Ultimate Poker Releases New Software

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Ultimate Poker’s eagerly anticipated update to version two of its software was released Saturday to mixed reviews. The online poker room, still the only legal, regulated intrastate online poker room up and running in Nevada, had anticipated launching the new software earlier this month, but as is often the case in software development, plans changed.

Players will notice many of the visual changes right away. Tables can now be resized (and tiled), player avatars are on pedestals (think Full Tilt), cards are larger, table backgrounds are improved, preset bet buttons are available, advance action buttons have been improved, sounds have been changed, and the active player is now highlighted by a white halo, to name a few.

For tournaments, late registration has been added (to select tourneys, not all), as have re-buy tournaments and “additional currencies.” These “additional currencies” are tournament tickets for entry into specific tournaments and “U-Dollars” (U$), which are won via satellites and can be used to enter multi-table tournaments and Sit-and-Go’s.

Ultimate Poker’s new VIP program, called Color UP, has launched, as well. There are eight monthly tiers in the program, reached by earning a certain number of Experience Points (XP) in a given month. Players automatically start at the White Chip tier and can advance up the scale to Red, Green, Black, Purple, Yellow, Orange, and Cranberry. When a player hits a certain tier, he is guaranteed to remain in at least that tier for the remainder of the current month and the entirety of the following month. Of course, he can move up, but he cannot move down until the end of the following month.

There are also two annual tiers: Gold and Platinum. These can be reached by earning a certain number of XP in a rolling 14-month period. Ten XP are earned for every $1 in rake.

Players also earn U-Points while they earn XP. U-Points are loyalty points that can be used in Ultimate Poker’s store to buy things such as merchandise, bonuses, milestone cash, and tournament tickets. With each increasing Color UP tier, there comes a greater U-Points multiplier, so the higher one gets on the loyalty ladder, the faster U-Points are earned.

Unfortunately, the new software launch has not been without its hiccups. Just hours after its release, customers experienced technical problems, including the inability to access the cashier, tables that would mysteriously close, and crashing clients. Most problems were fixed by the end of day one, but some glitches still arose, such as crashing tournaments.

Technical problems aside, the new features have been appreciated by the poker community for the most part, but not everything is sunshine and roses. Amongst the items about which people are complaining are the lack of the ability to take notes on opponents, tables fonts that are difficult to read on shrunken tables, tables stealing focus, and difficulty seeing who is still in the hand.

One of the biggest complaints, though, comes from players who signed up from the moment Ultimate Poker launched in April. They were assured that they would be rewarded for their play even though the VIP system was non-existent at the time. Most assumed they would receive loyalty points retroactively and start out in a higher Color UP tier, but that has not happened. Instead, Ultimate Poker decided to reward players over the summer with freerolls, bonuses, tokens, and promotions. While UP management sees that as sufficient rewards for players who have been onboard from the beginning, players feel insulted by it, to say the least.

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