partypoker Latest to Dive into Short Deck
The spread of short deck hold'em has now reached the second-biggest online poker site.
Short Deck on partypoker
For those unfamiliar, short deck — sometimes called six-plus hold'em — removes every card deuce through five from the deck, creating a 36-card deck. Play then follows a similar pattern to Texas hold'em, although there are usually some hand ranking and structural differences.
In partypoker's short deck format, the presser notes, rules will follow the exact structure of the popular Triton Super High Roller Series. That means antes only in place of blinds, with a double ante coming from the player on the button and action starting to his or her immediate left. Flushes will beat full houses, while trips will still rank below straights, contrary to some forms of the game. Games will be spread in heads up, six-max, eight-max, and full tables.
The large initial pots due to the anteing structure and ability to frequently make strong hands makes short deck a high-action game favored by many of the highest-stakes players in the world, including many of those who populate partypoker's roster of sponsored pros.
One such pro, Timofey Kuznetsov, offered up his support of the arrival of short deck onto the partypoker client.
"[It's] the most action-packed poker game out there," he said. "Enough of boring waiting and folding. Here you can play half the cards dealt in a cash game and still do just fine. I’m a big fan of the format (my ante is posted even while writing this), and can’t wait to play my first hand on partypoker. See you at the tables."
In an interesting twist, though, partypoker has added one wrinkle to its short deck format that makes things quite a bit different from other short deck games available out there.
Players will be able to execute what partypoker calls a "partial removal of funds" in instances where they've built their stacks to a certain level.
As short deck is played with antes, stack depths are measured in those terms.
"When the feature is enabled, players can select the number of antes they wish to reduce their stack to from the table via the funds removal tab," the instructions read. "Here, players will clearly see the minimum table balance that can be held by a player who wishes to remove money from the table."
In the example given, a player starts with 100 antes and builds up to 400 antes on a table that allows reduction to 300-ante stacks. In that case, the player can take 100 antes off the table and continue to play with 300 antes.
This practice is starkly against the rules in live poker, traditionally termed "going south." In online poker, escaping with winnings and then returning to a table at the same stakes — referred to as "ratholing" — has been frowned upon for years.
However, partypoker is quick to note that partial removal of funds only applies to its short deck tables. Perhaps the operator is attempting to account for the large swings in short deck and protect players from losing too much money at a time.
The Continued Spread of Short Deck
Short deck first emerged onto the poker consciousness several years back, but its proliferation into the mainstream from the big Asian cash games has begun in the past year or so.
It was a natural fit for the Triton series, since many of those players are already highly familiar with the game. Poker Central was one of the first to establish it on U.S. soil for its own high roller series, such as Poker Masters and U.S. Poker Open. Now, it has appeared on a few summer schedules — such as ARIA and Golden Nugget — as a small-stakes event.
The World Series of Poker, the poker series most rooted in history and tradition, surprised many by adding a $10,000 Short Deck event to the schedule.
On the virtual felt, PokerStars took the leap in January with six-plus hold'em introduced as the latest in its continuing line of temporary offerings. However, the hour is late as compared to other temporary games, and six-plus remains in play. At last check, despite some reports of a new game arriving soon, a PokerStars rep told PokerNews the company "remains committed to six-plus."