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Improving the site and forum

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  • Improving the site and forum

    I have been a member of the site for a very long time, maybe too long but I feel it necessary to put forward some ideas and suggestions that will not only improve the site/forum but increase traffic to both it and the poker room. I believe that those in authority should take note because after all this is one of the major goals of PSO as well as the educational aspect of the web site.

    I am wary of what I should and should not say because I have received bans and warnings before for expressing an opinion that did not sit favourably with the status quo. Nevertheless, I want to improve the product and the user experience, and if it rattles a few cages then I will take the chance because I believe what I have to say is important to the future of PSO.

    I will start by saying that I have contacted support on occasion with software issues only to be told that they had limited technical support and response times would be significantly long. When the issues corrected themselves, rather than pursue the underlying problems from a technical perspective, it was more a case of “oh you got it working again, everything is fine now”.

    I am not a fan of the new software, not just for the sake of it, but because after 9 months a lot of the technical issues associated with it still remain and quite frankly it ruins the user experience. I did attend live training and I did watch videos but the technical performance of both areas leave a lot to be desired. This is no reflection on the Training Team, who do a sterling job, but it gets to a point when something does not work anymore, you just give up! And if I, a long term member, feel like giving up, what do you think new members do???

    The videos section is quite simply a mess and if you do not use the forum or you have not bookmarked the index, navigating it and searching for the content you want is like pulling your own teeth, not very pleasant at all. Users will only avail themselves of the content if it is easy to find and works.

    So what is the PokerStars solution to this problem, instead of addressing it and making sure it works, they cut the training and video budget! Why can whoever is in charge not see that the numbers are not increasing for a reason and that it is simply that from a technical perspective that the product does not measure up. Fix the core issue and the numbers will grow.

    Next we come to my own pet topic, the forum. There are technical issues there too, too many to mention here. I even recall a thread asking users to report faults but I think the take up was not great. Rather than putting the onus on members why does PSO not use their moderator team to find the faults and where the software is not working as it should and then send this list to technical support to be resolved once and for all. I cannot understand how PokerStars can have a virtually error free client, the best in the business, and yet the usability of the forum is like eating your dinner with a spade.

    In terms of the forum though it seems to be much more than just the technical issues that turn off potential users. We have over 20,000 people playing the Open League and yet barely more than 1% using the forum, in any business that is a horrible conversion rate. And it is not as if PokerStars has not thrown money at the issue in terms of promotions but it never seems to stick. Promotions are all fine and well but if the software is crowded, things are impossible to find (try using search to see some of the comical results that come up, much like the video section), the software crawls and the sense of community that PokerStars yearns for does not really exist on the boards is it really surprising that people do not interact or post. The place has more rules than anywhere I have ever seen and a great deal of them actually strangles potential forum growth. I am not talking about a free for all that you see on some other forums but a modicum of common sense and stop running the place like a kindergarten might make it a lot more appealing to users than it actually is. In fact I would happily forgo any promotion just to have the site working as it should.

    These are real problems that we have here, the future of the site depends on them being addressed and resolved and whoever is responsible for PSO within PokerStars is the only person that can implement the changes that are necessary. I hope what I have written gives them some pause for thought.



  • #2
    Hi topthecat

    Thank you very much for your post.

    Your ideas and suggestions have been passed on to the relevant people.


    • #3
      FWIW, I agree with a lot of what TC said.
      One of the reasons I like posting here is that I like helping newbies with strategy and hand history reviews, but when the forum is so slow and hard to navigate it means there's no pleasure in reading/posting.

      Trying to navigate the website is kind of like visiting a great nightclub, but being unable to find the bar.
      Bracelet Winner


      • #4

        We would like to thank you for your post concerning improvements here at PokerSchoolOnline.

        While we cannot guarantee that specific changes will be made today we would like to acknowledge your post by letting you know that it has been read and the points raised have been considered by us.

        Feedback from our members is always welcome and recently we have conducted some research through an external research company. The results of this survey are currently been analyzed.

        Your feedback and suggestions are important to us and we encourage all members to keep sending them into us. The best way is to email with suggestions.

        If you encounter a technical problem please email with it providing as much information as possible. Please try to be patient though as it can take a while before these issues are solved.

        Remember also that the email goes to a member of the Support Team who are not necessarily technical experts but will facilitate your query by referring the issue to the technical department who will then investigate and fix.

        This can take some time depending on the issue but rest assured we do try to resolve all queries as quickly as possible for our members.

        Thank you for your continued support and membership of the school.


        PokerSchoolOnline Team.
        Team PokerSchoolOnline - Administration


        • #5
          Good points well made Dad (Topcat).

          Video section is a nightmare

          Page load time is crazy and to make it worse you have to go to the first page to access the last one!

          Live training can be a pain. Has a habit of shutting down my computer, although I know that's a problem my end.

          Sometimes it keeps me logged in sometimes not. I seen posted saying it's down to the browser you use. I have the same thing with firefox or explorer. No trouble with other sites.

          Not sure the software can take the blame for murdering the community. That'll be the 'kindergarten' bit.

          Hate being down on the place. Lot of good people and lots of great stuff. I'm very grateful to have access to it all.



