Posts Tagged ‘Pokerstars’

PokerStars New “Double Bubble” Tournaments Will Give More Players Prizes

by | Published: Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Pokerstars Pokerstars announced at the beginning of the week that its 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will feature two new “Double Bubble” tournaments. In these new events, PokerStars will stretch the payout structure so that more players can take home a cut of the prize pool. In fact, prize money will be distributed to 50 percent of the field rather than the typical nine final table players.

“Most of us in the business have come to believe that paying out more of the field is better,” wrote PokerStars’ Head of Poker Communications Lee Jones. “That is, increasing the number of players who get something back is preferable to putting an extra bonus on top of the already staggering size of the prizes at the top.”

pokerstars caribbean adventure 2015So working from that belief, and with the goal of awarding paid places to as many players as possible, PokerStars developed the “Double Bubble” tournaments. How they work is that the introduction of a second bubble gives half the field the possibility to take home some prize money. The name itself is “borrowed and adapted” from the name of a classic brand of American bubble gum.

Under the new format, half of the original starting field will receive a refund on their buy-in amount as soon as that point is reached in an event. The players that reach this level will immediately be refunded, without wasting time in queue at the cashier.

“When we get down to half the field, we’re going to return the original buy-in to all remaining players,” Jones explained. “So suppose it’s a $1000+$100 event with 80 runners. When 40 players are left, we walk around and drop $1100 in cash (or chips) in front of each of the remaining 40 players.”

When this cash giveaway is complete, all the remaining players will restart play to reach the second bubble, which marks the moment when the people still in play will be able to add extra money to their buy-in refund.

“The money that’s left is distributed in an eight-percent payout structure,” Jones continued, showing how the new structure does not dramatically change the standard payout model, which generally distributes prizes to approximately 10 percent of the field.

“So there are really two bubbles — [one] at 50 percent of the field and [one at] eight percent of the field,” Jones said.

While the main idea behind the new “Double Bubble” events is to increase the overall fun by increasing the number of places paid, Jones admitted that the decision also came about by looking at the deals that are often made at final tables.

“Look at all the final-table deals,” Jones stated. “If everybody really wanted that almost unimaginably large first prize, then deals wouldn’t happen. But in point of fact, they happen almost all the time. No matter whether it’s nervous amateurs afraid of playing for huge sums or seasoned pros trying to reduce the variance, there seems to be a universal appetite for deal making.”

Another major factor in the creation of the new format came from looking at the way players approach the bubble, and that many look forward to scoring even a min-cash because they have something to show for their game.

“Let’s talk about the bubble,” Jones said. “For all the people who talked about not wanting to min-cash, look at the wave of ‘chip and a chair’ behavior as the bubble approaches. Those people are not making ICM-optimal decisions to maximize their chances for a final table; they’re doing whatever it will take to get to the money. The very smallest minimum payoff.

“My point is this: whatever people’s plans and dreams are at the beginning of a tournament, for most folks there comes a point where locking up some money right now is preferable to the possibility of more money later,” said Jones. “Call it the ‘bird in the hand’ theory.”

The first-ever $2,200 “Double Bubble” Pokerstars Pokerstars event is set to start at the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on January 5, while the second one — with identical buy-in and structure — will begin on January 8.

Amaya CEO Discusses Return of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to America

by | Published: Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Amaya Gaming CEO David Baazov explained his company’s acquisition of the Rational Group during a conference call on Wednesday. He explained that the way millions of poker players have come to love playing at Pokerstars Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker will not undergo any change.

amaya pokerstars and full tilt poker acquisition“We are strongly committed to Rational maintaining this focus in order for the game experience to remain as enjoyable and exciting as ever for online poker players,” Baazov explained.

“We’re very excited with the progress of Amaya during the quarter. The company has been transformed through its acquisition of the Rational Group, which we announced during the quarter and which was completed on August 1.

“The second quarter was a transformative period for Amaya as we announced and completed well ahead of schedule our acquisition of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, which collectively hold a healthy majority of the market share in online poker,” he continued.

“Led by its highly experienced management team, Rational Group provides Amaya with a strong platform for growth in revenues and profitability and will be significantly accretive to our earnings.

“The worldwide recognition of the PokerStars and Full Tilt brands, bolstered by being the largest producer of live poker tours and events across the globe and producer of televised and online poker programming, also provides Rational with an enormous opportunity to take advantage of adjacency opportunities in online casino and sportsbook, in jurisdictions where they can be offered – while growing in new geographies,” Baazov continued, hinting at the possibility for both PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to enter the US regulated poker market again soon.

