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Poker News: October 31st, 2009

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HEADLINE: Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet Introduce Synchronized Breaks

A recent change to the tournament schedules at CEREUS Network sites Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet has online grinders rejoicing at the fact that it will now be even easier to bolt to the bathroom during a long session of online tournament play. The two rooms are the latest to adopt the practice of synchronizing breaks.

Like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker before them, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet’s five-minute breaks will run from 55 minutes past the hour to the top of the hour. This means that even if a tournament has not been running for an hour, players will still go on break at 55 after in order to stay synchronized with the rest of the schedule.

There are a few exceptions to the new synchronized break policy. For example, any tournament that is still in the late registration period will not go on break at the scheduled time. Regular tournaments that are still in the first blind level at 55 minutes past the hour will also skip the five minute break, as will Turbo and Ultra Turbo tournaments that are in the first two levels of play. Multi-table sit and gos will also not be taking part in synchronized breaks, but the official statement from CEREUS suggests that this exception may be a temporary one. If users are ever unsure about whether or not a tournament has synchronized breaks, they can check the lobby for verification.

Earlier this month, Team Ultimate Bet Pro Adam “Roothlus” Levy informed members of the online poker forum that synchronized breaks were coming by November and also filled them in on some potential changes on the site. He said the room would be revamping its tournament schedule to cater to the needs of high-stakes multi-table tournament players, including moving up the popular $300 buy-in $100,000 Guaranteed deep stack tournament one hour from its current 5:30pm ET start.

There has yet to be any official statement from Ultimate Bet regarding changes to the tournament schedule, but a press release from CEREUS did announce that they have implemented a new “Raise To” button. Previously, players had to subtract the amount of the initial bets from their raise. The new “Raise To” button allows users to simply type in the amount they would like to raise to.

Full Tilt Poker first introduced synchronized breaks in April and PokerStars followed suit in August. While the concept has been a big hit among online tournament regulars who were previously unable to step away from their computers without inevitably missing hands, several players have noticed some timing issues that are cutting players’ breaks short. When PokerStars first started synchronizing breaks at 55 minutes past the hour, the tournaments on both Full Tilt and PokerStars would go on break at almost exactly the same time. Now, several players have noticed that there is almost one minute between the time in which PokerStars players are sent on break and when Full Tilt players are sent, cutting down noticeably on the time they can spend away from the virtual tables.

Despite the timing discrepancies, synchronized breaks have still been a big success overall and this recent step by CEREUS suggests that a five-minute break at the end of the hour is on its way to becoming an industry standard. Deposit Bonus

Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on October 31, 2009

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