Posts Tagged ‘pokerstars’

PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Underway with High Rollers Tournament Starting

 PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Underway with High Rollers Tournament Starting

After mixed results from their two previous stops in the Bahamas and Panama, the PokerStars Championship has churned on to one of the wealthiest places on Earth (the net worth of an average household in the city? $ 437,031), Monte Carlo, and the Monte Carlo Casino. The €100,000 Super High Roller tournament started on Thursday while a €10,000 tournament with a surprisingly low number of players wrapped up.

That €10,000 tournament was a bit of a surprise. Only 110 players made an appearance in the tournament, but the price tag of the event ensured they would be playing for a million-dollar prize pool (€1,067,000, to be exact). After battling through a field that included former World Champion Ryan Riess (who started the day as the chip leader), Luc Greenwood, Steve O’Dwyer, and Koray Aldemir, Ole Schemion was able to defeat Murad Akhundov to win the championship. While Schemion picked up a nice €274,750 score, the lack of numbers in the tournament might have been of concern to the PokerStars brass.

Those fears were somewhat allayed by the €100,000 Super High Roller. 47 players have come out for the tournament – and nine of them have re-entered the event – to put themselves in a €200,000 hole to start the PSC Monte Carlo. One of those who rebought in the tournament was Daniel Negreanu, who at least made the most of it by finishing the day in second place. Negreanu, who isn’t afraid to put some rebuys into a tournament, didn’t have to go beyond his second bullet after doubling through Dan Smith and chopping some more chips off Christoph Vogelsang to reach his apex for Day One.

PokerStars once again is welcoming actor/comedian Kevin Hart into the fray in Monte Carlo. Hart was a surprise appearance in the Bahamas back in January but didn’t show up in Panama for any of the tournament schedule in Central America. While Hart didn’t perform very well in the Bahamas, he will be around for a second day in Monte Carlo. On his second bullet like Negreanu, Hart would be the beneficiary of pocket Aces twice to keep his stack healthy. He also secured a seat to start Day Two on Friday, but not as a member of the Top Ten.

Leading the way for those that have VERY deep pockets is Daniel Dvoress, who more than tripled his starting stack to claim the lead dog honors in the Super High Roller:

1. Daniel Dvoress, 907,000
2. Daniel Negreanu, 864,000
3. Viacheslav Buldygin, 827,000
4. Ali Reza Fatehi, 770,000
5. Steve O’Dwyer, 676,000
6. Steffen Sontheimer, 661,000
7. David Peters, 591,000
8. Igor Kurganov, 516,000
9. Stefan Schillhabel, 505,000
10. Charlie Carrel, 443,000

The remainder of the 38 players in the tournament at this mark brings you the usual suspects that you’ve seen in Super High Roller tournaments. Dan Colman just missed making the Top Ten (432,000, eleventh place) and Hart, as previously stated, is in the mix (396,000, thirteenth). Bryn Kenney (429,000, twelfth), Fedor Holz (366,000, fourteenth) and Sam Greenwood (364,000, fifteenth) are all within shooting distance of the Top Ten, while Mustapha Kanit (104,000) and Stephen Chidwick (117,000) are a couple of players who have their work cut out for them.

The Super High Roller players aren’t sure yet what they are playing for as late entry and reentry for the tournament will be open until the cards fly on Friday at 12:30PM (Monte Carlo time, 6:30AM East Coast time). On Saturday, the €5000 Main Event will begin, facing a tough task in trying to improve on the Bahamas while not falling below what Panama did. Wrapping up the weekend will be the start of the €50,000 Single Day High Roller, which will draw the “big money” out once again. Finally, the €25,000 High Roller begins on Wednesday (May 3) and will conclude with the final table of the Main Event on May 6.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Launches Omaha Spin & Go’s

 PokerStars Launches Omaha Spin & Go’s

Are you ready, PokerStars players? I mean, are you REALLY ready? Please get ready. Ready yourselves. PokerStars has launched Omaha Spin & Go games. Omaha! Peyton Manning loves it!

“Omaha is a highly enjoyable poker variant and was quite high up on our players’ request list to deliver it as a Spin & Go,” said Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Operations and Innovation, in a press release. “So we’re really pleased to be able to do this and hope that it will be as popular in this format as it is in our cash games.”

Oh yeah, it will.

For the eight of you who don’t know what a Spin & Go is, it is PokerStars’ version of what is commonly referred to as a “lottery” Sit-and-Go. They are three-handed, hyper-turbo Sit-and-Go’s in which the player start with just 500 chips. Needless to say, they go quite fast.

What makes them very unique, though, is that the players do not know what the prize pool is going to be until all three players are seated. Instead, the prize pool is selected randomly and can be from twice (the most common) to 12,000 times (ultra-rare) the player’s buy-in. About 90 percent of the time, the prize pool will be either two or four times the buy-in.

