In July, the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) launched a complete rework of its software client, named Prima. At the time, it was released as a “Minimal Viable Product,” meaning that many features that one might expect were missing in favor of simply having a strong, foundational software package sooner rather than later. Yesterday, MPN began pushing out a major update and while it doesn’t dramatically alter the Prima client, it does add some niceties that players wanted.
The primary changes/additions have to do with the tables themselves. Of particular note is the new “Stealth Mode,” which sounds like a mode you would play at work so your boss doesn’t detect anything, but in reality is a more minimalist version of the table. Stealth Mode removes distractions like avatars, notifications, casino icons, and achievement badges. The background is plain black/dark gray. Stealth Mode unclutters things, making it the opposite of a social-media-based online poker table, allowing players to focus easier on the game.
The dealer button was made bigger and brighter, the player plaque in the button position was given a yellow highlight, and on-table text was made more legible. All changes made so that important aspects of the table are much easier for players to quickly identify.
Multi-tablers were also given an extra assist with software v38, in addition to the other pro-visibility adjustments. Table position is remembered by the software so that players don’t have to drag table windows all over their monitors every session. Table tiling was also improved. Table re-sizing has become more restricted, though, as there is now a minimum size and aspect ratios must stay fixed. That likely won’t be a big deal to many people, though, and is probably in place for graphics scaling reasons.
MPN Has the Final Say
Interestingly, the changes were made in response to player feedback. With Prima, players can offer up input via a suggestion box of sorts and, as it turns out, MPN does pay attention. In an interview with Poker Industry PRO, MPN’s Director of Poker Alex Scott said:
It’s quite a big leap. We’re hoping that what it does is show that we’re doing what we said we would do. All the people who have criticized us for not having feature X or feature Y—whatever their most favorite feature is—this is a way of showing them that we are listening to them; we’re doing what we believe are the most important things to players out there. We’re letting players drive the development of our client.
Microgaming is not implementing everything players want, though. Scott said that players very much wanted the traditional table-list lobby to return and to revive support for third-party hand tracking software and heads-up displays, but MPN will not comply with those requests. The network currently uses a “blind” lobby, which has players select their game type, stakes, and table size and then be seated automatically by the software, rather than allowing players to hand-pick their tables. That feature is partially meant to be user-friendly, but it, combined with the lack of third-party software support, is also a way to prevent pros from chasing weaker players around the poker room.