Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Stacked With Daniel Negreanu

eview of Stacked:

I received my copy of "Stacked" for the PC and couldn't wait to get going, as I have been hearing about this game for some time now, and the recent results at the real money tables had me down, so I needed some help.

We get started and I'm straight into a tournament, really just trying to see which pros are represented in this game. Before long, I'm just trying to bluff out every pro I see from every pot. I think my seen flop percentage was around about exactly 100%. And I would raise every flop regardless, because I was the internet newbie in their professional poker world. It's expected of me.

I decided to change things up after I busted out, and used the advice of Daniel Negreanu for every hand and did what he said. Man, that guy likes to play loose. I've got 69o, raise it up buddy! Got to protect that hand! I managed to take it down on the turn on a board of 23AQ. I had outs…maybe.

The visuals are pretty good, and some of the players look spot on, while others are just a little bit off. The play seems to be pretty passive in the lower levels, and then mind boggling random on the higher levels. I am yet to carve out a win but I have not been playing for long, and it is hard for me to fully apply myself when the money won isn't real.

I've only played one other poker game before, besides online poker of course, and the AI in the other game was so ridiculous that it was a crap shoot from the beginning. I have to say that the AI in this version seems 100% better, as they will actually fold sometimes. You can't play too tight as you'll just get burned and bored sitting there folding, but since it is play money you tend to loosen up and go crazy anyway. Or at least I did.

I haven't had a chance to try online play as yet, but I imagine it would be much like play tables in any online poker room – i.e. betting monkeys with no regard for their hands – only now the environment would look much prettier.

In short, it's the best PC Poker game I have played, but I've only played two. It's good to get the best of the pros in this version, but I wouldn't go as far as to say it was the equivalent of "Halo with Chips", because on more than one occasion I have tried to stick a plasma grenade onto the dealer, and it hasn't worked once.

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