Of the eight prize tiers, the bottom five are winner-take-all. Second and third place receive nothing. The top three prize tiers, which have miniscule odds to hit, award ten percent of the prize pool to each of the second and third place finishers so there will be less dog-kicking in the losers’ households.

To celebrate the launch of Omaha Spin & Go’s, PokerStars is running special $ 5 Omaha Spin & Go’s in which players can win tickets to one or all of the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) Pot-Limit Omaha Event #5. Here are the possible prizes and their probabilities:

$ 10 – 83,808 in 100,000
$ 27 SCOOP Event #5 PLO Low Seat – 15,685 in 100,000
$ 215 SCOOP Event #5 PLO Medium Seat – 502 in 100,000
$ 2,100 SCOOP Event #5 PLO High Seat – 5 in 100,000

Players who win more than one $ 27 SCOOP entry will have the excess tickets converted into regular $ 27 SCOOP entries, usable in any SCOOP event or satellite. The first entry a player wins for the Medium or High events must be used by that player – they are non-transferrable. If the odds are forever in your favor and you win more than one of those tickets, they will be converted to normal tournament dollars.

Regular Omaha Spin & Go’s will be a $ 1, $ 3, $ 7, and $ 15 buy-in levels.

So there you go.

Oh wait, Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis said something in the press release.

“Omaha is just perfect for Spin & Go. There will be a lot of action because you can play so many hands, but it’s also really hard to knock people out in PLO. This will make for some very intense situations when the multipliers get high. I can’t wait to try them.”

Poker News Daily

World Poker Tour, PokerStars Team for Unique “MonteDam Swing”

 World Poker Tour, PokerStars Team for Unique “MonteDam Swing”

For the first time in both organizations’ existences, the World Poker Tour and PokerStars are teaming up for a unique event. Called the “PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing,” it will combine two events, one from each organization, into a competition like the traditional WPT “California Swing” each spring in the States of America. For competing in the “MonteDam Swing,” eligible players (more on this in a minute) will have the opportunity to win tournament buy-ins for their efforts.

“Both PokerStars and the World Poker Tour are committed to growing the game of poker, and the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing was developed to benefit players competing at both PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo and WPT Amsterdam,” said Edgar Stuchly, PokerStars Director of Live Events. “This exciting partnership allows players a natural transition from one world-class festival to another, and we encourage our players to head to WPT Amsterdam following their time in Monte Carlo.”

Adam Pliska, the Chief Executive Officer of the WPT, echoed Stuchly’s thoughts in saying, “For many years, PokerStars and the World Poker Tour have collaborated behind the scenes to ensure the scheduling of our major events is done in the best interest of the players. We are proud to take the collaboration a step further with the creation of the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing, and we welcome all players to kick off a spectacular three weeks of poker by attending PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo starting April 25.”

As Pliska stated, the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing will kick off with the stop by the PokerStars Championship in Monte Carlo. There are two events there that players can choose from to be eligible for the MonteDam Swing, the €1100 PokerStars National Championship Monte Carlo (April 26-30) and the €5300 PokerStars Championship Main Event (April 29-May5). Two more legs of the PokerStars Championship WPT MonteDam Swing will be held at the WPT Amsterdam, the €1500 WPTDeepStacks Amsterdam (May 5-8) and the €3300 WPT Amsterdam Main Event (May 9-13). To be eligible for the overall competition, a player must have one “in the money” finish at each location.

There is a very good list of prizes available for the players taking part in the event. After the points have been tabulated, the top five finishers will win these prizes:

1st:  PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event package (valued at €7500)
2nd: WPT Main Event package (€6000)*
3rd: WPTDeepStacks package (€3000)*
4th: PokerStars National Championship Barcelona buy-in (€1100)
5th: WPTDeepStacks buy in (€1500)*

(* – WPT prizes can only be used in European events)

There will also be prizes for those who simply participate in the Swing. If a player even participates in one PokerStars Championship tournament and one WPT event during the Swing, they will receive a freeroll ticket for an online tournament at PokerStars with a $ 30,000 prize pool. If a player participates in both Main Events on the Swing schedule, they will receive a $ 300 voucher for buy-ins at the 2017 PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP).

It sounds good overall, but there are a couple of issues that present themselves for the “MonteDam Swing.” Cramming the four events into a 17-day period – and then expecting players to cash in two of them, one at each location – is a bit draining even for the best of players. When it started, however, people gave little credence to the “WPT California Swing” (and its three tournaments in three weeks’ schedule); now it is a staple of the WPT when it hits the West Coast and, along with collaborating with PokerStars, the WPT is looking for lightning to strike twice, but this time in Europe.

If nothing else, it draws eyes – and potentially players – to tournaments that may have gotten lost in the mix as players prepare for the World Series of Poker at the end of May. Beginning in 10 days, the PokerStars WPT MonteDam Swing is a shot at publicizing the events while announcing a first-ever partnership between two of poker’s most powerful entities.

