in there on time have because they have that bubble protection, and like you said, are playing a different game, I don’t know versus their opponents.

Nick: It would be interesting seeing the implementation of this. If you couldn’t see if your other opponents have the bubble protection or not, that would be cool to know.

Mike: Yes.

Nick: I don’t know if they’ve done that, but it’s a smart business idea for them because then, that would encourage people to register early for tournaments. Good Game Network comes up with some great interesting ideas. Some of them seem insane to me, they’ve got like a built-in staking platform on their service, they basically got a mini poker tracker. They’ve got their own built-in hard, they got all these things. This is so interesting, it doesn’t seem to cost that much. Encourages the behavior that you want, which is early registration, as an interesting extra element and even like an extra skill element. If you can see whether your opponents do or don’t have that bubble protection, it’s just a fantastic idea if you ask me, yes.

Mike: Make a mental note to three months down the line, ask what change there’s been in pre-register versus late register. If it has incentivized people to actually make that change.

Nick: Yes, absolutely. We’re not quite sure if it’s live yet, I think, if it’s not live now, it will be by next week. If you want to give that a try, GGN is the network. They have a bunch of online poker in view. You can search and pick the one that you want to play on, but yes, it’s definitely an interesting idea.


Mike: All right, it’s actual time and time for a little bit of an announcement regarding the regularity [chuckles] of the podcast here.

Nick: We’ve done pretty well, I think. We’ve done too well in terms of regularity. People are getting too accustomed to being able to tune into your lovely voice and my horrendous voice once a week. I think we’ve only missed like one or two weeks, haven’t we?

Mike: Come on. We’ve missed a couple, but it’s been a very, very small amount.

Nick: We are officially going on summer, recess, vacation, hiatus for the next two, potentially three weeks. We will see you in the hopefully cooler, autumn weather. Mike, how are you going to enjoy? Unless, of course, you want to go and smash out a couple of special edition interviews when I’m gone.

Mike: No plans to do that at the moment, but who knows? After the hiatus, we may have a couple of interview, special interviews that run in the late summer, early fall.

Nick: Okay, there you go. You heard it here first.

Mike: Prediction?

Nick: I’m very excited about that. I have no idea what you got, obviously, but I’m sure it’s going to be extremely exciting. Otherwise, I think the second week of August, we’ll be back on the podcast. Until then, unfortunately, I don’t get a break from all work. The usual content will be up on all the sites, obviously keep checking the written material

Mike: Do care to fill in the listeners on your plans over the coming weeks?

Nick: I’m going on a proper holiday.

Mike: Sweet.

Nick: I’m going to Slovenia and Croatia for two weeks.

Mike: Wow, that sounds like fun.

Nick: Well, it may even be hotter than it is here in the UK, that’d be lovely. They’d probably have air conditioning there, that’s my hope.

Mike: Yes, I was going to say those are summer destinations, right?

Nick: Yes, those guys know how to do summer surely. Like 35 degrees is not abnormal for the Croatian climate. I’m hoping we’ll be better catered for.

Mike: Well, very cool. We will look forward to some notes on your trips, a nice little trip report when you get back. Stay tuned, people, we will be back shortly. We won’t be gone that long. We are sure to have some good pod content for you to end up the summer and start up the fall.