Posts Tagged ‘Power’

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

Wolverines Power to GPL Eurasia Advantage, Still A Scrum in GPL Americas After Week 6

 Wolverines Power to GPL Eurasia Advantage, Still A Scrum in GPL Americas After Week 6

Week 6 of the Global Poker League was a big one for the Moscow Wolverines as they used the variety of matches played throughout the week in the GPL Eurasia to demonstrate one of the most dominant weeks of action we’ve seen yet in the GPL. As the Wolverines opened up some room in their conference, there’s still a scrum atop the GPL Americas as they try to figure out who’s the best in that conference.

To say that the Wolverines dominated Week 6 for the GPL Eurasia would be a huge understatement. Coming into the Week 6 action, the Wolverines were a point behind the Paris Aviators for the top slot in the GPL Eurasia and held a healthy 13-point edge over the Hong Kong Stars for the final playoff spot in the conference. After a demonstration of poker that left many fans of the GPL in amazement, the Wolverines have finally shown why many thought they were the team to watch at the start of the season.

Wolverines manager Anatoly Filatov called his own number for the Six Max matches on Tuesday and he didn’t let his teammates down in that effort. In the first Sit and Go, Filatov pulled out a second place finish to the London Royals’ Sam Trickett, then backed that up with a superb performance in winning the second Sit and Go to total 12 points for the day. On Wednesday, the Wolverines’ Sergey Lebedev backed up his manager’s performance by besting the Berlin Bears’ Brian Rast, 6-3, to pick up another win and bring the grand total for the week for the Wolverines to 18 points.

In comparison, the formerly first place Aviators had one of their worst weeks of the season. Manager Fabrice Soulier earned a goose egg – zero points – in the two Six Max matches on Tuesday and George Danzer could only salvage three points in his heads up match against the Rome Emperors’ Mustapha Kanit, getting those three points in the final game of their three-game set. Those three points would prove to be important, however, as they kept them in a two-way tie for second with the suddenly surging London Royals as the week came to a close:

Moscow Wolverines 82 8
Paris Aviators 68 7
London Royals 68 7
Hong Kong Stars 58 4
Berlin Bears 51 2
Rome Emperors 51 2


In the GPL Americas, the New York Rounders has shown that they are a formidable team, but they just can’t seem to shake off the rest of the conference that has shown to be just as resilient as the Rounders squad. At or around the top of the conference since the start of the season, the Rounders have been unable to open up any space in the conference as they still have three teams within 11 points of their position and the last place team, the San Francisco Rush, is only a couple of good weeks from mounting a charge themselves.

The Rounders’ Jason Mercier may not have stolen the show during the Six Max matches on Tuesday – taking a third and a fourth place finish to pick up five points – but manager Bryn Kenney most certainly did when he came to the virtual felt on Thursday. Taking on the Rush’s Jonathan Jaffe, Kenney swept Jaffe in three consecutive games to take the match in dominant fashion, 9-0. Those points would prove to be critical as it kept the Rounders in first place for the week.

Last week it was the Sao Paulo Metropolitans in pursuit of the Rounders, this week it is the Montreal Nationals. The Nationals’ Martin Jacobson did about as well as you can do in the two Six Max Sit and Gos – earning a first and second place finish – to give the Nationals 12 big points. The Nationals’ Jason Lavallee then picked up the baton in running the table against the Metropolitans’ Darren Elias, taking all three matches and winning 9-0 to total 21 points for the Nationals for Week 6 and thrust them into second behind the Rounders by only one point:

New York Rounders 73 6
Montreal Nationals 72 7
L. A. Sunset 68 6
Sao Paulo Metropolitans 62 4
Las Vegas Moneymakers 52 2
San Francisco Rush 51 5


In the next to last week before the GPL takes its break for the World Series of Poker, the Wolverines are sitting in great position to keep their GPL Eurasia lead. After the Six Max matches next Tuesday, the Wolverines will battle the struggling Hong Kong Stars, who will look to recapture some of that early season magic they had. Meanwhile, the Royals and Aviators will try to break their tie in taking on the Emperors and Bears (respectively).

The battle will continue in the GPL Americas as, following the Six Max matches, some of the lower tier members of the conference get their shot at the leaders on Thursday. The Rounders have to take on the Las Vegas Moneymakers; the Nationals get the Rush in heads up action and the Sunset and the Metropolitans will try to stay in the upper half of the table. With only two weeks of play before the break – and, following the break, the start of live play – the Global Poker League action is intensifying.

Poker News Daily

Doyle Brunson’s Super System 2: A Course in Power Poker

 Doyle Brunsons Super System 2: A Course in Power Poker
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