Best online poker table designs - wcoop champion picks

This series asks some of the bigger names in online poker to shed their skin as players and lay bare their thoughts on some of the bigger subjects in online poker.

 Up next, Matt "bringdarney" Darrey, winner of three WCOOP titles and one WPT Venice win. During WCOop Darrey won two S&G's and a Heads-Up event and made several final tables.

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Bringing the Darney Interview

Antonio Esfandiari called you one of the best heads-up players. Where do you feel most comfortable when it comes to game selection?

I appreciate the kind words from Antonio. I guess technically I am most profitable over large sample online in small stakes six-max but that doesn't mean I feel most comfortable playing there.

Also not true highest up! I feel most comfortable higher up in stakes and finding tricks and exploits against better players. Whereas at my level (low to mid-stakes) there isn't much difference from player to player in six-max, so it's more of a race.

Whereas at my level in heads-up there is still a very big difference in skill from player to player, so I feel like if I play well I have a significant advantage. Game selection wise I love super turbo separs and hu spins. But table size doesn't matter too too much to me. I think I play the best overall out of any format – heads-up – so therefore I feel the most comfortable.

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I also find it far more intellectually stimulating to play heads-up. Even though I make more money six-max, I enjoy the games least. I actually haven't played much MTT or six-max in the last year or two, aside from a few qualifiers here and there.

Most of my online time has been spent on sports and prop bets. But I do plan on playing more poker come 2013. And I will say this: I firmly believe I will be the first person to win every Sunday Million. So expect to see me six-maxing rather frequently come next year.

Speaking of prop bets, what’s the weirdest prop bet you’ve taken part in the online felt?”

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So, the rules are you can only use one hand at a time and you have to suit up to stand up. I was losing pretty badly, like 7-2, so I suggested we switch to 27 outs. He agreed.

I then set up a Sit and Go and told him each hand was one orbit and all-in hands were one out. We played the Sit and Go until both of us were busto. I won that bet 14-5.

Probably the weirdest prop bet I have ever been a part of was with another pro who shall remain anonymous. Let's just say thankfully it was cut short by management before things got too out of hand.

I did also once 5-bet shove a horse on Ignition Poker while drunk. That was fun. But overall the best prop games I have ever played were these "games" I created back in the old UB beam-me-ups days when they had no HUD software restrictions.

I would find fishy players who just started and teach them custom reading software to target obvious BE negative players. I would tell them where to move all-in and we would run beam-me-ups.

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We would win hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of nights. It was way easier than playing myself and I made a lot of money doing it.

What’s your take on the new PokerStars tabless tables?

I think they look amazing. The animations are smooth and it looks very slick. However, I don't really understand the reasoning behind taking away the tables.

It seems more geared toward having a homogenous product for EN core players who may also play flop games. It seems like there is a push to make PokerStacks look/feel more like iPoker/Winamax/partypoker/etc.

I would much rather see them focus on making their own software better and more innovative instead of homogenizing into oblivion. I don't really care about Zoom or Tabless, I want to see more pioneering software innovations like PKR-type 3D avatars, or something truly groundbreaking.

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If anything, they should acquire PKR and PKR's technology and roll it into PokerStars. That would be an interesting product. Also, it would be cool if they brought back virtual tables, because those were badass.

Speaking of virtual tables, mine from my VMIC came out amazingly. I actually never got a chance to use it much because I busted my bankroll soon after, but perhaps I will get it retrieved and use it when 6+ Holdem comes out, ha.

Virtual tables? We need details …

Basically, when I was sponsored by VMIC a couple years back, I could either choose to have a RocketMillion or a virtual item.

I figured I wouldn't have much leverage to get another RocketMillion anyway (I was right), plus aVM Marc Karam -- aka the face of VMIC back in the day -- is a good friend of mine and a great designer.

So he designed the most badass online virtual poker table you have ever seen. It cost me maybe $2,000 total and it was meant to be unobtainable through normal means.

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There were only a few ways you could possibly get it:

  • "God Mode": VMIC employees like Marc or Mike "SirWatts" Watson would randomly give it to a player while hosting a table. This happened to me once and I Flopped Quad Aces and took down the pot.
  • Through VMIC Tourneys: VMIC used to host big tournaments and the winner would get my table as a prize. One very lucky French kid won it that way.
  • Trading: Although technically trading virtual items was against the T&C, many players had my table. Most notably Ben "NeverScared" Sulsky who used my table as his stream snipe table on JustHandz.
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Unfortunately for all these players, VMIC burnt out and closed, forcing PokerStars to buy whatever items were left and do a mass item wipeout. I assume that is what happened to my table since I tried negotiating with PokerStars to get it back but to no avail.

Perhaps one day they will relent and give it back to me. Or I will win 20 more online tournaments and have the most table designs ever in history.

Virtual tables = future of online poker?

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I do think eventually the tables will become virtual and there will be full-on avatars. There is so much more immersion you can get with 3D environments and it would definitely help keep the recreational players safe from the sharks.

For now, I like my tables simple. I use the old jet style with no deck or background. I do use Matt Marafioti's new HUD, which is incredible by the way.

The only other plug-in I use is the new rabcorger III. I tested it out briefly but wasn't a fan at all.  I think the biggest edge in online poker comes from physical attributes.

Sitting in a dark room all day is bad for your body and your mind. So I made a point of getting a 2012 Olympic weightlifting coach and a powerful functional thoracic spine specialist.

I also invested in a ViPR and fix-ball training, which has dramatically improved my posture at the computer. I also recently started seeing a vision trainer to improve my contrast sensitivity, which is vital for looking at a HUD and making snap decisions.

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In terms of general table settings, I don't use a HUD on MTT spin-ups or on Zoom. I prefer no HUD on Zoom because I want to pay attention to the action. On MTTs I find it muddies the water too much.

With deep stacks and 9-handed tables, it's hard to keep up with stacks and constant movement. So I find it better to not use and go more by reads and relative hand strength.

When I do use it's the default PokerStars setup with no frills. In live cash games and tournaments I use the standard PokerStars prepresenter with no deck or table changes. Same with online high-stakes cash.

Just the default PokerStars with no add-ons. When I play heads-up or high stakes MTTs/Turbo MTTs I use the new PokerStars tabless layout.

WCOOP Event #46 ($215 Weekly Special [Hypers])

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Direct buy: Still alive! Matt "bringdarency" Darrey - 1/2 Way (USD 108,750)

WCOOP Event #49 (€257 High Roller [Progressive Knockout])

Direct buy: Bust (5th place) $109k in prizemoney & bounties (+$109k bounties)

WCOOP Event #52 ($103 6-Max [Turbo)]

Direct buy: Still alive! $53k

Darney's wins are enough for 8th place in the leaderboard. Watch out for him during Week 2! Click through to learn more about .

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