On Tuesday, Cake Poker posted a sneak peak of Cake Poker 2.0, its new software release, on its website.  The software will not be officially rolled out until later this spring, but it is now in limited use in private beta testing.  
One of the biggest goals of the developers is to make Cake Poker more stable.  The biggest complaint the poker room hears in the public forums is that many customers have trouble with software crashes and freezes.  No matter how fancy the software looks, it is no good if people can’t actually use it to play.  In that sense, despite all the other new and improved features, stability is likely the most important fix.
As for the look and feel of the software itself, it is not a dramatic departure from what is currently in use, but several little changes look like they are going to make for a better poker experience.  The lobby can be stretched as much as the user wishes, allowing for more tables and tournaments to be shown on the screen.  One of the best new features of the poker lobby is that in addition to the standard table filtering, the tables can now be sorted by multiple characteristics simultaneously.  Cake refers to this as “Excel-like” sorting, which it really is.  Just like in Excel, users can “sort by” a specific variable in either ascending or descending order, then continue to sort within the original sort two more times.  The pop-up box for sorting even looks the same as in Excel.
Information about individual tables or tournaments is also much easier to read in the beta.  In the cash game lobby, details about the players at each table are listed in a large box on the right side of the lobby.  For tournaments, a large box at the bottom of the lobby window gives information about the selected tournament, including buy-in, number of players, places paid, re-buy and add-on info, start time, current progress, and late registration info.  A brief description of the tournament is also given.  Players can also register for the tournament directly from the main lobby using a button in the information box.
The individual tournament lobby is also much cleaner and easier to read than it is now.  That same information box and description from the main lobby is now at the top of the tournament lobby window.  And now, instead of cramming the player list, payout schedule, tournament table list, and other details in the window all at the same time, tabs will allow players to bring these things up in more manageable chunks.  For tournaments that have yet to begin, satellites for that tournament are listed, each with a link that will open the lobby for that satellite.
The tables themselves will be able to shrink to what Cake Poker calls the “industry standard” minimum size, which should please multi-tablers.  Like now, there will be two table views: the “classic,” three-quarter angle view with Cake-generated avatars sitting in each occupied chair, and the “simple,” overhead racetrack view.  The racetrack view appears crisper and cleaner than the current version, and as an added bonus, it looks like players will be able to upload their own avatars to be displayed in a box alongside their screen names.  The avatar/screen name look is similar to that of Party Poker or Bodog Poker.  Additionally, table felts, card backs, and backgrounds will be completely customizable.  
Finally, those annoying tournament notification pop-ups can be turned off and players will be able to put upcoming tournaments on a personal calendar so they can be reminded of them later.
As mentioned earlier, the new software is currently only in private beta testing.  A public beta will be issued in the near future, after which the final Cake Poker 2.0 will be launched.

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