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Winning Poker Network Makes Big Software Upgrade

Winning Poker Network Logo

The Winning Poker Network has never been shy in bringing new gameplay elements to its users, and it added additional features again during a scheduled upgrade on May 16, 2017. The changes have been deployed at all network-owned skins, including Americas Cardroom, BlackChip Poker, True Poker, and Ya Poker. The major highlights are:

  1. Five new player avatars
  2. Tournament tickets and tourney bucks
  3. Observe table links
  4. The ability to double-or-nothing winnings from cash games and MTTs


1. New Player Avatars

You can now choose from five avatars to display next to your nameplate on the tables: a robot, a zombie, an alien, a basketball player, and a masked superhero. To change your avatar, simply double click your name to bring up your Player Profile window, then choose "Change Avatar." Alternately, you can click directly on the avatar image itself to change it. You can set your avatar to one of five expressions. These avatars can be disabled through the options menu if you find them irritating or distracting.

Americas Cardroom Avatar Selection Interface

2. Tournament Tickets System

There are now tickets to various tournaments as well as generic tournament dollars that can be used to enter any relevant tournament or sit-and-go. The tickets come in several classes. Some can be used only for one specific event on a stated date. Others are good for any instance of a named tournament, like the Sunday Special, that runs regularly. The most versatile type of tournament entry tickets match any tourney with a buyin equal to the amount of the ticket. Players who win a seat in a satellite will be automatically registered for the appropriate event as was the case before. However, any extra seats won will now be paid out in tourney bucks instead of cash.

When registering for a tournament holding a mix of these types of resources, there's an order in which they'll be used up. First, if you have a valid ticket that's appropriate, the ticket will be used to register. If this isn't the case, then any tournament bucks in your account will go toward paying the buyin and entry fee. If you don't have enough $T to do this, then all the tournament dollars you have will be consumed, and the remainder of the cost will come from your real money balance. Finally, if none of the above conditions apply, you'll just pay straight cash like normal.

There's a new ticket management screen to view information about the tickets you possess. It's accessed through My Account ---> Ticket Manager from the top menu of the poker client. Your web browser will open with the appropriate page displayed.

3. Observe Table

Every player in a poker game now has a play button on the bottom of his or her nameplate. Clicking on it will copy a link to your clipboard. If you follow this link, you'll be able to view the action at the table in any web browsing software. It plays in Flash, and so it doesn't require any download (apart from Flash Player itself – that is, if you don't already have it installed). In tournaments, you'll automatically follow the player whose link it is from table to table as they're moved around. This is an interesting way to allow people to spectate poker hands in real time even if they don't have an account at WPN or any interest in installing the poker client.

Observing an ACR table in Chrome

Americas Cardroom Observe Table Link as Viewed in Chrome v. 58.0.3029.96 (64-bit)

4. Double or Nothing

Now, don't get confused. The new double-or-nothing mini-game at Winning Poker Network has nothing to do with DoN SNGs. It's rather a type of “flipping” game where you can take your winnings from an MTT or cash game and either double them up or lose them all. Actually, you can do the same with your cash game losses provided that you have enough remaining in your account balance to pay in the event of doubling your loss.

The way it works is that the game will pop up whenever you leave a cash game table or bust out of a tournament while in the money. You have to predict whether or not a card turned face up from a standard deck of 52 plus two jokers will be red or black. If you choose right, then your winnings are doubled or your losses are erased. Selecting incorrectly will mean your winnings will be retracted or your losses multiplied by two. Whenever a joker appears, you automatically lose. If you should win, then you can try your luck again to redouble your payout. It's possible to disable this double-or-nothing window from ever appearing using the Options menu.

Screenshots of the Double Up Feature at ACR

Double or Nothing House Edge

Since there are 26 cards out of 54 that are winners in this game, the probability of winning is 26/54, or 48.15%. Simple math shows that the house will win an average of about $3.70 for every $100 thus put at risk. The house advantage of 3.7% makes this game mathematically not as bad as most slot machines but not nearly as good as blackjack.

Aftermath of the Update

Unfortunately, the Winning Poker Network suffered some server problems the same day these new features went live, and several tournaments had to be canceled (PokerStars was also experiencing similar problems). It's unclear whether or not these issues were caused by the upgrade; the network has been getting hit by DDoS attacks intermittently over the past few months. A more serious problem might lie in the fact that scarce resources went toward developing these extraneous goodies while more important matters, like progress on the Mac client that has been in beta testing for years, seem to be permanently simmering on the back burner.

If you're don't yet already have an account at the Winning Poker Network, then now's the perfect time to open one up and try out the recent additions to the software. Read our Americas Cardroom review for more details on how to get a 100% up to $1,000 bonus and $50 in free credits to play Jackpot Poker SNGs. Or check out one of the alternate skins available: BlackChip Poker, True Poker, Ya Poker. These sites have impressed us lately with the speediness of their withdrawals particularly those processed via Bitcoin. Learn more in our monthly U.S. poker sites cashout report.