Posts Tagged ‘pokerstars’

PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

 PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

The connotation of gambling is not typically a positive one; gamblers are not typically thought by “outsiders” to be generous or philanthropic. We in the poker industry know better, though, as every year, there are loads of live and online charity tournaments and funding drives, highlighted by the One Drop tournaments at the World Series of Poker. The latest charitable news comes from PokerStars, which just announced that it will be continuing its relationship with the Right to Play charity for another two years. The world’s largest poker room plans to contribute another £600,000 to the organization, bringing its total support to more than £1.5 million.

Whereas an organization like One Drop aims to bring life-sustaining clean water to impoverished areas around the world, Right to Play provides less tangible assistance. According to the group’s site, it uses “the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.”

Explained further:

Central to our approach is the theory: children learn best when they are experiencing lessons through play. It’s why each of our games is specifically designed to provide kids with the knowledge and skills they need to overcome adversity and to tackle the challenges affecting their communities. We tailor our programs to each locale’s context and need, whether it’s health concerns, lack of education, a need for peace or all three.

Once established, our regularly-scheduled programs and repetitive activities provide the children with a proactive routine. This helps them build on newly learned skills and attitudes to positively influence lasting change. As their learning evolves, these children grow from being unaware of their role in society to becoming advocates of positive behaviour within their communities.

Most of the communities in which Right to Play works are located in Africa. Other locations include the Middle East, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Canada, and even New York City.

In a press release, Sue Hammett, Head of Corporate Giving for PokerStars, said, “Right To Play makes such a positive impact to so many children around the world and PokerStars is incredibly proud to be able to support their valuable work. Using play to educate and empower is a philosophy that our players and staff really believe in. We’re delighted to be extending our partnership for two more years.”

Neil Child-Dyer, Partnerships Manager at Right To Play, added, “We are immensely proud of our partnership with PokerStars and extremely grateful for their continued support, not just in terms of funding but also for the exposure to their 108 million customers and the fabulous charity tournaments that they hold for Right To Play. Without the backing of our corporate partners like PokerStars, Right To Play would not be able to help as many children around the world.”

Naturally, an organization like Right to Play has partnered with a number of Athlete Ambassadors from around the world. More than 300 professional and Olympic athletes have worked with Right to Play, including such names Martina Hingis, Joey Cheek, Allyson Fenix, Summer Sanders, and Haile Gebrselassie.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

 PokerStars Announces Increased Support to Right to Play Charity

The connotation of gambling is not typically a positive one; gamblers are not typically thought by “outsiders” to be generous or philanthropic. We in the poker industry know better, though, as every year, there are loads of live and online charity tournaments and funding drives, highlighted by the One Drop tournaments at the World Series of Poker. The latest charitable news comes from PokerStars, which just announced that it will be continuing its relationship with the Right to Play charity for another two years. The world’s largest poker room plans to contribute another £600,000 to the organization, bringing its total support to more than £1.5 million.

Whereas an organization like One Drop aims to bring life-sustaining clean water to impoverished areas around the world, Right to Play provides less tangible assistance. According to the group’s site, it uses “the power of play to educate and empower children to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.”

Explained further:

Central to our approach is the theory: children learn best when they are experiencing lessons through play. It’s why each of our games is specifically designed to provide kids with the knowledge and skills they need to overcome adversity and to tackle the challenges affecting their communities. We tailor our programs to each locale’s context and need, whether it’s health concerns, lack of education, a need for peace or all three.

Once established, our regularly-scheduled programs and repetitive activities provide the children with a proactive routine. This helps them build on newly learned skills and attitudes to positively influence lasting change. As their learning evolves, these children grow from being unaware of their role in society to becoming advocates of positive behaviour within their communities.

Most of the communities in which Right to Play works are located in Africa. Other locations include the Middle East, China, Pakistan, Thailand, Canada, and even New York City.

In a press release, Sue Hammett, Head of Corporate Giving for PokerStars, said, “Right To Play makes such a positive impact to so many children around the world and PokerStars is incredibly proud to be able to support their valuable work. Using play to educate and empower is a philosophy that our players and staff really believe in. We’re delighted to be extending our partnership for two more years.”

Neil Child-Dyer, Partnerships Manager at Right To Play, added, “We are immensely proud of our partnership with PokerStars and extremely grateful for their continued support, not just in terms of funding but also for the exposure to their 108 million customers and the fabulous charity tournaments that they hold for Right To Play. Without the backing of our corporate partners like PokerStars, Right To Play would not be able to help as many children around the world.”