Poker News Daily

New PokerStars VIP System Nears

 New PokerStars VIP System Nears

PokerStars has been gradually changing its VIP system and previewing coming changes for about a year and a half now. On Monday, the world’s largest online poker site put out another announcement, still a bit short on details, but still offering us a further glimpse of what is to come.

In a blog post titled “Modernising how we deliver rewards,” Director of Poker Innovation and Operations for PokerStars Severin Rasset gave a brief summary as to why his company is so gung-ho on overhauling its VIP loyalty program:

Poker is a game of wits with players competing against each other for fun, for competition and for profit. Our goal in managing poker is always to maintain that delicate balance and deliver the best possible playing experience while doing so. Since 2006, our loyalty program has encouraged volume rather than competition. It has been a tremendous success and was the right approach for many years. However, the environment has changed. The game has matured; the profile of our players has changed.

PokerStars has already introduced the VIP steps system, which Rasset says has resulted in, “many of our high-volume players have focused more on winning at the tables rather than playing a style optimised for rewards.”

“We have seen additional concrete positive signs: more hands seeing the flop, bigger pot sizes, new players playing longer on the site than the year before, and players playing more frequently. These are all good indicators of a more fun and engaging playing experience across PokerStars,” he added.

PokerStars isn’t going to stop there, though:

We have also designed familiar gamification concepts to give players a rich, exciting, personalised experience with randomized rewards and the chance at winning big prizes. Most of our players are playing in the moment, wanting a fun and exciting experience every time they play. With that in mind, the upcoming program is focused around rewarding players more frequently within a single playing session rather than providing month-long goals.

Clearly, PokerStars has recreational players in mind with this, as it has always been difficult for casual players to move up the VIP ladder without grinding day in and day out every month. Of course, nobody is saying casual players should elevate to the upper reaches of the VIP levels, but being able to receive rewards every time one plays could be a great motivating force.

Unfortunately, those heavy grinders won’t like what comes next:

The current monthly volume-driven rakeback model will be retired and will be replaced with one that rewards a variety of factors, such as volume, stakes, how often players play, and net deposits. Players whose rewards are likely to be significantly decreased under the new program are being contacted today with more details of the impact on them. All players will be contacted directly by email with more details as we get closer to launch for each country.

And sure enough, players have been contacted and have been told that “in the most extreme cases some players will receive up to 85% less than under the previous program.”

Oof.

Denmark will be the first country to see the new VIP program, “no sooner than late May.” Other countries will have their rollouts as through the summer.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Announces 2017 SCOOP Schedule

 PokerStars Announces 2017 SCOOP Schedule

PokerStars has released the schedule for the 2017 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), one that promises to be the poker room’s most ambitious yet. Last year’s SCOOP broke all sorts of PokerStars records, but this one will be a week longer, and have $ 55 million in guaranteed prize pools, $ 15 million more than the 2016 version. It will have the usual SCOOP schedule format, with events running in triplicate with three separate buy-ins for each. All told, there are 57 events on the schedule, which means there are 171 total tournaments.

The extra week is at the beginning of the SCOOP scheduled, reserved for “phased” tournaments. The way these week is there are multiple starting flights spread across several days (a week, in this case). Each flight lasts the same amount of time. Later in the poker festival, the survivors from all those flights return to continue the tournament. It’s a way to give people a chance to play in a huge tourney was big prize pools, but not have to commit to playing for a day or two straight.

One interesting game type making its SCOOP debut is “Win the Button,” which first showed up in last year’s WCOOP. There will be both No-Limit Hold’em and No-Limit Omaha versions of the event. In Win the Button, the player who wins the hand gets the button on the next hand, thus the name makes perfect sense. These tourneys tend to feature more aggressive play, as the reward for winning a hand is much greater than normal.

There are also a number of Progressive Knockout tournaments on the schedule. In these, half the buy-in is put into the prize pool, while half is used as a bounty on each player’s head. Instead of winning a player’s entire bounty when knocking them out, though, you only get half of it, while the other half is added to your own bounty.

And then there is the one event that is the Progressive 100% Knockout. In this one, ALL of the buy-in is used as bounty. The only way to win money is to eliminate other players.

As mentioned, the 2016 SCOOP destroyed records. With nearly $ 91 million prize pools (168 total tourneys), it set the mark for the largest combined prize pool for an online tournament series in poker history.

The three Main Events all set records themselves, as well:

•    2016 SCOOP $ 10,000 High Main Event: 824 players, $ 8,000,001.76 prize pool (previous record 694 players, $ 6,940,000 prize pool in 2015 SCOOP)
•    2016 SCOOP $ 1,000 Mid Main Event: 5,026 players, $ 4,786,661.88 prize pool (previous record 4,238 players, $ 4,238,000 prize pool in 2015 SCOOP)
•    2016 SCOOP $ 100 Low Main Event: 24,591 players, $ 2,255,978.34 prize pool (previous record 23,045 players, $ 2,304,500 prize pool in 2013 SCOOP)

Poker News Daily



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