There is a plan to expand the brand to online casino gambling and sports betting, like Bovada Poker Bovada Poker, but this development will not take away any focus or importance of the poker business.

“[Amaya] is determined that that they not provide any disruption to the core poker offering, and that the new vertical offerings are as robust and enjoyable as Rational’s online poker,” Baazov reassured.

Full Tilt Poker already offers casino games, but the plan is to expand the company’s flagship PokerStars with a casino twist.

“The company has launched casino games on Full Tilt in 2014 through its downloadable poker client,” Baazov said. “The results this far have been encouraging, though the exposure to the percentage of Rational’s player base is still quite low. There has not been a major marketing push behind it as yet.”

There is no clear timeline for the launch of the company’s first casino platform, but all signs point towards an imminent change. PokerStars’ Spanish subsidiary has already secured licenses to offer blackjack and roulette and Rational Group applied for a similar license in Italy last month.

Baazov explained that “we expect growth in 2014 in [our new] initiatives, notably in online casino, as the company continues to develop its technology platforms up to its high standards and works with various regulators to certify its solution.”

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PokerStars 2014 World Championship of Online Poker Schedule

by | Published: Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Once again, the richest online poker tournament series in the world will be taking place in September.

pokerstars WCOOPLast week, Pokerstars Pokerstars released its schedule for the 2014 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), which will run from September 7 – 28. The annual online series will offer a variety of popular games and formats in 66 events with a total $40 million in guaranteed prize money.

The event kicks off with a $109 no-limit hold’em WCOOP event on Sunday, September 7 at 8:00 AM ET but the fun doesn’t stop there with two $215 no-limit hold’em events scheduled for opening day, including a Sunday Million special tournament with $1.5 million guaranteed.

As we’ve come to expect, the festival will be highlighted by a $5,200 buy-in Main Event with a $10 million guaranteed prize pool. The two-day Main Event will take place September 28-29 and, for the first time ever, the final will be broadcast live.

One of the most exciting additions to this year’s roster is the side promotion that will see four protégés win training from Team PokerStars Pros (Andre Akkari, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Eugene Katchalov, and Vanessa Selbst), and receive buy-ins to three events, including the $5,200 Main Event. The protégés will be voted for by the general public and can be followed on PokerStars’s facebook page.

Last year’s event was a complete success with PokerStars handing out more than $62 million across 66 events, crushing the $40 million in guarantees offered. The total number of tournament entrants across the series was 144,945, up nearly 15 percent on the 2012 total of 126,041.

Online qualifiers to all the 2014 events are now live, with cash buy-ins starting from less than $1 and Frequent Player Point satellites from just 1 FPP. Continue reading for a look at the 2014 WCOOP schedule (all times EDT): (more…)

PokerStars Teams Up with Seminole Poker Open Championship

by | Published: Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Back in June, the Seminole Hard Rock casino in Hollywood, Florida moved the dates of its Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship (SHRPOC) series so as not to conflict with the European Poker Tour Barcelona, which was on at the same time.

Hollywood casino poker openNow, Seminole Hard Rock has teamed up with Pokerstars Pokerstars, who also happen to be the title sponsor of the EPT, to offer players the chance to buy into the SHRPOC Main Event via their online poker account.

The SHRPOC series is set to begin on August 14. It will feature 24 events, including the $5,300 Main Event with a $10 million guarantee on the 28th followed by a $100,000 Super High Roller on September 1, both of these events will allow reentries.

The SHRPOC Main Event begins a day after the EPT Barcelona concludes, giving players enough time to play in all the events if they wish.

“For the first time ever, PokerStars is offering players the option to buy into this live event via their poker account. Players can only buy into one Day 1, and this option is only available until August 24,” says a promotional page on

To buy-in, open the PokerStars lobby, head to the ‘More’ > ‘Special’ tabs and look for the ‘Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Championship’ tournament, where you can choose from Day 1a, 1b, or 1c.

Seminole made headlines in the poker world last year when it announced its $10 million guarantee Main Event. Last year’s $5,300 buy-in event exceeded the guarantee by nearly $2 million and Blair Hinkle took home a $1.75 million first-place prize after defeating Justin Bonomo in heads-up play.

