Like the iconic brick-and-mortar Stratosphere casino of the same parent company, acePLAY Poker is reaching for new heights in the world of online poker in Nevada.
After hosting a celebrity charity tournament at the Stratosphere, American Casino & Entertainment Properties (ACEP) launched a play-money client in February and hopes to be one of the first to enter the Silver State’s real-money online poker market.
The software is available for download on Windows and Mac and is expected to be offered soon for iPhones, iPads, and Android-based devices. Through the play-money games and tournaments, players can win prizes such as hotel stays at ACEP properties, show tickets, and a chance to take a plunge from the Stratosphere’s freefall SkyJump.
The freshest site on the market also has a fresh face: host Claire Sinclair, Playboy’s 2011 Playmate of the Year. One of the prizes offered is tickets to her show PIN UP at the Stratosphere.
The lobby and table arrangements are smooth and easy to navigate. One of the coolest features is having a window to the action at each table directly from the lobby. When a user highlights a table, it pops up on the right and they can see exactly how much money is in play. Players can alter the feel of the table by choosing to keep the avatars or eliminate them and keep the table simple. They offer a standard black-and-red deck or a four-color version. On the right of an open table, players can scroll through the hand history, or click a tab on the left to have individual hand histories pop up. Players can take notes on individual players simply by clicking on a nickname, and they can mark opponents in green, red, or yellow. Opening a similar table is as simple as clicking a green “+” symbol in the top-right corner of the table.
Statistics are not currently available or mentioned on the site, but a cursory scan of the lobby during peak hours showed upwards of 200 players in cash games alone less than a month after the play-money site launched.
In daily tournaments, acePLAY offers gift cards and entries to weekly events with bigger prizes, such as tickets to Stratosphere shows. Recently, the site offered a NASCAR weekend package that included tickets to the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, two nights at Stratosphere, show tickets, and two free buffets.
There’s a variety of tournaments with buy-ins up to 2,200 in play money. There are also cash games in no-limit, pot-limit, and fixed-limit hold’em, as well as Omaha, five-card draw, seven-card stud, heads-up, six-handed, or nine-handed variants. Currently, the stakes range from 0.25-0.50 to 1-2 (again, in play money).
There is a support button at the bottom of the lobby that takes players straight to a site where they can e-mail support directly. Similarly, an FAQ button may answer some more common questions.
Pre-selecting an automatic buy-in and a preferred seat helps players jump right in the action. One nice feature is being able to minimize buttons on the table such as “buy chips,” “hand history,” “lobby,” and “auto post.” That means players can navigate from table to table with limited distractions.
Getting out of the gate quickly could be one of the biggest advantages for Nevada’s newest poker sites. Given that acePLAY Poker already offers state-of-the-art software with such a new client, they’re already ahead of the curve, and there are bound to be promising additions and changes ahead.