Online Poker Ecology Management: How WPT Global Keeps Recreational Players Happy Online Poker Ecology Management: How WPT Global Keeps Recreational Players Happy

The problem that we’re trying to solve here is that over the years, online poker has become increasingly difficult for new players and the learning curve has got steeper and steeper and steeper An online poker site has to survive many challenges in this very competitive industry. This is especially true for those fresh to the scene like WPT Global — they need to win players’ trust and demonstrate what it is that makes them stand out from the competition.

One of the biggest such challenges in recent years has been how to keep the recreational players and those new to online poker around. With games getting tougher and so many serious grinders across all stakes, the game has lost a lot of its appeal for hobby players.

Managing the fine balance between these two categories is key to the survival of not just any individual site but online poker as a whole. So, WPT Global has decided it was high time to tackle this problem head-with its innovative ecology management system.

In a recent interview with pokerfuse, Alex Scott, WPT Global President, shared details about what this system is, how it works, and why it is so important. Read on to find out more.

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Finding the Balance

The most important thing for any poker game is having the right balance between serious players, or “grinders,” and recreational, fun players. The first group is what you might call your foundation: you can count on them being there regularly and filling the seats.

But for them to be there, there needs to be a reason, as they won’t come to play against other pros who are just as good as them. So, the rest of the seats need to be filled with recreational players. But for fun players to keep coming back, they need to have a good time and at least feel like they have a chance they can win.

In a game with seven or eight pros against one or two recs, there is very little fun to be had, and, as Scott explains, this often causes bad experiences for the players, resulting in them quitting poker altogether.

“The problem that we’re trying to solve here is that over the years, online poker has become increasingly difficult for new players and the learning curve has got steeper and steeper and steeper,” he said on the podcast. “If you’re the typical new player now and you play online poker for the first time, you get absolutely destroyed by a table that’s full of very experienced players, very skillful pros, whatever it might be. You have a bad experience and you probably don’t come back. That’s a really common experience. “

As a pro, you can always find a table to sit at. We are not like closing off access to certain tables. Driven by this knowledge, Alex Scott and the team behind the WPT Global app have put together an ecology management system that uses modern technology to find this balance and make the game as attractive as possible for the entire ecosystem.

This is not an easy task, though, especially as the operator wanted to avoid going the path of segregating player pools that was tried by some other sites in the past and wasn’t received well by the players. So, how does the whole thing work, then, and does it really work?

Putting Modern Technology to Good Use

The WPT Global ecology management system limits the number of highly skilled players that can be seated at one table.

“We essentially categorize players into groups and we limit the number of highly skilled professional players that can sit at each table,” Scott explained. “In most cases, it’s to two.”

“We don’t — and then I want to be really clear about this — this is not a segregation of players from one another,” he added. “As a pro, you can always find a table to sit at. We are not like closing off access to certain tables.”

But, one of the biggest challenges of this approach is: how do you define a professional or winning player?

The WPT Global platform has been built with AI in mind, and it takes full advantage of powerful machine-learning models. It combines that power with large amounts of data stored on the servers, allowing their system to predict a player’s expected win rate with very high accuracy even after a relatively small number of hands played on the site.

Actual results over the first few hundred hands aren’t relevant here, as, according to Scott, the model is capable of predicting one’s actual win rate, and it constantly updates with new information to make better and more accurate predictions.

This ensures that a recreational player isn’t tagged as a “pro” just because they happen to run hot right at the start and prevents winning players from mistakenly being marked as recreationals. So, the ecology management system does a good job of protecting fun players, but the next question kind of follows naturally.

What’s in It for the Pros?

It is very hard to maintain a healthy poker site without a percentage of pros or grinders or whatever else you want to call them. These are people who will spend several hours every day playing on the site, keeping the games running and starting new tables.

So, what does the WPT Global ecology management system offer to these players?

In the simplest of words, winning players can expect higher win rates on the site because they are guaranteed to have three or four recreational players at every table they join. And if they choose to start the table themselves, they automatically reserve one of those “pro” seats, leaving just one of them empty, while the rest will be filled by recreationals.

This system does prevent certain practices that are employed by players on other sites, such as “bum hunting,” and Alex Scott is very straightforward about it:

“It’s possible that pros following a very exploitative strategy, bum hunting opposition, and things like that, those players can achieve very high win rates in terms of big blinds per 100 because of the tactics that they employ that most people would see as unethical,” Scott said. “Those players can achieve those incredibly high win rates elsewhere, but those players would not be able to achieve that high win rate on WPT Global. Actually, what we do is also a defense against some of these unethical tactics.”

So, the system can be advantageous for those who want to play clean poker without using these various questionable strategies that have become commonplace in online poker. On average, any given table will be softer than at most other sites, but WPT Global doesn’t want winning players to target particular recreational players and follow them around.

All in all, it is a very interesting concept that other sites will likely need to adopt in some shape or form moving forward and WPT Global taking charge in this matter is a big move for the operator. If it works as intended, the AI-driven ecology management system could be a real game-changer for online poker.