For a relatively new poker site, like SealsWithClubs, it’s not uncommon discover that new features and upgraded software are what the customer needs. The SealsWithClubs software development team, know as Seal Team 6, has been working hard to implement changes and upgrade. For now though, it seems like Bitcoin poker enthusiasts will have to wait till at least the end of Q1 before seeing some of the new features they’ve been waiting for.
SealsWithClubs chairman Bryan Micon responded to some questions regarding the new software and he explains the following.
Q1 Software Release Might Be Too Optimistic
“We’ve made a few major technological advancements recently, due to security issues. Because of that our new software development is not going as fast as I wanted it to,” Micon said as, from his personal standpoint, things aren’t moving as fast as he wants.
“I just want all the updates right now, and while that’s not possible, we are doing what is called a software sprint.”
“We are working on our software sprint during most of Q1. During the next eight weeks we’re trying to make far advancements in our software. Something like this never exactly goes according to plan when you have a poker site; at least for our group it has shown that this is very hard to plan,” Micon said.
“Our company is run by a group of guys so smart that, if we can pull off building the proper infrastructure, we’ll be able to quickly change this thing. Right now, and we have been for the last couple of months, we’re going ham on our infrastructure. It turns out that creating poker site infrastructure isn’t necessarily easy. I believe the team has done an amazing job at this while also performing major security upgrades as needed.”
The SealsWithClubs poker lobby, image courtesy of PokerScout.com
SwC A Real Contender For The US Facing Poker Market Space?
Online poker has recently been legalized in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware giving US players hope in these dark online poker days. SealsWithClubs is available for players in the US, and we’ve looked at how they stack up these new and similarly sized websites that are likely to have a much bigger budget for software development and marketing, but have recently been launched.
The big advantage SealsWithClubs has is that it accepts players from all over the world. Playing for Bitcoins, or other crypto currencies, is not illegal in the United States and therefor SealsWithClubs operates in a unique market space. Despite accepting players from all over the world SealsWithClubs largely depends on US players when looking at their peak traffic time.
According to PokerScout, the online poker traffic news website, SealsWithClubs has a 110 seven day player average. The two sites that outrank SwC in the US are Party Poker New Jersey (220), WSOP.com New Jersey (200) while WSOP.com Nevada (110) shows similar numbers. For now SwC outranks Ultimate Poker Nevada (85) and Ultimate Poker New Jersey (16). Bear in mind that these sites don’t offer the option to play for Bitcoin. The next closest Bitcoin poker site in terms of traffic is PocketRocketsCasino with a 10-player seven-day average.
Because of these numbers it’s easy to overestimate the size of SealsWithClubs, even though a software upgrade would very positively affect their potential for 2014.
A reaffirming statistic for SealsWithClubs is the fact that after about 48-hours of downtime, because of a DDOS attack, they immediately regained their usual traffic. Peak traffic in the five days leading up the DDOS attack was 248 compared to 261 in the days following the attack.
An Anonymous Software Development Team
Little is known about the industry-leading Bitcoin poker site that, besides Micon and a few others, remains anonymous. During a recent AMA on Reddit, due to the password hack situation, a user called swc_dr_huh responded to SealsWithClub’s software priorities and we wondered if there might just be one person working on these new changes.
Micon responded to our question about who is working on implementing these changes. The man known as Dr. Huh stated that his priorities for SealsWithClubs were listed as following: Finish rewriting the site, server stability improvements, disconnect problems, late registration for tournaments and protocol changes. You can read his full post here.
“I can clarify some things about Dr. Huh. Just like Satoshi there are a handful of people who like to remain anonymous. It may seem like Dr. Huh is one person, but it’s better to see him as a group, led by one person. We call our software development team ‘Seal Team 6’ and Dr. Huh is a division within ST6,” Micon said.
“There are eight people in our software development team who work in a cloud office. The communication channels vary from day to day and it’s essentially a decentralized group.”
“We know the features that we need to build and we know what people want. The people want new games, Open Faced Chinese, late registration and a more robust software package to play Bitcoin poker on. We are getting there faster than we have been and we should pick up speed in the next eight weeks,” Micon said.
“Me personally, I’m most excited about late registration as that ups the prize pools. I’m a poker player and action junkie at heart, so I just want to see the biggest Bitcoin prize pools as possible and try to win them,” Micon said.
“Open Faced Chinese poker and Mixed Games are tied for number one when looking at things I want to happen on SealsWithClubs. We’re hoping to finish these within Q1, but we’re not sure if that’s going to happen for OFC. We might have to push that back to Q2, because of the series of security issues that had to come first and foremost, before even considering a new game. You have to make sure the ship doesn’t have any holes in it before you start sailing,” Micon said.
A SealsWithClubs table screenshot, courtesy of PokerSout.com
SealsWithClubs Remains Bitcoin Poker’s Best Option
Big poker websites become big, grow and maintain their level of success because of key aspects. Smoothly operating software is one of the main factors for the aforementioned, besides things like adequate customer support, a safe environment for your money and plenty of players to play against. For now SealsWithClubs keeps diligently working to become an even stronger force within the Bitcoin poker segment.
If SealsWithClubs can be a long-term rival of other US facing Bitcoin, and ultimately centralized currency clients, is a question waiting to be answered. We must wait and see what the new software brings, and for now SealsWithClubs has our praise.
All in all this website might seem like a quirky platform for poker nerds and crypto currency enthusiasts, but when it’s all said and done SealsWithClubs does things right.
Despite their struggles, cashing out has never been a problem, players have been correctly refunded during the DDOS attack and nobody was financially harmed because of the password hack last year. If SealsWithClubs releases its new software in a timely fashion, and lives up to the promises, it may very well beat the Party Poker New Jersey and WSOP.com’s daily peak traffic.