Naturally, an organization like Right to Play has partnered with a number of Athlete Ambassadors from around the world. More than 300 professional and Olympic athletes have worked with Right to Play, including such names Martina Hingis, Joey Cheek, Allyson Fenix, Summer Sanders, and Haile Gebrselassie.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Introduces MEGASTACK Live Tournament Series

 PokerStars Introduces MEGASTACK Live Tournament Series

Last year, PokerStars dismantled the European Poker Tour and created two new live tournament tours, the PokerStars Championship and the PokerStars Festival. They are your traditional tours, the PokerStars Championship looking very much like what the EPT was, with the PokerStars Festival coming in at a lower buy-in, akin to the World Series of Poker Circuit. On Friday, PokerStars announced yet another new live tournament series, called the PokerStars MEGASTACK (yes, and ugh, it is all CAPS), geared towards recreational players who cannot afford to compete in high buy-in tournaments.

The first PokerStars MEGASTACK will be at London’s Hippodrome Casino April 7th through April 9th. The buy-in is just £170, which is still a solid chunk of change for most people, but for poker players interested in competing in a good tournament, that is as light of a payment as one can hope for. All players start with 50,000, so there should be plenty of opportunity to play some poker (obviously, that all depends on the blind structure, but one would assume since it is live PokerStars event and not a daily nooner at a random casino off the Vegas Strip that things will be alright). Each tournament has three opening flights with one re-entry permitted per flight.

And since these are tournaments for recreational players trying to build a bankroll the PokerStars MEGASTACK events only run Friday through Sunday. As a PokerStars blog post put it:

We know it’s not always easy to find the time to play live tournaments, with one eye on your straight draw and the other on the clock as you try to work out if you can make it to work on 45 minutes sleep. That’s why MEGASTACK events are designed to fit your schedule rather than that of your boss, taking place from Friday to Sunday, leaving you all the time you need to enjoy the game.

There are also online satellites available for those who want to try to get in for even less money than £170.

If you are looking at that price point and thinking to yourself that there are no MEGASTACKS tournaments scheduled for the United States because the price is in British pounds, then you would be correct. Currently, there are only events scheduled for the Hippodrome, but according to Pokerstars, they will spread to other locations in the United Kingdom and Europe. No mention of the U.S. yet.

Here are the dates on tap so far for the Hippodrome:

• April 7th – 9th
• May 5th – 7th
• June 30th – July 2nd
• September 22nd – 24th
• October 20th – 22nd

And that’s really it. Frankly, I’m surprised that I was able to write even this much about the MEGASTACKS tournament series, as it isn’t all that big of a deal. But while I downplay it a little, it really could be a very nice addition to the live tournament schedule. Instead of having to watch as all those deep-pocketed poker players get to play in four and five-figure live tournaments, casual players can get in on the fun in what one would expect to be well-run tourneys with good blind structures.

Poker News Daily

Amaya Gaming, PokerStars Add $600,000 In Guarantees for Panama Championship

 Amaya Gaming, PokerStars Add $600,000 In Guarantees for Panama Championship

After receiving feedback from the players regarding their inaugural event in the Bahamas, officials with PokerStars and Amaya Gaming have made some adjustments to their upcoming stop in Panama. Of interest to most players will be the more than $ 600,000 in guarantees to the tournament schedule, but other factors may drive player interest to head for Central America.

Most of the guaranteed money will be going to one tournament. The PokerStars National Championship – the organization that took over many of the national tours that PokerStars used to operate, including the Latin American Poker Tour – now will have a $ 400,000 guaranteed prize pool for its contestants. With a $ 1100 buy in, it is obvious that PokerStars is trying to drive some interest in this tournament, which replaced the LAPT Main Event.

Three other lower buy-in tournaments will have guarantees placed on them. The PokerStars Cup, a $ 440 buy in event, will have a $ 150,000 guaranteed prize pool. The $ 220 PokerStars Open will have a $ 50,000 guaranteed tournament, while a $ 120 buy in event on the schedule will feature a $ 20,000 guarantee. There are also two $ 120 super satellites for the National Championship that guarantee ten seats and two “freebuy” (no buy-in) satellites for the PokerStars Cup that will guarantee ten seats to the event (the “freebuy” tournaments will feature $ 20 rebuys).

Other aspects of the PokerStars Championship Panama have been adjusted by Amaya Gaming and PokerStars to be more player-friendly. The exhausting 90-plus tournament schedule that was run at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas has been scaled down for Panama, going from the originally scheduled 56 tournaments (that will run from March 10-20 in Panama City at the Casino Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino) to a more realistic 46 events. The High Roller events will get some special treatment in the form of a “shot clock” – a clock to enforce quicker action – for both the $ 25K High Roller and the $ 50K Super High Roller. Finally, for almost every tournament late registration will be allowed until after Level 8 of the tournament.

