Party Poker is preparing to change it up. After years of suffering every avatar joke from “why even have those silly avatars” to “seriously, why even have those stupid avatars” Party Poker is preparing to launch a total graphical revamp of its famed Poker room.

There’s the link for the first public screenshot for the brand new Party Poker design. As you can see if you follow the link, the graphics are much crisper, the ridiculous avatars are gone and the whole look is a lot sleeker than before (although that could be an awfully tricky flop to play with AK.) Party Poker players will finally be given the opportunity to customize their own on-table avatar and the user interface itself is much more in line with what the vast majority of poker sites are supporting.

To celebrate Party Poker’s big re-coming out party, Party Poker will be running an exclusive freeroll for real money members of the official PartyGaming blog. The freeroll prize pool is currently $10,000 although if enough people sign up, PartyGaming has promised to up the prize pool.

This comes on the heels of the announcement of the Poker Nations Cup teams: 6 teams composed of 5 pros and 1 qualifier will battle it out for a nearly $100,000 first prize in addition to national bragging rights to the world’s greatest poker nation. This year’s tournament put a twist on the popular team tournament with each country adding an online qualifier to their team of 5 top pros. Here is how the teams stack up:

Roland de Wolfe*.
Joe Beevers
Ian Frazer
Surinder Sunar
Neil Channing
Francis Durbin – qualifier

Michael Keiner *
Andreas Krause
Benjamin Kang
Sebastian Ruthenberg
Thomas Bihl
Thomas Potzel – qualifier

Marcel Luske *
Thierry Van den Berg
Hans Ritburg
Eric Van der Berg
Daan Ruiter
Quirijn Van der Peet – qualifier

Padraig Parkinson*
Donnacha O’Dea
Ciaran O’Leary
Liam Flood
Marty Smith
Darren O’Brien – qualifier

Bo Sehlstedt*
Anders Henriksson
Mats Rahmn
Johan Storakers
William Thorsson
Johan Ocklind – qualifier

Robert Williamson III*
Jamie Gold
Chris Ferguson
Thomas Keller
Chad Brown
Montel Williams – Celebrity Player (…so that qualifies him to play.)

*denotes the team captain.

The UK audience will be able to follow along with the action with Channel 4 broadcasting one-hour segments of the tournament for eight consecutive weeks beginning this week.

If you take into account the potential bubbling in the US House of Representatives, with the additional coverage provided by the Poker Nations Cup and the long overdue graphical face lift – the time may be quickly approaching where Party Poker reclaims its position as the world’s top online poker destination.

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