Thursday, April 28, 2011

Swimming in the shallow end of the pool

Last night Cardgrrl and I had a bit of a hankering for some online mixed-game action. But real-money play on Stars and Tilt is obviously no longer an option, and last time I checked no other U.S.-facing sites offer even HORSE, let alone anything more complex.

So we decided to do a play-money heads-up HORSE. But we discovered that Stars does not offer any. They have free SNGs in the form of 8-seat HORSE, 6-max 8-game mix, and heads-up hold'em, but no heads-up HORSE. Checking Tilt, I found that they do offer play-money heads-up HORSE, but it costs 1,000,000 points--meaning that I would have to run my current 1000 points up a thousandfold before I could do it.

I don't get this. Why such selectivity? It costs them no more to offer a heads-up HORSE match than a NLHE match. I would think that they would have an incentive to be more generous with non-hold'em offerings on the free side, because if people can learn unfamiliar games for free, then they'll be more confident about trying the real-money versions.

And what's up with that million-point entry on Tilt? If they're willing to spread a heads-up HORSE game on the free side, why put up such an enormous barrier to accessing it? Does anybody ever sit in that game?

We ended up in the lowest-entry (20 points, I think it was) 8-game mix, six-handed. After just a few orbits, Cardgrrl noted, "If we can't go 1 and 2 in this, we should just hang it up." Yeah, as bad as the play is in things like the $5 HORSE SNGs we used to play together regularly, this was whole orders of magnitude worse.

Fortunately, we don't have to hang it up; we did finish in first and second, proving once again that with just a little luck we are good enough to beat people who have absolutely no clue what they are doing. Bully for us!

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