New Jersey poker players can expect a new look and a new game at 888 Poker later this year.
888 Holdings recently announced a series of new updates for its global online poker room. The company is set to unveil a new poker client called Poker 8 by the end of the year.
When poker players open the new client, they will likely find a new online poker game called Pik’em Poker.
The global launch of the client and new poker game includes New Jersey and other US-regulated gaming markets. “Later this year” is as close to a launch date that we could get.
Itai Pazner, the group’s chief operations officer, announced the poker variant on a conference call in September. Beyond that, the details are scarce.
What is Pik’em Poker?
The company is keeping the rules of the game close to the vest for now.
In fact, the extent of the announcement included a one-sentence statement on the call:
“We’re … adding a new unique variant that we developed that’s called Pik’em Poker,” said Pazner.
That means we can only speculate on what Pik’em Poker is.
It seems logical that the new variant springboards from No-Limit Hold’em. It is the most widely spread game online after all. However, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the game may apply to a draw game, such as five-card draw or seven-card stud.
From the name itself, one might assume some card picking happens. It is possible a player will pick from more than two hole cards. It might also mean picking between two different flops.
While we’re pretty sure picking something is involved, what gets picked remains a mystery. For now, all we can do is keep guessing and wait for more details.
New online poker variants keeping the game fresh
It is probably no surprise that poker players get bored pretty fast. A great way to keep them online and playing is by introducing new games.
888 Poker has a history of launching new poker games. Longtime players might remember Flopomania, and then there is BLAST. While Flopomania hit the poker game graveyard earlier this year, it had a good run while it lasted.
This year, PokerStars, the international arm of PokerStars NJ, launched three new games:
- Split Hold’em
- Showtime Hold’em
- Unfold Hold’em
All three games entered and exited the poker client rather quickly. Don’t worry though; the global poker leader has plans to keep trying.
Reporting on the subject has more games in the PokerStars pipeline:
- Short Deck Poker
- Fusion Hold’em
Fusion Hold’em is still a bit of a mystery, but Short Deck poker isn’t. The game rapidly became the talk of the poker world after Phil Ivey won a short-deck tournament earlier this year.
Are new games enough to invigorate NJ online poker?
If you have been following online poker in the Garden State for any length of time, then you know the industry has been struggling.
With all of the excitement about sports betting (and NJ online casinos for that matter), it seems as if poker is getting left behind. Even the hope around shared liquidity providing a much-needed boost did not materialize.
Of course, 888 and sites using the 888 platform (WSOP.com NJ, for instance) are the only online poker rooms benefiting from a combined player pool with Nevada and Delaware. Even so, their numbers are similar to the numbers posted pre-shared liquidity.
Short of bringing new states online, which is not likely to happen anytime soon, investing in new games might help provide a revenue boost to the flailing poker market.
Nonetheless, it is unlikely to make a huge impact. Additionally, what impact it does produce will certainly be short lived. At the same time, a new online poker game has the potential of attracting players looking for the next big thing.