Posts Tagged ‘Spin’

PokerStars Launches Spin & Go Max Tournaments

 PokerStars Launches Spin & Go Max Tournaments

PokerStars has launched a new Spin & Go format called…wait for it…Spin & Go Max which adds a heaping spoonful of variables to a Spin & Go game. The idea of Spin & Go Max is essentially the same as a Spin & Go, but rather than the predictability of the three player, winner-take-all format every time, each game can vary from one to the next.

What we are all used to with Spin & Go’s is three-handed play with short stacks and hyper-turbo blind levels. The prize pool is unknown until all players are seated and most of the time, it is winner-take-all. Spin & Go Max games mix all of that up.

In the new version of the game (by the way, there are still regular Spin & Go tables), the number of players is unknown until just before the game begins. Spin & Go Max games can have anywhere from three to eight players; the tables size is based on a random draw based on fixed probabilities. Four players is the most common, happening 30 percent of the time. This is followed by five players (25 percent) and three players (20 percent).

Then, like in a regular Spin & Go’s, a prize spinner shows up, but here it shows not one, but three potential prizes for the winner. Perhaps perplexingly, the winner’s prize has nothing to do with the prizes for the other players, if there are any (with five players or fewer, it can still be winner-take-all). The other prizes are pre-determined and payout depth will be shown in the tourney lobby.

At the end of the game, the three first place prizes reappear, face down, and the winner picks one. If the top possible prize was one of the ones offered, the winner automatically gets it. Additionally, with some of the higher, less probable prizes, the winner will be given a “Cash Out” option, equal to the average of the three prizes minus some amount. The winner can take that figure or take a chance on selecting a larger prize.

One more twist: Spin & Go Max tournaments have a hand limit. If this limit is hit before the tournament ends, everyone is automatically put all-in pre-flop until a winner is determined.

Buy levels for Spin & Go Max tourneys are $ 1, $ 3, $ 7 and $ 15. There is no difference in the probability of table size among the different buy-in levels, but the prize pool frequency and number of players paid fluctuates based on the buy-in and number of total players.

I think that’s it. There’s a lot to digest. Basically, we have a new Spin & Go game that can have three to eight players, three possible first prizes that the winner gets to blindly pick, and sometimes an option to take a guaranteed payout or risk it for a bigger prize. I suppose that’s more fun that regular Spin & Go’s?

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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.”

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PokerStars Running EPT Barcelona Spin & Go Promo

 PokerStars Running EPT Barcelona Spin & Go Promo

Now that the World Series of Poker-proper is over and we’re just waiting for All Hallows’ Eve Eve and the start of the Main Event final table, other poker festivals can now start to try to turn the attention of poker players and fans back to them. As such, PokerStars is running a special Spin & Go promotion to give players a chance to win seats in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona Main Event.

From July 18th through July 31st, and its family of sites that share liquidity will host special €10 buy-in Spin & Go’s whose grand prize is a €9,000 prize package for the EPT Barcelona Main Event. That package includes the €5,300 tournament buy-in plus €3,700 for travel and expenses (the latter amount will actually be credited in U.S. dollars). PokerStars will not be making travel and accommodations arrangements for the winners; players must do that themselves.

The number of prize levels has been reduced for the EPT Barcelona Spin & Go’s. Rather than eight prize tiers, as the regular Spin & Go’s have, the EPT version has just four tiers. Here is the breakdown, listing the prize pool multiplier, first prize, and the frequency of that multiplier hitting:

900x – €9,000 EPT Barcelona Package – 25 in 100,000
6x – €60 – 2,500 in 100,000
4x – €40 – 24,775 in 100,000
2x – €20 – 72,700 in 100,000

Though the chances of hitting the EPT Barcelona package are very low, they are actually not too bad when compared to regular Spin & Go’s. There is no 900x multiplier normally – there is a huge gap between the 12,000x multiplier jackpot and the 240x jackpot – but the 900x multiplier still compares quite favorably. For example, in a regular Spin & Go, the 240x multiplier has a 50 in 1,000,000 chance of coming up, much worse odds than the 25 in 100,000 that we see on the EPT Barcelona chart. And the 900x multiplier obviously provides a better return than does the 240x multiplier. Heck, the chances of hitting the EPT Barcelona jackpot are still better than spinning the 120x multiplier normally.

Naturally, there are also differences in the probabilities when it comes to the 2x, 4x, and 6x multipliers, but people playing the EPT Barcelona Spin & Go’s likely don’t really care about those. The goal here is to the win the EPT prize package.

EPT Barcelona will be held at the Casino Barcelona in Spain from August 16th through August 28th, 2016. The first day is strictly for satellites, while the “real” tournaments begin on August 17th. Not counting satellites, there are close to 50 events at EPT Barcelona, highlighted by the €5,300 Main Event, which will run August 22nd through August 28th with two starting flights.

Poker News Daily

PokerStars Launches Special $100,000 Spin & Go Promo in New Jersey

 PokerStars Launches Special $100,000 Spin & Go Promo in New Jersey

You had to know this was coming at some point. PokerStars is but only one week old in New Jersey and already it has unveiled a new Spin & Go promotion.  Starting yesterday, March 28th (Happy Birthday to me!), PokerStars New Jersey is launching a $ 100,000 Spin & Go Special Edition promo, giving Garden State players a chance to win, you guessed it, one hundred grand playing in the popular three-handed Sit-and-Go tournaments.

