Thursday, May 05, 2005
I'll never make the WPBT leaderboard, 'cuz I once again can't make the latest WPBT online tournament - yet another WSOP satellite game. Bah!!
Open to bloggers AND readers - thanks to Iggy for setting it up!
WPBT WSOP Satellite Tournament
Wednesday, May 11th, 9PM EST
A WSOP seat will be awarded for every 50 players - limit 150 players.
Since I can't play in the game myself, I figured I'd give Iggy some love anyway and go for that sweet 100% new player deposit bonus. So, I downloaded Noble Poker through the Iggmeister's site, and secured my screen name. I also signed up as an affiliate with Iggy's link. I hope that makes up for me not being able to play in this tourney!
Within moments of logging in, an online support rep pinged me and asked if I'd like to earn an instant extra $10 bonus. I said, "Sure! How?" I had to deposit real money within.. a half hour, hour, something like that, and I'd get ten bucks. Well, sure! Free ten bucks sounds good to me.
Now, I'd have loved to use Iggy's extra-sweet $500-max 100% matching deposit bonus, but.... I'm really particular about where I play, and really don't like to play on sites that I don't like. I know, I'm lame. So I didn't want to get myself stuck at Noble for the rest of my life, in case I didn't like it. So, I put in a hundred bucks. Sure enough, within moments, I was credited with $10. Excellent!
I couldn't find a no-limit table that suited my fancy, so I decided to play off this bonus at limit. I chose a $.50/1.00 game and sat down to learn the interface.
Not bad... though I immediately turned off the player sounds, as they each say "check!" or "bet!" or whatever action they're doing. It got old REAL fast. The down side of turning off those sounds is that the default non-speaking sounds are not varied enough. Bet and raise sound the same, for example. And there's no sound for "fold." So you've really got to watch what's going on. I've gotten used to the luxury of those little audio clues on other sites; I wish Noble had more sounds.
The gameplay is quick (aside from slow players - nothing you can do about that). Noble seems to have pared down some of the animations that slow things up. You still get the card dealing visual, but the card flipping at showdown seems quicker, and pot dragging is fast. This is much appreciated (particularly for those of us trying to squeeze in as many bonus-clearing hands per session as possible!)
[I'm so pissed right now... Blogger just ate the entire rest of my post... I'll try to recreate it, but the pounding headache I have may prevent me from recreating the length and depth of the Noble review I'd just written up. DAMN BLOGGER!] Recover post, my ass - it recovered a whole 3 paragraphs. Grrrrr.
The statistics on Noble are excellent - lots of numbers for the statistically inclined to review while playing. You can view your stats on each table, but I couldn't find a way to view combined stats on all tables you're playing - though I didn't look very hard. The hand histories are nice too - there's a graphical interface to view them in, and it's much easier to read that a text-based history. Very useful to refer to during gameplay. I didn't play around to see if there was a way to save them locally or print them out.
The sidebar chat is cool - and the play by play includes graphical icons of the cards. Much easier to read at-a-glance than the usual "Kh7d6c" etc. The only thing I didn't like about the hand display was that the winner's hole cards aren't displayed at showdown - they're shown as part of the 5 winning cards. So, to see what your opponent beat you with, you have to look at the display of the board a few lines up, and compare it to the 5 winning cards to see which card or two your opponent had that made the winning hand. Also, the winning hands are not described in detail - it'll say, for example, that phlyersphan won with two pair, or phlyersphan won with a straight (lots of straights tonight, oddly enough). But it doesn't say, "straight, ten to ace" or "two pair, kings and sevens" or whatever. I'd like it to be more descriptive - especially since the action moves so fast.
I thought the customer support was very quick and responsive - they answered my few questions when I first logged in, and upon ending my session, I wanted to find out how many bonus crowns I'd earned, and even at 2am, the were quick to answer and polite. I hear that cashouts are super-fast there too. So thumbs up on Noble's live online support.
One downside of bonus chasing there is that you can't get a running total of your bonus crowns (that's how they count your progress - you get a certain number of crowns per raked hand, and for every 125 crowns, you earn $10 of your bonus money). You have to ask a live support person every time you want a crown count. Easy enough, but I'm one of those freaks that constantly refreshes my bonus page to see how many hands I have left to play - even if it's hundreds of hands...
It looks like I'll have to play 625 raked hands at $.50/1.00 to clear my $100 bonus, if I'm reading their policy correctly. That seems reasonable to me - it's got to be less than FTP. That chase took FOREVER! I had to play 400-something to earn $60 on Party, so 625 seems to be right in the ballpark of reasonable. I'm no bonus chasing expert, though, so I could be wrong!
Noble could use a few more avatars - there were only two female avatars to choose from, and neither looked even remotely like me! I must be spoiled with all the FTP avatars... though I'll take detailed hand histories over avatars any day of the week!
At any rate, I cleared 154 crowns in a little over and hour 3-tabling (I figure I have 1,250 crowns total to earn), and made $43 profit. Add in the free ten bucks, and I'm up $53 for the night. Cool!