Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Full Tilt Says Nay; Mansion Poker Now 1-for-3 in Poker-Show Concepts?

Turf wars came to the fore earlier today when Full Tilt issued a press release in direct response to a June 9th announcement from Mansion Poker. The initial Mansion Poker release, promoting an upcoming made-for-TV event called the MANSION Superstar Challenge, named several of Full Tilt's paid pro endorsers as having already signed up or being in consideration for various slots within the planned show. Among the players named as planning to participate in various forms were Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Mike Matusow and Jennifer Harman.

Click here to visit Mansion Poker

Along with Absolute Poker contractee Annie Duke, the original Mansion Poker release stated that Lederer and Matusow were "hand selected to fill the all-important shoes of poker ‘wingman’. They will coach the three internet qualifiers on the nuances of a live tournament and walk them through the added pressures they can expect to encounter facing off against three of the world’s classiest and toughest land based champs."

Ivey was among the players slated to play, as was Harman, though Full Tilt's response asserts that only Harman was in negotiations with Mansion to participate. As Full Tilt's response states: "A fourth member of Team Full Tilt, Jennifer Harman, was in discussions to participate in the event, however, due to Mansion Poker's obvious disregard for the truth and egregious actions, she will no longer participate." And as for the other Tilt pros: "Not only did Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer and Mike Matusow never agree to participate in this event in any way, they were not even contacted by Mansion Poker about participating."

One suspects that Mansion Poker sent off attractive participation offers to the players or the players' representatives, then floated a release and tried to "sell the concept" in part through use of these players' names. In the meantime, those players that Mansion Poker had contacted then discovered that their existing contracts had exclusivity clauses --- hence the admitted backing away of Harman, who did acknowledge the negotiations. Ivey's connection is interesting, too, as he was the one known participant in Mansion Poker's planned $10 million buy-in tourney before that concept, too, hit the wastecan.

Right now, all Mansion Poker has for their efforts is the bizarre "Poker Dome Challenge." I watched the first episode of that and found it... blah, perhaps due to the temporary set and not-quite-as-described feel.

(Of course, this was before I tried a few qualifiers and qualified for the show myself, so in a few weeks you'll be able to read about this from an entirely different perspective. Bizarre? Well, I've signed up for my own stint in this techno-surrealist adventure, so that tells you something about me as well. And one other note: the episode I'm going to be on, airing around July 30th, is as of right now the first one scheduled to be filmed in the "real" Poker Dome. --- hh)

What's most interesting in this little tiff is the nature of the turf war itself. Mansion Poker is attempting to establish a high profile, but unlike the Internet, there's only a finite space for poker shows on TV.

Sounds like a flawed game plan to me.

Click here to visit Mansion Poker


Anonymous said...

I have found mansion poker to be a huge disappointment. Possibly they underestimated the response for online play, for the website is constantly running into technichal problems. Playing for free is wonderful, however, if a product is offered, it should be available. I also question the integrity of some of the games. Is it possible for a hacker to gain an edge? It would certainly appear so unless the world is full of psychics......

Haley (a.k.a. "Cawt") said...

Interesting points. The ongoing technical difficulties have certainly occurred, and they've caused consternation to many, including me, as noted in Part I of my own "Poker Dome" qualifier experiences. But I know that Mansion has the means to correct these things, and they certainly seem to be trying to do so. They're well-funded, have experience in related fields, so they are highly likely to get the tech problems fixed.

I don't buy the integrity argument, however. I don't see any difference between Mansion's encypted gaming engine and that offered by other sites, so there's no reason to assume the game is or can be hacked, nor have I noticed any obvious user collusion during my trips to the site. To think that a large entity such as Mansion, Party, Stars, Bodog or any other site is engaged in the electronic version of bottom-dealing is simply nonsense --- there's far more money to be made by offering a square deal, and all these sites have their server software audited by an independent source, just to offer their customers that extra level of assurance. There is no doubt in my mind that online poker is absolutely the cleanest form of the game, from the house perspective.

Again, the only way for a hacker to gain an edge would be not only to crack the famed 256-bit key that codes each randomized card put into play, but to establish control over all the components of a given network --- the gaming engine, the player grid, and so on. Despite the preponderance of scam software, I've never heard of a decently encrypted site being hacked, nor do I expect to anytime soon. I believe there was one small site that was hacked back in the '90s, but that was in the days of 32-bit security keys, which were breakable through raw computing power.

Good thoughts, though, and thanks for visiting.

Anonymous said...

Mansion Poker sucks big time. poor technically, courteous customer serivce but cant recommend it to anyone as they are very bad related to payments

Anonymous said...

These guys are always having "connection" problems.

I know, from two months of putting up with this crap that they definetely DO NOT "have the means to correct these things".

They have already committed suicide, end of story.

Anonymous said...

I'm having one hell of a time extracting money right now from site. I took part in a $50 + 5 tourney where they guaranteed $2000...about 16 players paid. Do the math, there was a lot of free money to be had. I took second for $600 and submitted my ID so that I can withdraw funds. Problem is, I can't bring up the Cashier window within the software nor can I log in on the website! I get a "please log in" message and a "technical difficulty" message each time. Thankfully I only started with $16 on the site and am viewing this as play money but it's enough money that I sure would like to access some of it!

Anonymous said...

Mansion have added i think $250,000 in extra funds this holiday season to tournaments.. how are they able to do this? either someone must have a lot of money to burn or there are some underhanded tactics going on.

Their email support is absolutely pathetic, i've had emails repsonded to in about 5 days, and other emails simpley were never replied to. And an international bank transfer i made has simpley 'dissappeared' .

I hope these guys are legit as they are offering great prize money, but its looking doubtful.

MansionSucks said...

I don't know when this blog was posted, but the technical problems that have been mentioned are still rife today 20/08/08.

They also force you to send photocopies of your credit card and a photo ID, which I found EXTREMELY inconvenient.

There is also a chance the software was designed before the term 'user-friendly' came about, as well as the trend of making GUIs that don't look like s**t.

Anybody who is considering signing up, and is lucky enough to read this beforehand: AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE.

propahstoner said...

Mansion is THE WORST poker site I have ever ever played on.

I've played on pokerstars, partypoker and full tilt, I've had no connection problems. Zero. Not even one. Mansion can't even host a lag free game. 50% of my hands I'm force to fold due to lag.

It's just pathetic how they claim they're one of the best and largest yet cannot provide a lag free enviroment to play on.