As a refresher (who knows, maybe someone in New Jersey is reading this and has never seen a Spin & Go), PokerStars Spin & Go’s are three-handed, hyper-turbo Sit-and-Go tourneys with a winner-take-all prize pool (most of the time). The big twist with these tables is that the prize pool is not known until all three players are seated. At that point, a spinner appears on the table and reveals the prize. Most of the time, it will only be twice the buy-in, maybe four times, but in very rare circumstances, the prize pool can be, in the case of New Jersey, 1,000 times the buy-in.

On PokerStars’ New Jersey site, Spin & Go’s have four buy-in levels: $ 1, $ 2, $ 5, and $ 10. Here is what the probability table looks like for the different prize pool possibilities:

2x buy-in – 75,342 in 100,000
4x buy-in – 15,284 in 100,000
6x buy-in – 8,280 in 100,000
10x buy-in – 1,000 in 100,000
25x buy-in – 76 in 100,000
100x buy-in – 10 in 100,000
200x buy-in – 5 in 100,000
1,000x buy-in – 3 in 100,000

As you can see, the chances of hitting the top prize pools are slim. If that does happen, though, all three players win something for the top three prize levels. The winner takes the total prize pool, but the other two players receive an addition 10 percent of said prize pool. Thus, for the 1,000x tier, the winner in a $ 1 Spin & Go would receive $ 1,000 while the second and third place finishers would get $ 100 each.

Starting today, though, PokerStars has changed the $ 10 buy-in level, making the top prize $ 100,000. The second and third place contestants would each win $ 10,000.

The odds have changed, too:

2x buy-in – 729,196 in 1,000,000
4x buy-in – 189,652 in 1,000,000
6x buy-in – 7,500 in 1,000,000
10x buy-in – 5,000 in 1,000,000
25x buy-in – 1,000 in 1,000,000
100x buy-in – 100 in 1,000,000
200x buy-in – 50 in 1,000,000
10,0000x buy-in – 2 in 1,000,000

Again, remember that the “losers” in the three top tiers still get a prize worth ten percent of the prize pool, added on by PokerStars. Thus, the prize pool multipliers are effectively, 120x, 240x, and 12,000x. This promo is only for the $ 10 buy-in level. All other buy-in levels have their standard prize tiers.

The $ 100,000 Special Edition Spin & Go promotion will run until somebody hits the big one.

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PokerStars Responds to Complaints of Spin & Go Datamining

 PokerStars Responds to Complaints of Spin & Go Datamining

An age-old online poker debate/controversy/calm discussion got drudged up recently over on the Two Plus Two message forum when a poster called for PokerStars to respond to alleged rampant datamining going on in the site’s ever-popular Spin & Go tournaments. The general consensus: “Good luck with all of that.”

Poster “1v1” began the thread with the simple complaint:

EVERY Pokerstars spin and go within 30 seconds has 2 viewers appear and stay for the duration of the match from .50-100$ . I want an explanation from management why. There is consistently up to 5 viewers for every 2X game and i have played thousands. I have not had ONE game without a viewer. If security is this poor that this is indeed datamining than this should be shared with shareholders that games offered on there investment are NOT being properly policed.

Of course, a table having observers doesn’t necessarily mean anything, as plenty of people rail online poker tables. But 1v1’s point is that there is no reason for anyone, let alone multiple people, to observe thousands of his games, especially those where the prize pool is only twice the big blind. Thus, it seems that these are not real people watching the tables at all, but rather automated “bot” programs setup to observe every game and screen-scrape hand history information.

Datamining is a touchy subject in online poker, as most people feel that it is either cheating or at least wildly against the spirit of the game to acquire millions of hands of data on thousands upon thousands of players against whom the collector has never played a single hand, all in an effort to use that information to gain a competitive advantage in games or to sell to someone else seeking said advantage. Some players, which represent the minority, don’t see it as anything wrong, since online poker games are open for the public to see. Others see datamining as something that benefits the poker community, as the more hand data that’s out there, the easier it is to track down cheaters, like in the Absolute Poker and UltimateBet superuser scandals.

Regardless of how people feel about datamining, though, it is against PokerStars’ terms of service. In the “Third Party Tools and Services FAQ” on PokerStars’ website, the answer to what kinds of tools and services are prohibited is cut and dry.  “The practice of datamining (observing games without playing in order to build up a database of hand histories for future reference) is prohibited,” bullet point number four reads.

A few days after 1v1 posted his original comment, PokerStars Sit & Go and Tournament Manager Baard Dahl responded:


We are aware that there are sites that collect data from all our games, and we are taking steps to prevent them from doing so. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as flipping a switch, but we have dealt with the issue in the Zoom games, and we expect that we will be able to roll out a solution for the Spin & Gos as well. We are hoping to do so in Q1 of 2016, though it is possible we will have to revise that date.

After the Spin & Go solution is in place, our other games will be covered as quickly as possible.


No further hints have been given as to what the preventative steps will be.

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