Bwin.Party stated back in March that they were developing a fast-fold poker variant because their earnings had dropped across the board after the release of Zoom Poker by PokerStars. Bwin.Party publicly stated on numerous occasions that Zoom Poker is the main reason why online poker revenues were down in 2012, but now Party Poker has launched their own fast-fold variant.
FastForward Poker was released on Thursday, but only a few play money pools were available initially. The software didn’t have many bugs because it only took 1-day of beta testing before Party Poker launched real money FastForward tables. To access the new FastForward poker tables you can click on the new “FastForward” lobby filter to see what player pools are running.
Now that Party Poker has entered the fast-fold market it should be interesting to see if they can increase traffic. Party Poker is ranked #3 at PokerScout for traffic with an average of 2784 poker players’ online (2450 7-Day Avg). In the past six months traffic has been steadily declining though, as the poker room used to average 5000 players online.
FastForward Poker Features
There hasn’t been too much innovation in the fast-fold poker space yet, but that’s mainly because most networks were trying to catch up to PokerStars after they launched Zoom Poker and took over the online poker market. The FastForward software has a few new features that you won’t find on many other fast-fold variants yet.
- Players can have up to four entries in a single player pool on FastForward Poker, which is similar to what the other fast-fold poker variants are offering at the moment.
- One feature players have liked from the beginning is that the table doesn’t need to be full in order to play. This type of feature should increase the likelihood of medium-high stakes games running.
- Another feature is that players can play FastForward Poker heads-up. Microgaming has Blaze HU tables, but they’re traffic numbers are small and fast-fold HU games don’t often run. Party Poker thinks the FastForward HU tables will be popular, but many players have said they wouldn’t play because they prefer getting to know their HU opponents.
- Right now micro stakes are being tested, but implementing new stakes is simple. The stakes start at only $.01/$.02 at the moment and the only FastForward poker tables include 6-Max and HU.
- The rules are the same as other fast-fold variants although some players noticed FastForward Poker was a bit slower than other networks. To move onto the next table players need to click the “Fast Forward” button and then wait for enough other players in the player pool to be seated at the table to start a new hand.