Poker is a funny game. It pushes you along from point to point on a timeline and offers no clues about where it’s taking you. One second you’re hanging out, just like any other day, watching that episode of Billions where Axe steps in to the office of Taylor Mason Capital, and says ‘Go get your fucking master’ to Mafee, and the next thing you know you’re playing three-handed Open Face Chinese against crazy Norwegians…
But that’s exactly the beauty of it – the excitement, the highs, the lows, and everything in-between. For a player who likes to try out something new from time to time, playing OFC on Pokio was definitely one of those things I had no clue I would be doing about 4 hours earlier. Lets’ see what kind of player experience Pokio delivered:
Playing OFC on Pokio
So my original plan was to play some PLO5 as there was a straddle table running with blinds €0.25/0.5/1 (and it’s 10 in the morning, so there might actually be players who have played through the whole night!). However, first I put both the sound and vibration on so that I don’t miss any hands when the action is on me. Then I check the full lobby and found out other type of tables too:
You see those two tables at the bottom left with the symbol ‘OFC’? Having played OFC on pretty much all poker trips, these caught my interest. I searched the lobby for any OFC tables that are currently running, and… bingo, we found one! It’s going to be Norway vs. Finland, GL us!
I have no idea how to play OFC on an app, since I’ve only played it with real cards. Nevertheless, I grasp how the Pokio user interface works from the very first hand, so I’m up to full speed from the second hand onwards. Like all recreational OFC players, I run good right from the start. There are no jokers in the play in this version, but a decent amount of Fantasyland rounds are being dealt at our table as you can get there with any pair of Queens or better on the front:
Quickly after me and Goggen travel to Fantasyland a few times each, Fox realizes it’s not going to be his day. So we play HU for a while. I notice playing on this app is very convenient compared to playing with real cards, as you don’t have to calculate the points after each round (trust me, if you’ve never played 4-handed OFC that can be quite a mess.) After finishing the session it’s time to point out the features of Pokio that made the playing OFC a great experience, so here goes:
Smooth Animations and In-app Buttons
Dragging cards to front, middle or back has been made very easy, and you can just leave the third card to be discarded in its place. One of the clever visualisations is your cards being sort of damaged in case your hand is fouled. You have a timer visible on your turn so that you never miss once you’re out of time. Speaking of the timer, there’s also enough time during Fantasyland for everyone to come up with the best possible combination, as you get a whole 2 minutes to arrange your cards as you prefer.
Intuitive UI & Overall Easy-to-play Experience
As I started playing, it took me just one hand to get the grasp of how OFC is played on Pokio. And even in that one I managed not to get my hand fouled! Once the round is over, you see how many points each player got from their front, middle and back so it’s easy to see how everyone did moneywise on that round. I tried to think of any extra features that would be needed to make the playing experience even better, but couldn’t come up with any. Neither is there anything that I would remove from the current UI, so my conclusion is that developers at Pokio have done a good job in this regard.
Earlier this week, Beasts Of Poker had the opportunity to make a short interview with the CEO of Pokio. Now it’s time to let Pokio CEO Manuel air his views on mobile poker apps and how their roadmap at Pokio is setting new standards for the industry. Let’s jump right into it!
Quick Interview with Pokio CEO Manuel Lopes
Beasts Of Poker: What would say are the most important differentiating factors that make Pokio stand out from the crowd?
– Pokio is simply more fun and social than traditional online poker operators. In Pokio you can interact with other players, throw things at them, share games directly on social media with a couple of clicks and invite your friends to play directly with you at the table. Compared to the other apps we also have the added benefit and security of having a EU Gaming license. All our payment methods are certified, and our funds are held in segregated accounts and checked regularly by the regulator. Players’ funds are safe with Pokio and not at the mercy of shady agents or intermediaries.
We think the future is definitely more socially oriented. Poker apps appeal to slightly different demographics than traditional online Poker sites. Millennials spend around 70% of their free time engaging with social media platforms and following their friends on those. I believe also mobile Poker apps will evolve in that sense.
Beasts Of Poker: What’s your view on the effects of the Corona virus outbreak on popularity of mobile poker apps and online poker in general?
We´ve experienced a significant surge of players registering and playing in Pokio since the Virus outbreak. It makes perfect sense since the live games are stopped at the moment and regular poker sites are not appealing to many of us anymore. Apps have softer and very fun games. Pokio has also been available to provide an alternative platform for live game venues and organizers to continue their business online with a record fast setup time.
We believe the online poker industry as a whole will benefit from these times of isolation as the value for entertainment is much better than other gaming products – you don’t play against the house, so funds tend to last longer than for example in casino products. The apps are leading the way, and we at Pokio will try to set good standards for the industry.
Beasts Of Poker: Any greetings you would like to say to people are considering moving to Pokio?
I would definitely encourage them to try it. We have so many positive feedbacks from players that have never tried our app before. You will find that it is extremely user friendly, with action 24/7. Several tournaments and promotions at all times and a great atmosphere. Also, where else do you get to throw a Tomato at Viktor ‘Isildur1’ Blom or Ilari ‘Ziigmund’ Sahamies?