Ongame Network Introduces Strobe Poker

Date: 2013-03-12
Author: Jason Glatzer

Recently, the Ongame Network released Strobe Poker, a fast-paced cash game.  Ongame players are excited by this new release, with many feeling it is long overdue.

In Strobe Poker, you register for a pool of common cash game players at a set limit of No Limit Hold’em.  When you fold, you are instantly brought to a new table with different players from the same player pool.

While this concept is not new, as many other major networks have similar types of games, Ongame’s version is five-seated.

For those who love short-handed play, you may want to choose Ongame’s fast-paced Strobe Poker over other online poker networks' fast-paced games.

I applaud Ongame for initially introducing Strobe Poker in two limits, $0.05/$0.10 No Limit Hold'em and $0.15/$0.30 No Limit Hold'em.  Although I personally prefer to play higher limits, there would be a liquidity problem in the player pools if they jumped out and offered too many limits at once.

Last Friday, Ongame introduced $0.25/$0.50 Strobe Poker, which is closer to what I want to play.  Already, however, I see a drop in all of the player pools, with about 70 players currently online in the lowest stakes, 40 in the medium stakes, and 30 in the higher stakes.

One might think the more limits offered right away, the more there is for everyone.  However, the opposite is the case, as players who would normally play higher or lower than the limits being offered will choose one of the two groups, thus weakening the number of players at each limit.

This has a domino effect on the game, as if you see over 100 players at a certain limit, you are more likely to join than if you see only 30.

The buy-ins for Strobe Poker are 35 to 100 big blinds.  The minimum buy-in is lower than their competitors, which is good if you buy in for the minimum.  However, if you hate playing against players who rathole these types of games and sit out and rejoin after they have won a few hands, Strobe Poker is not for you.

Holdem Manager has mentioned in its forums that this should be fixed soon for HM2, but not HM1, so Strobe will soon be supported.

PokerTracker officials told PokerSoftware that they are working hand-in-hand with Ongame to provide support for Strobe Poker: "PokerTracker 4 was a launch partner with Ongame and we have been working with them to incorporate Strobe support. Strobe is the first fast-fold game format to ever be supported on both operating systems at the same time by PokerTracker thanks to the positioning file provided by the network."

PokerTracker continued, "Normally, a HUD works by gaining data after the completion of the prior hand, but this is not possible in fast-fold games. Therefore, a tracker needs some way to know which player is seated in each seat at the start of the hand. Ongame addressed this longstanding problem by providing a text file that is updated at the start of each hand. This file contains all of the player names and their respective seats at Strobe tables. Hopefully, someday other poker sites will follow Ongame's innovation, as this is necessary to support fast-fold tables on the Mac."

There is no news on whether Ongame will release Strobe Poker to other formats like sit and gos and MTTs like Full Tilt Poker does with its fast-paced Rush Poker.

Network-wide, Ongame is currently offering a $15,000 Strobe Challenge to help with the launch.  The players who play the most number of raked hands of Strobe Poker from March 11 to March 24 will be eligible to collect a share of $12,500.  Any player who rakes 10 hands of Strobe Poker during the same time period will receive a ticket for a restricted $2,500 freeroll.

If you are trying out Strobe Poker, please let the community at know your thoughts.

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