Think of the Beta as like a crash-test for our app. We know how the app should work and we know what we want to see but, in the real world, things don’t always go according to plan. The Beta is our chance to test an advanced version of the app with lots of people. There’ll be bugs and problems – and we want to iron them all out before we launch the app officially.
We’d love this Beta to be a two-way conversation. If we mess up, we want you to tell us on Facebook (including via Messenger) or Reddit, or by emailing us. If you’ve got good ideas for improvement, we’ll take those ideas and make our app better. We will consider all your suggestions – and feed the best ones back into the app in real-time. You don’t have to provide any feedback, but we’re really keen to build the ultimate app for the Sport of Poker and would love your help, your ideas and your insight.
We don’t know yet. We’ll keep introducing exciting features throughout the Beta period with the hope that, one day pretty soon, we’ll be able to take a step back and look at an amazing app that we’re all very proud of. When this day comes, the Beta will end and Match Poker Online™ will become a fully-fledged app. All our Beta testers will be given exclusive rewards to be redeemed in the full app as a thank-you present. Birds will sing and the stars will shine, for we will be one step closer to our ultimate goal.
Where Match Poker is different is that we will have a database of millions of hands that have been played thousands of times before. Every hand you play is us dealing one of these hands to your table at random – not only your cards, but also your opponents’ cards, and the flop, turn and river.
Every time your opponent gets that lucky card on the river that cracks your top pair, instead of being crushed, you won’t even be affected. This is because the number of chips you win at your table doesn’t define your result. What we care about is how well you performed relative to the people who have already played this hand.
If you lose a hand, but lose fewer chips than your predecessors did in that hand, you win Rating Points (RP) and improve your world ranking.
If you win a hand, but you performed worse than your predecessors, you’ll lose Rating Points.
All that matters is how you many chips you won or lost relative to those who played this same hand before from your position.
In Match Poker, your chip stack resets back to 1,000 after each hand (we explain in the next FAQ why this is). To meet our goal of delivering the best ranking system in poker, this initiative provides the best way of comparing how players played a particular hand. (Otherwise, you might start a hand with 10 Big Blinds and your play could be quite different to someone who started with a full stack.)
This means, of course, that you are not eliminated if you lose all your chips.
Match Poker reduces the percentage of weak opening hands that you and your opponents are dealt. This was introduced because players are less likely to play for many hours on a phone – and so will have a better experience if they are not folding hand after hand (typically, good poker players voluntarily put money into the pot around 21% of the time, which means they fold nearly 4 hands out of 5). We have tweaked the Match Poker dealing algorithm so that, in the long run (and randomly), it deals the weakest 20% of hands (i.e., 34 out of 169) at an 80% reduced frequency.
Match Poker pits you against people playing the same hands – and against the same hands – as you. So even though you are playing at a table of 6 or 8 – and that’s where you win your chips – they are not the players you are being compared with. Your real opponents are the players seated in the same seat as you, at other tables, each being dealt the same cards as you.
We can measure your performance by comparing it to everyone who has played the same hand in the past – potentially hundreds of thousands of players. This gives us an extraordinarily accurate measure of your skill.
Match Poker removes the luck inherent in the game of poker and so allows Match Poker to meet the definition of “sport”. It is governed by an overarching international sporting federation, registered in Switzerland, which oversees the sport – and your Global Ranking Points (GRP).
In Match Poker Online™, all stacks reset, after each hand, back to the starting stack of 1,000 chips.
This underpins two key features of the sport of Match Poker:
The ability to compare a player’s performance against other players playing exactly the same hand. If chip stacks were not reset, it would be impossible to directly compare the play of someone with just 5 BB who, say, held A6 in early position to the play of someone holding the same cards in the same position but with 200 BB. (This is because the player with 5 BB would almost certainly go all in while the player with 200 BB would most likely fold).
One of the proudest claims of Match Poker is that it offers a wonderful fix to one of the worst aspects of ordinary poker – which is the unfair impact of a bad beat. This factor, almost solely, explains why so many tournaments are not always won by the best players.
Look at the following example. In the first 2 hours of the 2019 World Series of Poker, one of the world’s best players, Vanessa Selbst, was dealt AA in early position. The flop was A7X. She bet. One player called. Selbst checked the turn (an irrelevant card), re-raised the bet that was made, and was called. On the river, a 7, she bet – and was re-raised all-in. After some distress, she eventually called, declaring, accurately, that the other player either had A7 or 77 and that pot odds demanded she call. [Click here to learn more about pot odds and why they are essential to good decision-making in poker]. She was right. She lost to the quad 7s and was eliminated from the biggest tournament in the world.
In Match Poker, rather than being eliminated, she may not even get a negative score – because almost everyone who held her hand got the same result!
Match Poker Online’s resetting chip stacks offer protection in these circumstances, in the following ways:
at the end of the hand, Selbst is not eliminated from the tournament;
she starts the next hand with a full chip stack;
her score is likely not even to be adversely affected – because almost every player who played that hand lost all of their chips.
Yes, it is legitimately a sport! In 2017 the GAISF declared that Match Poker was officially a sport. This is the world governing body for sport – and sits above the Olympic Committee. It has given Match Poker ‘observer status’, the same level of recognition on the world stage as Rugby League.
Some people prefer the definition of ‘Sport’ to require an element of physical activity. This is why Match Poker is sometimes called a ‘Mind Sport’ – like Chess, Bridge, Go, and others.
No. Match Poker Online™ is not a gambling app. Match Poker Online ensures that the sport of Match Poker will be an intellectual pursuit – a mind sport – by eliminating gambling elements inherent in poker, in the following way:
The app is free and play on the app is free.
Scoring of Match Poker is not in terms of chips or betting units won. Rather, every result will simply be in terms of how a player’s rating improved or fell as a result of his/her play.
Unlike all other forms of poker, a player’s results don’t rely significantly on the hand they are dealt – i.e. chance. Instead they are judged on how they played those cards, comparing their play to everyone else who has played the same cards.
Not in the way you think. Match Poker Online ™ does not sanction or allow any form of gambling (see question above).
But our answer isn’t ‘No’. The interest that the players would have, money-wise, is the same as any other sport. For example, think about those who play at a national or international level – they make lots of money from sponsorship and winning tournaments, like all professional sportspeople. We anticipate that professional poker players will be able to do the same from obtaining a high ranking in our app and taking that to national and international Match Poker competitions.
Yes. We believe a true poker experience involves having real people at your table, so we will seat you at tables with real players, even though your true opponents are those who are playing this hand at other tables from the same position as you – as opposed to those currently at your table.