It appears that the extensive Beta testing on CakePoker new mobile poker service has been successful, judging by the news that earlier this week a much more stable edition was released publicly, meaning that any player armed with a Windows Mobile OS cell phone can play poker for real money whilst on the move.
The popularity of mobile gambling has been boosted this year by the arrival of iPhone-capable operating systems, augmenting the Blackberry OS, and the popular Windows Mobile platform. The latest moves by Cake are likely to turn up the heat in the already competitive mobile field significantly, given the growing number of licensees on the firm's network who will be interested in expanding their offering.
Installing CakePoker Mobile must be done on a Windows Mobile 5.0 cell phone device. In addition, some Windows Mobile 5.0 users might have to install Microsoft's .NET Compact Framework, which can be downloaded for free. Beyond that, the cell phone needs only an Internet connection such as a 2G or 3G network. Also supported are a WiFi, Bluetooth and direct tethered connection to a PC. Basically, if the player's cell phone has a connection to the internet, he or she be able to play at Cake Poker.
There are no extra costs associated with using Cake Poker Mobile outside of the requirements of the wireless operator's data plan. To estimate the cost of data transfer, the network has previously said that its mobile facility can transfer tens of megabytes per hour of game play. And as a precaution against phone theft, the player's account password is stored elsewhere.
The mobile offering includes play-for-free action for those who want to practice before going after real money rewards.
Blinds are automatically posted and cards are set to automatically muck on the CakePoker system. When it is the player's turn to act in a hand, a pop-up screen prompts the action. Using arrow keys, number keys, or the touch screen, a user controls the action, playing from left to right starting with the player to the right of the dealer button. As players fold, their avatars disappear to avoid distracting remaining players.
Word in the industry is that Cake is developing a Blackberry edition of the software, and multiple platforms will be supported by the end of 2009. iPhone users may have to wait a little longer; on the feedback page of the Cake Poker Mobile website, there is information that suggests that this will only be introduced when Apple loosens its iPhone App Store restrictions or until flash-based applications are supported in the Safari browser.
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