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PN2 - some thoughts (I.e., did you playtest this?)

posted by BrianBoyko on - last edited - Viewed by 368 users
You know, all things considered, I was so psyched for this game, but upon further reflection? I think Telltale messed up.

There are a couple of reasons, but the biggest one is that it's not a very good poker game. It's a tournament that starts with 25 big blinds. That's *nothing.* To put that into perspective, in a real tournament, 25 big blinds is about the size that you should consider going all-in if you have a good hand and there's been a raise to you preflop.

But there's also the fact that the characters rarely raise preflop! You have no idea where you stand preflop, which is the most important street in a 25BB tournament.

You could say that 25BB or less is standard for the final table of a multitable tournament, but typically the players that make it to a final table of a multitable tournament know NOT to limp in every hand.

This would be bad enough in holdem, but in OMAHA, it's just absolutely ridiculous. To put this into perspective, Holdem is typically played 100-150BB deep in casino cash games. Omaha is played 200-500BB deep!

In Omaha, preflop starting hands run very close together in value. Going all-in preflop on almost ANY four cards is not typically a huge mistake.

This would be bad enough except that all the characters overbet the pot! There's a *reason* Omaha is played pot-limit - it's to prevent the "bingo/roulette" luck-based all-in preflop. And with 25BB, any preflop raise commits you to the pot no matter what flops, so you might as well go all-in preflop!

Finally, there's Ash. Oh, Ash. I would love to have you at a real table. But Ash is a problem at this one. Ash just completely *dominates* the other players with his wild aggression, because the other players don't wait for premium holecards that can stand up to Ash's aggression, don't take into consideration that middle or bottom pair is probably good against Ash, and aren't willing to risk it.

So Ash is almost always the chipleader because he's sucking up chips from the other player, you're almost forced to go all-in on any ace or any two broadway cards, and Ash will call your all-ins (when he has you covered) with any junk.

Personally, I think that Telltale dropped the ball here. They didn't have to tweak the AI in order to offer 'hard' and 'easy' modes. All they had to do was present a "beginner" mode as-is, and a hard mode where overbetting the pot in Holdem was rare and forbidden in Omaha, start the players with at least 50BB (probably 100) and call it an advanced mode.

I actually think that the original Poker Night had a better poker experience, and considering that it would sometimes mess up on ranking the cards, that's saying something!

I was REALLY looking forward to this, but honestly, the poker in this game is a total no-fun grind. There's no strategy to it...

Did you playtest this?
4 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • Agreed on all counts. You summed up my issues with the game pretty much perfectly.

    Edit: To be clear, I don't think it wasn't playtested -- I just don't think it was designed with people who actually play poker in mind.
  • Ash is always the first one to get knocked out in my end.
  • The AI for me is pretty random on who's aggressive and who isn't. I just got into a bit of an issue because Sam of all people was going in tough. Personally, I don't think this game was designed for hardcore poker players and that is why it seems off to you. Seems more like a casual poker game.
  • I never took Poker Night seriously. I always viewed each game as "four unlikely characters chatting it up with a lightweight poker system" rather than a poker tournament to really sink your teeth in. Maybe that's why I've never been disappointed.
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