I consider this to be free advice for all of the online poker rooms out there. Maybe I know what I’m talking about, maybe I don’t. But these are some of the features I would add if I was the CEO of a poker room.
- I would make a tool called something like “Macros” that would allow me to perform automated functions. For instance, let’s say I load up PokerStars and I want play a session of 9-handed 1/2 NL and I want to 8 table. Why should I have to look for tables? There should be an option in the menu to take me to 8 tables of 9-handed 1/2 with a minimum of 7 players already seated and buy me in for $200 at each table. Imagine how much easier it would be to start a session…
- I know the poker sites don’t want to encourage “ending” a session, but… this would be great for users. Let’s say you want to end a session. There should be a way to “intelligently” end a session automatically. By that I mean, if you’re on 8 tables, you can click “end my session” somewhere and it would automatically uncheck “auto post blind” on every table and it would automatically sit you out as soon as the blind is about to hit. That way you don’t get the “Post BB” or “Sit Out” option, which only serves to slow down the table.
- Segregated cash. This one is a little more complicated, but let’s say I wanted to send someone $500 to play $20/180man tournaments, but I didn’t want any possibility of them tilting the $ off and I also wanted an easy way to keep track of their progress. So if there was a feature called “Send Stake” or something where I could limit the play of this specific $ to those tournaments AND I could see the progress. So I could see the list of tournaments they’ve played along with their results and the current balance of the stake. I’m sure the poker sites know this, but staking is a huge rake generator in the online MTT scene and this sort of cool feature would be really sick. I could see staking in SNGs and MTTs increase dramatically as a result of this sort of feature.
- Integrated custom leaderboards. This one is really obvious, but a cool integrated competition leaderboard that is auto-tracked would be awesome. I don’t even think I need to explain this one any more because this is a super-obv idea that really should have happened by now.
- Game Suggestions. This is something that a company like Google would have done years ago if they had a poker site. But… if you ALWAYS play the same games (say, 9 handed $15 turbo SNGs), then there should be a tab called “Suggestions” that figures out what you’ve played recently and shows you registering games that meet your typical game type. I know the algorithm to figure something like this out isn’t easy, but if a high stakes MTTer had a Suggestions tab available, they wouldn’t even need to look around for games, they could just leave that tab open and be assured that they wouldn’t miss another tourney. I know that on PokerStars they can just leave the “Tourney -> Regular -> High” tab open, but what if they also like 75/150 LO8 along with SNGs from $200 to $1000? So they have to remember to click around when all they really care about is games with open seats? Seems silly.
- RSA security chip option, or something similar. Online players have been clamoring for the option to have a three factor authentication system for a long time. I don’t understand why poker sites wouldn’t set something up that would make players feel more secure. I know that PokerStars has played around with a “Secure ID” system, but it’s a joke from what I saw. It’s just like a second password, not like an RSA chip which changes every 30 seconds or whatever. I understand that sites would want to charge a little for this option — that won’t be a problem for anyone with enough money to care about their account security.
- Email notifications and RSS feeds. Wouldn’t it be great if you could set an option to get an email anytime there was a certain game running or something is happening? This doesn’t apply as much to PokerStars or Full Tilt, but let’s say you could get an email anytime there is an overlay in a tournament with only 5 minutes left to go before tourney start. That would help cut out some overlays for the sites that have them. But on something like Stars, let’s say you want to play 75/150 LO8, but it just doesn’t run often. This information could be delivered to you in an email or feed. This idea could also just be extended to things like notifications for tournaments you’ve won a seat in and you’re registered in. For instance, an email notification that goes out if you’re registered in a tournament and you’re not logged into the client as of 5 minutes before start-time. If you’re like me and you sit by your gmail all day and you have your gmail tied to your iPhone, this could be a cool feature.
I guess that’s it for now. I have more ideas too, but no reason to give everything up all at once. What do you want to see happen?
PS – Send this to your favorite poker room manager or post about it on your blog, we might be able to get some of this implemented if enough people express interest in some of the ideas.