An in-depth look at Lock Poker
History of Lock Poker
Lock Poker is a relatively new online poker site that began life on the Cake Poker Network in 2008 before moving to the Merge Gaming Network in March 2010. As part of the Merge Gaming Network Lock Poker has a good-sized player base with roughly 5,000 players online at any given time. The site is perhaps best known for its growing list of sponsored players and for the innovative features the site has continually been unveiling –more on these later!
Obviously Lock Poker is making a fashionably late arrival to the online poker party, and in order to peel off a decent sized player base from some of the better established rooms Lock Poker needed to enter the market all guns blazing, and this is what it precisely did. With a number of well-known and active poker pros like Brett Jungblutt, Stevie Devlin, Matt Stout, Eric Lynch, Jason Young, and Lee Childs, Lock Poker is able to send a powerful contingent of players to poker tournaments around the world. In all, Lock Poker has an impressive 27 sponsored players in its stable.
The Merge Gaming Software used at Lock Poker is a solid and secure platform, and while it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing software I have ever used it’s highly functional, has plenty of in-game options and lobby filters, and runs fairly smoothly –although I did get a bit of lag and choppy play if I opened more than four tables, but I did have other programs running at the same time as well –Windows Media Player and the Internet to name a couple.
Where you see Lock Poker’s innovation shine through is in the cashier/player administration page which is browser based. In the Player Admin page you’ll find the usual information like VIP player points accumulated, tournament coupons, personal details, and play money chips. However you will also be able to look at just about every conceivable statistic imaginable on your play:
· Daily and Monthly Rakeback totals –which is paid directly into your account daily!!!
· Leaderboard Rankings and your Lock Poker level
· Cash Game Statistics way beyond other sites: Including Flop % seen, Avg. Stakes, $/100 hands, total winnings compared to total bets, total cash game winnings, and hands played
· Tournament statistics: Similar to Cash game statistics the tournament statistics tracks your tournament play including your Avg. Stakes played, ROI%, Total Winnings and Fees.
There is a whole lot more to the Admin Page but I’ll save these features for the next section, titled Unique Features.
All-in-all, I was underwhelmed by the In-Game software which I would put in the middle of the pack of online poker rooms –neither poor nor overly great– but the Player Admin page (which I’d equate to most site’s cashier pages) was far and away the best I have ever seen on an online poker site.
Alright, here is where I was really impressed with Lock Poker. First off are the statistics and rakeback details I mentioned above. I absolutely loved receiving my rakeback at the end of the day, and the statistics are really useful in terms of tracking your own play. But, there are two other highly unique features that Lock Poker offers that I want to talk about:
THE VAULT – Lock Poker has added an extra layer of security to your account. Not only do you need to log into Lock Poker with your username and password, but the site also has what it calls The Vault. The Vault allows you to keep your funds hidden away behind this added layer of security. Should you choose to use the Vault you will need to enter a 4-digit PIN and answer a secret question to access your funds, which you can then transfer to your regular Lock Poker account –you can then put this money back into The Vault at the end of your session.
The Vault does two things:
1. If your username and password are compromised the hacker would also need to know your PIN number and the answer to the secret question to access your funds. Additionally, without access to your Vault the hacker wouldn’t even know how much money you have inside your Vault.
2. The Vault can also protect you from yourself! It’s a little more difficult to tilt off your entire bankroll if you have to go back and transfer money out of the Vault, so you can simply take out enough money to play with, and leave the remainder of your bankroll locked safely in your Vault. It’s a definite tilt-deterrent.
SharkScope – Lock Poker has recently added SharkScope capability to its Player Admin page. Not only is every Lock Poker player now aware of this option, but Lock Poker players are allowed 10 FREE Sharkscope searches per day, and can search directly from their Player Admin page (this is double the amount offered at SharkScope itself). This is a great step in eliminating the advantage of data-mining in the poker world now that all players are aware of its existence and able to easily make use of it.
Games and Competition
Lock Poker offers a number of poker variants and a wide variety of stakes to choose from, but the bulk of the action is centered around the site’s No Limit Holdem Tables. You’ll find No Limit Holdem games from the penny limits up to $50/$100 –with players at virtually all stakes. The other popular formats at Lock Poker are Limit Holdem and PLO, both of which have a decent player pool, but finding multiple games at some stakes will be difficult, especially the mid to high-stakes games; in PLO the lower stakes games have a rather sparse player pool as well.
The good news is that Lock Poker has some of the loosest play you’ll find on the Internet, with flop seen %’s well over 50% even into mid-limit games! You’ll find numerous games with avg. pots that exceed the buy-in –the hallmark of a juicy game—and the players at Lock Poker have no qualms about running foolish bluffs or getting their chips in the middle with a mediocre draw.
I can honestly say that Lock Poker has the softest games on the Internet, but they are not for the faint of heart! You’ll need to be disciplined, have a good bankroll, and shrug off bad beats to play at Lock Poker, but in the end it will definitely be worth it.
also look out for the Bluff Poker Challenge that will be starting April.
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