Absolute Poker And Ultimate Bet Form CEREUS

Date: 2008-11-28
Author: Earl Burton

In the dictionary, "Cereus" is a particular genus of cactus that has white flowers that bloom at night. The dictionary might need a new addition now that Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet have combined forces under the CEREUS poker network brand this week.

Tokwiro Enterprises, after obtaining both Absolute and UB and running them as separate entities for most of 2008, decided to merge the two rooms under one network, CEREUS. The combination has enabled the CEREUS poker network to move up many online poker monitoring sites almost immediately and has the potential to reach its goal of being one of the top sites according to number of players in action.

For those who utilize the websites of Absolute or Ultimate Bet to download the site for the first time, there isn't much that has changed. Both look the same as they did prior to their migration to CEREUS. There isn't a dedicated poker website to go yet with CEREUS in the name and both online poker sites still have their top professional players still promoting each site individually (Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke for Ultimate Bet, Liv Boeree for Absolute Poker). Where the real changes come into play is after a player downloads their choice of sites or updates the room's software on their computer.

It takes about five minutes for the update to install automatically. Once players get into the room, the sheer numbers are the first surprise. Whereas the two poker rooms previously only drew around 8,000 to 10,000 players each, the combined power of the two rooms on the CEREUS network has helped drive the player numbers up significantly. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the United States - and in the middle of the afternoon at that - there were over 26,000 players battling it out on over 4,000 tables.

After a test drive of the site, I saw that some of the new features that have been added are actually just a result of the combination of the two rooms being on the same network. Two table views are offered, but it really boils down to whether you want to look at the table in a flat layout (a la Absolute) or in the first person (as UB had been). On Absolute Poker, there is an option of a "quarter view." There are a couple of new features on the table that are worth noting, however.

Instead of hovering over the chips to see how much a bet was, the size of a bet is now annotated on the table. This is helpful in a No Limit game more so than a Limit one, but it is still a noteworthy addition. Perhaps the best new feature that I saw was the "rabbit cam" that a player can take advantage of. When a hand doesn't play out to showdown, it is possible to hit the "Replay" tab on the table and the "rabbit cam" pops to life. If you hit this, you can see what the turn or river would have been, indicated by a cartoon rabbit above it. Although I am not a big fan of "rabbit hunting," there are some who like to know if their hand would have hit home on the next card. For those people, the "rabbit cam" will be a frequently used option. A rabbit cam could also be an important gimmick to lure new customers to the site.

Another great addition to play on the new CEREUS Poker Network is the utilization of one of the time-honored traditions of poker, the deal-making process. The ability to strike a deal at the final table is something that has been sorely needed at Absolute and UB for quite some time and it is good to see that CEREUS has implemented this critical feature.

Finally - and potentially because of the scandals that plagued the two rooms under their previous ownership - there is a significant emphasis placed on security at the CEREUS poker network. Its website states, "The CEREUS platform allows Ultimate Bet (or Absolute, depending on which side you play) to deliver more features and greater stability of the poker environment. The combination of a new technology platform and a new 24/7 security center brings players a watertight gaming experience with industry leading customer service." While this is something that all rooms say, the priority at the CEREUS poker network seems to be more emphasized.

Only time will tell whether the CEREUS Poker Network will achieve its goals and become the poker powerhouse its owners hope it will be. Some of the new features are simply a result of the combination of the two rooms, but others make for some player-friendly changes.

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