Key Player Rob Yong Says Partypoker is Good but Not Great (Yet)

December 20th, 2019 | by Kaycee James

Partypoker is improving but it’s still only halfway there according to cardroom owner, high stakes player and consultant Rob Yong.

Rob Yong

Partypoker consultant Rob Yong believes positive changes are happening but not fast enough. (Image: Partypoker)

In a “candid” interview with Partypoker ambassador Jaime Staples, Yong gave his take on the site’s recent changes and his outlook for the future.

Reflecting on developments over the last three years, he said the software has gone from 2/10 to a 5.5/10. Using PokerStars as a benchmark, Yong believes the main area for improvement is speed of delivery.

Implicit Rivalry Made Explicit

Over the last 18 months, Partypoker has been locked in a back-and-forth with PokerStars. As well as its Millions Online challenging established offerings such as WCOOP, Partypoker has upped the value of its lottery-style sit and go tournaments.

In doing so, the two operators have struck up an implicit rivalry. However, in talking to Staples, Yong has made it clear the aim is to emulate, in at least some ways, PokerStars.

“Let’s assume PokerStars is 10/10 as a benchmark. I would have benchmarked Partypoker’s software as like 2/10. Rubbish. Now I look at it and I feel it’s around 5.5, so that’s a 3.5 increase,” Yong said in the December 19 interview.

These changes have led to Partypoker becoming three times more popular than it was, according to Yong. Moreover, it’s enhanced the brand’s reputation as a place where players are valued.

“I think players want to move to partypoker because they know we care,” Yong continued.

However, even with recent changes, including a December 19 update that includes run it twice options, the Englishman says customers are still “frustrated.”

With the average update cycle taking four months, there’s a sense that Partypoker lagging behind in certain areas. Although no innovations are instant, Yong admits the rate of development is “too slow.”

Partypoker Poised to Flourish

Despite what could be considered a harsh criticism from a man on the inside, Yong said the future is bright. As well as forecasting that the software can become an 8/10 within the next six months, the mobile app will be “phenomenal.”

Given that the proverbial battle between Partypoker and PokerStars has now been made explicit, a mobile dust up could be on the horizon.

According to Statista, the number of mobile gamers will top 2.5 billion in 2020. Based on that stat alone, Partypoker is playing to not only a significant demographic but a growing one.

If the developers can succeed in upping their tempo and realize Yong’s vision, we could see Partypoker steal a march on PokerStars in the mobile area over the coming months.


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