For a good few hours on August 2 Wednesday, 888poker players were greeted with a surprise appearance of Flopomania in the real-money cash game lobby of the site. There was no prior announcement by 888poker about their newest game, and they never put up an introductory page of it on their site. Out of the blue, it popped up, with low to micro stakes game available.
Once it was discovered, 888poker still permitted that all games being played on it be finished, so that players will not encounter problems about their money being lost on those tables. Once everything is finished, they then shut down the games and removed all available Flopomania tables from their lobby.
The next day (August 3 Thursday), 888poker said on a series of three tweets, "888poker recently experienced a technical incident, which resulted in the accidental release of our new game called "Flopomania". It took us all by surprise as the game is in final testing. This highly anticipated game will be ready to launch in the upcoming weeks. We will make sure to take all measures needed to prevent any reoccurrence of such incidents in the future."
It surely was a good move for the company to say something about the unusual issue instead of having people ponder if they were just hallucinating and act like the incident never happened. However, even though their statements on Twitter appeared like an apology, truth is, a lot of people actually liked that they got to play a new game (or maybe they think people got upset that they did not get to keep on playing the new release).
If you weren't one of those lucky enough to experience it, then you are still in the dark as to what exactly Flopomania is. Flopomania looked just like any other No-limit Hold'em game, but only there's no pre-flop betting. Everybody was dealt hole cards and then the flop was dealt. From that point on, it just went on like Hold'em which we are all too familiar with.
Also there were antes involved, which quite makes up for the removal of the pre-flop action.
Surely what is the whole point of Flopomania? What is 888poker trying to achieve with this?
One thing is that it seems like another attempt to attract and keep interested the recreational players and to help speed up the game. For the past years now, there has been a huge trend in the online poker industry to create more attractive games just for the casual/recreational players. One of the most obvious things that many people do not like about poker is that is quite a slow game, even if played on the Internet with time limits imposed. When a recreational player goes online just to have a little poker fun, what they usually don't like is to just sit there and trudge through betting rounds, waiting for everybody to make their decision. By just removing the pre-flop betting round altogether, the hands are thus shortened.
Eliminating the pre-flop betting also helps out the recreational players because it takes out part of the skill element. The skill in poker games is very much dependent on how players bet, so if there is less betting taking place, then there is less skill involved. In Flopomania, the skill gap is narrowed between recreational players and the more serious ones.
Last but not least, another good thing is that Flopomania can potentially create more action. When all players see the flop for free (technically still they have to pay an ante), then there is a higher chance that many people will hit a piece of the board and would wish to continue on in the hand. Poker players love action, so Flopomania can very well deliver that kind of fun for them. That kind of action, of course, also creates bigger pots and consequently more rakes for 888poker.
This new game marks the most recent attempt by an online poker website to try to modernize and innovate the game of poker in order to cater to a bigger demographic of players. Push or Fold, Fast-fold, Blast and PokerCam tables are just a few of the games 888poker (and other poker sites) has introduced in the past few years.