Ultimate Poker won the race to become the first regulated online poker room in the United States. It launched at 9am on April 30, 2013 without any beta period or play money tables. The online poker room is available only to players that are located within Nevada. There is no residency requirement. Tourists and locals are all able to play.
Ultimate Poker is a subsidiary of Station Casinos, which is also related to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. This is where the Ultimate brand name is derived. There is no relationship between Ultimate Poker and the now defunct Ultimate Bet. This confusing brand name is just one of the many challenges faced by the newest online poker room in the US.
- Official Website: www.ultimatepoker.com
- Phone: 702.495.3352
- Bonuses and Promotions: There’s a promotion to fit everyone’s needs
- USA Players Allowed if you are in Nevada – no residency required
- All questions and concerns can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ultimate Poker Software
Ultimate Poker operates a proprietary platform that was last live in 2007. It was developed by CyberArts, a company that was best known for online backgammon. US facing sites Gamesgrid, Mansion Poker and Naked Poker all used CyberArts software. It was the first online poker software that offered a dealer’s choice game. The software spread Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha High/Low, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High/Low, Razz and 2-7 Single Draw. Ultimate Poker decided to launch without offering most of these games. Texas Hold’em is currently the only available game. It is available in both no limit and fixed limit.
Ultimate Poker stripped the CyberArts software of virtually every feature it had to offer. This was done because many added features would have required additional testing by independent gaming labs as required by Nevada law. Ultimate Poker decided that it was more important to go live first and get all of the free publicity associated with it than it was to release a quality product.
Players that are accustomed to offshore online poker platforms are going to be unimpressed with just about every aspect of Ultimate Poker’s software. There are no waitlists, table resizing, notes or proper hand histories. The table also pops up on a player’s turn and steals the focus of the screen. This feature cannot be turned off either. There is also no way to remove animation.
The software is a resource hog as well. This prevents many players from being able to play more than two or three tables at the same time. It also causes animation issues, software crashes and disappearing action buttons.
The software is easily one of the worst platforms in the online poker industry. There were platforms available more than ten years ago that performed better and offered more features than Ultimate Poker. There was hope that the product would be improved after the 30 day test period but nothing has changed.
No limit cash games are spread from $.01/$.02 up to $10/$20 blinds. Limit games run between $.05/$.10 and $20/$40. All games allow players to buyin for between 20 and 50 big blinds except for $5/$10 and $10/$20 no limit. The $5/$10 no limit games have a minimum and maximum buyin of 50 big blinds. The $10/$20 no limit tables have a 100 big blind minimum and maximum buyin. All cash game limits have six or nine seat tables except for $20/$40 limit which is only available at six max. The rake for limit is 4%, while no limit rake is 4.5%. The cap is competitive with international online poker rooms and depends on the limit.
Sit and Gos
Sit and gos are offered in limit and no limit. The limit sit and gos are only offered at $3 and $15 limits. No limit sit and gos are offered starting at just $.25 and run up to $100 at two, six and nine seat games. There is also a $300 heads up sit and go. The house fee on heads up sit and gos is 5%. Six max sit and gos have a 7.5% rake, while nine seat games have a 9.5% rake.
Multi Table Tournaments
All multi table tournaments are no limit. Tournaments start as low as $1. There are about 50 scheduled tournaments each day. The biggest daily event is the $1,000 guaranteed each night at 8pm. The buyin is $50. There is a $10,000 guaranteed tournament every Sunday at 6pm. Each of these guaranteed tournaments offer satellites. There are also a number of freerolls offered each day.
Players may choose between five deposit options. The most popular option for players in Las Vegas is to deposit cash in person at a Station Casinos cage. These casinos include Green Valley Ranch, Red Rock, Texas Station, Boulder Station, Palace Station and Wild Wild West. Palace Station and Wild Wild West are the closest Station Casinos to the Las Vegas Strip. The minimum deposit by cage is $10 and the maximum is $10,000. This may seem convenient, but peak hours will draw long lines from Las Vegas locals cashing paychecks.
Other options include a check by mail, electronic check, and MasterCard. All of these options have a $10 minimum and a $500 maximum. Mastercard deposits by credit card will count as a cash advance. Players may also use MasterCard debit and prepaid cards. Bank wires are also available with a $500 minimum and $10,000 maximum. These methods are convenient for Nevadans that are outside of Las Vegas. It is also convenient for players that wish to deposit before arriving in Nevada so that they may play immediately.
Players may withdraw using two methods. Cash may be picked up at a Station Casinos cage or a check may be mailed to players, even outside of Nevada. Withdrawals under $1,000 are usually processed within one day. Cashouts of $1,000 or more require a security check that may take as many as three days.
Players must be located within Nevada when logged into Ultimate Poker for real money play. There are two forms of player verifications that are used. A player must be logged into a Nevada IP address. Players that use mobile devices for their internet connection may fail the verification process. Many of these devices use out of state IP addresses. These players are unable to play on Ultimate Poker.
The other verification method used requires a player to have a cell phone as triangulation technology is used to determine the player’s location. A text is sent to a player’s cell phone. A player then gives Ultimate Poker permission to locate their cell phone by responding yes to the SMS. Each time a player logs in to play for real money their cell phone will be pinged to guarantee the player is in Nevada. Some out of state players may have issues using smaller out of state carriers. The solution is to buy a $15 throwaway phone from a discount store. There were a number of problems with this technology at the time of launch that are now resolved.
One drawback of this technology is that players near the state border are unable to play. That is because the margin of error is one mile. Players within one mile of the state line are unable to play due to a required buffer to guarantee out of state players are unable to play for real money. This excludes players in Mesquite, Laughlin, Primm and parts of Tahoe.
There was a lot of controversy when Ultimate Poker launched surrounding Iovation, a company that verifies that players are legitimate. Iovation has a past association with Ultimate Bet, an offshore online poker room that was the home of an estimated $23 million insider cheating scandal. There is evidence that Iovation was launched with some of these stolen funds. The Iovation database is also tainted as it was used by rogue rooms to blacklist players for illegitimate reasons. Ultimate Poker dropped the use of Iovation after the online poker community demanded it. This relationship also drew the attention of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
WSOP.com Will Launch Soon
Ultimate Poker’s low quality software will create major competitive issues when WSOP.com launches. WSOP’s software is modern and full of features that online poker players have come to expect. If Ultimate Poker cannot improve its software before other online poker rooms enter the Nevada market then it could be impossible for the company to compete.
If you are in Nevada check out UltimatePoker.com now!