I've been playing 'Prominence Poker' on PS4 since the summer of last year; I've completed all of the solo matches against the AI personalities and now I strictly play ranked tournaments - though I have yet to try the ranked H2H matches. All in all, it has been a blast; I learnt the game of poker at a very early age and I played very seriously (both online and offline) for a number of years. Though the game has its flaws, it does manage to execute a semi-realistic experience compared to most other poker or casino games that I have tried in the past. Someone who is passionate about poker would be better off avoiding games such as 'Four Kings Casino and Slots' where the poker atmosphere seems to mimic a bastardised version of bingo. However, what Mister Pink is saying is true - once you reach the Platinum and Diamond level tiers in 'Prominence Poker', the games transform into a very competitive and worthwhile battle. It doesn't matter that actual money isn't at stake - many are simply playing for higher spots on the leader board and others are high Platinum level players grinding and fighting their way to Diamond status. The points you gain or lose from a single game can easily make or break you in the long-run of a season.
I don't know how it is on Xbox, but there are communities on PSN that are dedicated to serious players who strive very hard each season to reach and stay within the Diamond level and place as high as they can overall. The game is flawed in the sense that it doesn't offer any incentives for most overall points or overall ranking at the end of each season; therefore, a good number of players will simply stop playing once they reach the Diamond level in order to simply cash in on the bonuses at the end of the season, which are the same each season no matter how high you manage to place within each specified tier. In other words, the number one overall ranked player at the end of the season will receive the same bonuses as someone who finishes the season with a rating of 1300 (which is where the Diamond level tier begins). For finishing within the Diamond level, you receive 1,500,000 chips, a golden cigar (table item), a legendary loot case, and the ability to use "The Legendary" as your nickname within the game. Finishing within the other tiers also offer rewards at the end of a season, but as far as chips are concerned, it drops down to 500,000 for Platinum, 150,000 for Gold, 50,000 for Silver, and 20,000 for Bronze. If they managed to add incentives and bonuses for highest scores or overall placement, it would certainly help the game overall - finding an "ideal" match when you're within the Diamond tier can unfortunately be quite difficult at times, especially near the end of a season.
Here is something to keep in mind though - when you're queuing for a game, be sure to keep an eye on whether it is searching for an "ideal", "good", or "any" match. Although it may take time, you will eventually be placed into some sort of game. However, if you're a Diamond, you do not want to be the lone Diamond at a table full of Platinum and/or Gold players. The reason is because of the points system distribution. Even if you do happen to finish 1st amongst a table of all lower ranked players, the points you receive will rarely be worth your overall time and effort. Once you have reached Platinum, it is best to simply wait and only play "ideal" matches. If you decide to settle for "good", you will often be the lone Platinum player at a table of full of Gold players. This happened to me several times when I was Platinum (I am currently Diamond); I received 20 points for finishing 1st against all Gold (not terrible, I suppose), but in the game where I finished 2nd, I think I only made about 8 or so points at most. As you can guess, finishing lower than 2nd will often cost you points in these situations - you may gain or lose 1 or 2 points overall for placing 3rd (I'm not 100% certain which way that goes), but if you run into an unfortunate situation that takes you out of the game any earlier, well, that can often wreck havoc upon your overall progress. However, on the flip side, if you're Gold or Platinum ranked and there are a couple of Diamond ranks at your table, you stand to gain more points if they're eliminated earlier and you place 3rd or better. 3rd and better is considered a "win" within the statistical element of the game - every ranked tournament game is restricted to six players and six players only, you start with 10,000 in chips, and the blinds increase every ten minutes (the starting point is 50/100).
This is a great topic, Mister Pink; glad to see that you're enjoying the game and poker itself! I wish you the best on your journey into Diamond level territory. My best season was 1395 and that was good for 2nd overall at the end. However, every season is different and I've noticed that the overall scores seem to be much higher these days - there are 16 days left in the season and our current number one ranked player has 1416 points. My friend, who finished 1st last season, got all the way up to 1497!
I would definitely like to see more poker games or poker games within other games. Prominence Poker itself could easily benefit by adding multi-table tournaments or by simply increasing the max capacity of players to nine or ten for both tournament and cash games. Also, as I mentioned earlier, it would be absolutely incredible if they offered incentives to keep players playing after they've reached the Diamond tier. I would also like to see other poker variants included - Stud, Omaha, even some Hi-Lo split games, etc would be welcomed additions!
My apologies for the novel; I don't really post here very often anymore, but this topic definitely grabbed my attention. Cheers and best of luck!