          • #6
            i totally agree with the sentiment of the op and subsequent posters. this site has become just ugly to navigate through. be it the forums, or finding vids, page load times (when they load at all), or just the way people are routinely treated like they're at grade school instead of poker school, all make the site far less attractive to visit than it once was.
            imo the "improvements" that were made were, quite frankly, like simply throwing money out the window, and the only people that benefited from "the new look site" were the IT team that designed the sadness that is now this site.
            aside from a top notch training team and like hand analysis team, the site wouldn't be worth visiting any more, and it truly saddens me to say that, since it was once a thriving vibrant community, with a real feeling of friendship and camaraderie which, for me at least,(aside from a few really GREAT people), it just no longer has.
            still lots of good stuff to be learned here, if you're able to find it without pulling your hair out first..
            well, there's my two cents worth. wish it was worth more....
            May the tinfoil protect you. MT


            • #7
              I wish the trust level were better - like I'm trying to understand why things the way they are, even though maybe it might not show?

              Like ... is the video page maybe is the way it is because you want to make it simple for people to access vids with one click?

              It's the 'bright shiny object' approach. That actually really appeals to me ... how do you think I wound up here? lol

              I'm not even kidding really ... I got lured in by the promise of winning money by playing in the old league - and I did in fact wind up winning money. But it was a lot less money than I was losing at the tables the rest of the time.

              And so I wound up making deposits as a losing player to make up the difference.

              Like, I think a lot of us that are here now, were *that person* when we first started? The type of person the video page is designed to attract?

              Shoot ... not just 'were' ... I'm *still* that person in some respects.

              I mean like, okay, I'm busting my butt right now rewatching a live training video and taking detailed notes - and I'll bet nobody's putting in that much effort to process the info to the level of depth that I am.

              But at the same time, I can't seem to for the life of me make myself watch a vid on late-stage tournament play, and without it, I have no doubt I'm going to keep exiting tourneys at the *exact* same spot I always do when I make it fairly far - but not any farther?

              Like somebody please think of something to make it easy for me to just get the info I need with one click

              I have noticed that the vids that get highlighted are getting more views - but ... I don't know ... sometimes maybe there can be a lot of different ways to do the same thing? I've actually never clicked on any of the buttons myself. Part of the thing that's making me 'lazy' I think is the fact that:

              (1) not only did I not know where ChewMe's videos went to for the longest time, but
              (2) his list of vids has gotten incredibly long, so then I have to wade through them too to find the info I'm looking for.

              I guess I just thought I'd share that because I feel like maybe a lot of people might feel the same way? Especially casual players who kind of want to try to get better - but don't even know where to start? Which I think is common when we're not that knowledgeable about a certain type of game?

              Would it be possible to get written notes down below each vid of what we can hope to learn if we watch? Because It can sometimes feel like a bit much to be faced with a 50 minute vid to watch?

              I think that's what I wanted to say - sorry for the 'stream of consciousness' ... have been typing really fast trying to take notes from my live training vid ... guess I didn't switch gears first lol

              PS also,... is there any way PSO Admin/Staff would ever consider adding links to the Live Trainers' libraries to the side margins of the video page? Where it's blank grey for anybody with a wide-screen monitor? Then you guys could like have your cake and eat it too?

              Thank you for listening, and for having this great site with all the learning tools - I wouldn't have this great hobby if not for everything that you offer here
              Last edited by TrustySam; Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:10 AM.


              • #8
                Thanks for the responses everyone.

                Nice to see you back Steve (son) and Mike, and thanks to you too Sam.

                I suppose what really perturbs me is the amount of time that has passed and technical problems that were there at the outset and highlighted in various feedback threads have still not been resolved. That really begs the question how seriously feedback is taken.

                And I think Sam makes a great point, we are all part of the "I want it, and I want it now" culture and for me personally waiting more than a minute for a web page to load is just not acceptable. The same applies to a video I want to watch or a thread I want to read and when I search for it and the result appears "No results match your search. Please try again." I think to myself "Why should I?". Worse still is you do get a match for your search, twenty pages of them!!!

                So I limit myself to lurking, I follow a few threads, stakes and challenges which are of interest to me (your leak busting thread is one of them Sam) and the rest of it is in my opinion not worth my time.

                That leaves me with live training and I come on today to find that there is not one single session that is on at a suitable European time. Maybe they are going to alternate on a weekly basis but without that there is not much to write home about for me.

                The "kindergarten stuff" well most of you are aware of that anyway and I suppose that is just the way they want to run things I wonder how Joe Stapleton has got away with it for so long

                For the player starting out there is still a lot of valuable information to be gleaned from the place. Personally I have to decide whether to participate any more here at all; carrying around this level of disillusionment about something that once was really important to me is not a good state of affairs and there are lots of other sites out there that may be more appreciative of my input. We will see.

                Cheers everyone,


                EDIT: I just got this message after about a minute:

                The following errors occurred with your submission:

                This forum requires that you wait 30 seconds between posts. Please try again in 15 seconds.

                Read more: PokerSchoolOnline Forum - Reply to Topic

                Luckily I am aware of this technical blip and did not repost but OMG it makes you want to shout Arghhhhhhh!!!


                Last edited by topthecat; Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:45 PM.


                • #9
                  Not sure It's was happening to everyone, but when I tried to check the site yesterday I kept ending up on the German site.

                  Think It was because of maintenance on here.

                  Had A quick click around thier site and liked it. Instant page loads, ability to skip staight to the last page and A sensibly laid out video section.

                  If only I could speak/read/write German

                  Can we have one like thiers please!
                  Last edited by steveisnot; Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:01 PM. Reason: 'cos I'm fik



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