The PokerStars Championship Bahamas – the renamed PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, for all intents, for a brand-new tour that used to be the European Poker Tour – suffered a bit under its new auspices. The 92-tournament schedule over a nine-day period was deemed to be far too many by both the players and the staff. Additionally, the expanded payout system, which saw 20% of the field paid instead of the usual 10-15% (the World Series of Poker instituted a 15% payout system last summer), was something that players grumbled over. The total numbers that attended in the Bahamas suffered as a result.

For the $ 5000 PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event, a 738-player field was in attendance. While that may sound good for a $ 5000 tournament, this was actually a massive drop from the 928 players that showed up for the tournament just last year (a 20.5% drop in attendance, to be exact) and a far cry from the “glory days” of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, when 1529 players attended the 2010 PCA (won by Harrison Gimbel). Both High Roller events saw reductions in the number of players (121 with 38 rebuys in 2017 for the $ 25K High Roller versus 173 and 52 in 2016; 41 and 13 in the $ 50K Super High Roller in 2017 versus 44 and 14 just a year earlier), and side events were reportedly sparsely attended.

The first leg of the new tour was the “familiar” part of the schedule and the traditional Bahamas start wasn’t immediately viewed as a bellwether for the new PokerStars Championship. The true indicator of the potential success of the new tour was always going to be the Panama stop (and its next stop in the Asian gaming capital of Macau). With the changes that they have implemented, Amaya and PokerStars officials hope they have now created a tournament stop that will demonstrate the validity of their logic to change from the EPT (and their relevant national tours) to the PokerStars Championship with the true indicator – massive player numbers.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Alpha Testing Bonkers New Power Up Poker Game

 PokerStars Alpha Testing Bonkers New Power Up Poker Game

Hold onto your butts, everyone. A new poker game from PokerStars is in the pipeline. And this isn’t just another Spin & Go or Zoom Poker variation. Power Up, now in very limited Alpha testing, is something that takes a game of hold’em and quite literally adds new cards that give players the power to transform the hand. In Power Up, the players get magic powers. They even get magic powers to counteract each other’s magic powers. I’m dead serious about this.

In a post on the PokerStars blog, PokerStars Director of Poker Innovation and Operations Severin Rasset explained that his company has “been putting significant resource toward poker innovation.”

“The common goal of these innovations is continue to maintain a high level of engagement from our active players, to reactivate players that may be tired of playing poker as it is today, and to speak to potential players that haven’t discovered the game yet,” he added.

Then he explained Power Up and what is going on with the game:

Today, the latest of our innovations, PokerStars Power Up entered Alpha testing. It’s a combination of traditional enjoyable No Limit Hold’em injected with powers that give players the ability to influence how hands play out and change up game play in a variety of ways with boards, cards and chips. This project introduces a lot of new features to poker that we have built from scratch and it’s taken a lot of time and effort to get to this stage in the game’s life. We balanced the game for six months in a sandbox environment with a group of very high volume experienced poker players and gamers to attempt to break the game in every possible way. We integrated a new engine within our software, created animations and powers, and put a lot of time and thought into how poker players will have fun with the game.

Let’s back up. While PokerStars has revealed little about how Power Up works, here’s what we can glean from the short, 35 second video and pictures on the blog:

Power Up is a hold’em game (perhaps some sort of short-handed Sit-and-Go contest, but we can’t be sure) in which, in addition to hole cards, players get special power-up cards. These cards can be used at various spots in a hand – maybe each betting round, if desired – to completely alter the hand. Some power-ups change cards. Some remove cards. Some add cards. Some let players see cards to come.

Based on a screenshot of these power-up cards, here is a list of at least some of them:

Clone – receive a copy of the last power played this hand
Disintegrate – Destroy a targeted board card dealt this street
EMP – prevent powers on this street
Engineer – choose the deck’s next card from three options
Intel – view the deck’s top card for the rest of the hand
Reload – redraw selected hole cards
Scanner – view the top two cards in the deck; choose whether to discard them
Upgrade – draw a third hole card, then discard one
X-Ray – force all opponents to expose one hole card

There very well may be more power-up cards; those were just in the screenshot. Additionally, there appear to be point values assigned to each card. Mediarex Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Global Poker Index, introduced a similar game a year ago called HoldemX, also in Alpha testing. Power-up cards in that game, called “xcards,” also had point values. Players were given a points budget before a match and could select a number of cards to have on hand using the point values and budget as a guide. It is possible that the points on the power-up cards work the same way.

This game obviously alters the skill aspect of poker, as someone getting outplayed can reverse the flow of a game through the use of the power-up cards. At the same time, the use – and possible pre-game selection – of these cards is a skill in and of itself, so people who are used to the machinations of a game like Hearthstone may already have a step up on the competition.

As mentioned, Power Up is only in Alpha testing right now. PokerStars has sent invitations to a select number of play money players in the United States to help provide feedback and make sure everything works on a technical level.

Poker News Daily



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