Take a look at the complete SHRPOC schedule below:

2014 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open Schedule

Date Time Event Buy-in Tournament
Aug 14-17 11 AM 1 $350 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry) — $500,000 Guaranteed
Aug 14-15 12 PM 2 $250 Omaha 8
Aug 17 12 PM 3 $250 Deep Stack Turbo No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry) — $25,000 Guaranteed
Aug 17-18 3 PM 4 $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry) — $100,000 Guaranteed
Aug 18-20 11 AM 5 $150 No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry) — $150,000 Guaranteed
Aug 19 12 PM 6 $560 Black Chip Bounty PLO/No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry)
Aug 20 12 PM 7 $350 Big Stack Black Chip Bounty No-Limit Hold’em — $50,000 Guaranteed
Aug 21-24 11 AM 8 $560 Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry) — $1 Million Guaranteed
Aug 22-23 12 PM 9 $250 Seniors (50+) No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry)
Aug 23-24 12 PM 10 $250 H.O.R.S.E.
Aug 24 12 PM 11 $560 Double Black Chip Bounty No-Limit Hold’em — $50,000 Guaranteed
Aug 24-25 3 PM 12 $2,200 Eight Game Mix
Aug 25 12 PM 13 $350 Big Stack Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry) — $30,000 Guaranteed
Aug 25 3 PM 14 $250 Pot-Limit Omaha (Reentry)
Aug 26-27 3 PM 15 $2,200 Six-Max No-Limit Hold’em — $200,000 Guaranteed
Aug 28 – Sept 3 12 PM 16 $5,300 SHRPO Championship — $10 Million Guarantee (Reentry)
Aug 31 – Sept 1 3 PM 17 $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em — $100,000 Guaranteed (Reentry)
Sept 1 12 PM 18 $250 Holiday Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry) — $30,000 Guaranteed
Sept 1-3 12 PM 19 $100,000 Super High Roller Deep Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry)
Sept 1-2 3 PM 20 $1,650 Purple Chip Bounty No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry)
Sept 1-2 5 PM 21 $150 No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry) — $50,000 Guaranteed
Sept 2 12 PM 22 $250 Pot-Limit Omaha 8B (Reentry)
Sept 3 12 PM 23 $200 Big Stack No-Limit Hold’em (Reentry) — $50,000 Guaranteed


2015 Aussie Millions Schedule Announced

by | Published: Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Last Friday, Crown Melbourne announced its schedule for the illustrious Aussie Millions Poker Championship in 2015. The series will kick off the New Year, beginning on Wednesday, January 14 and running through to Monday, February 2, 2015. It will consist of 21 events.

crown: aussie millions logoHeadlining the schedule will be the ever-popular Aussie Millions Main Event, which will run from Sunday, January 25 through to Sunday, February 1. The winner of the Main Event will take home an estimated AU$1.6 million. This is the same grand prize Ami Barer took home in this year’s event, which was an event to remember. Barer topped a field of 668 players, defeating Sorel Mizzi along with an entire final table of poker pros in a final day that lasted a grueling 12 hours.

Also returning to the schedule for another year are the mouth-watering big buy-in “Challenge” events, which include the: $25,000 Challenge, $100,000 Challenge, and LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge. These “Challenge” tournaments draw impressive numbers, which aren’t limited to the impressive Main Event. In 2014, the $25K Challenge received 65 entries, the $100K Challenge drew 76 entries, and Phil Ivey topped a field of 46 entries to take out the LK Boutique $250K Challenge.

“Crown Melbourne’s Aussie Millions Poker Championship has effectively become one of the top poker majors and a favorite amongst some of the most renowned players in the world,” said Crown Melbourne’s Director of Poker Jim Preston. “And the stage has never been brighter.”

In 2014, the Aussie Millions Main Event partnered with the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour for the first time, and following a successful run it appears the partnership will remain in 2015. Because of the partnership, the Aussie Millions schedule has to be pushed back to begin later in January. This is to allow players the chance to compete in both the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure and the Aussie Millions. The PCA is scheduled to take place from January 6-14 in 2015, which means players travelling on to Melbourne won’t miss the majority of the Aussie Millions schedule.

Read on to see the full schedule for the 2015 Aussie Millions Schedule:

Date Time Event
Wed, Jan 14 6:15 PM #1: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Day 1a
Thurs, Jan 15 6:15 PM #1: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Day 1b
Fri, Jan 16 12:30 PM #1: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Day 1c
Sat, Jan 17 12:30 PM #1: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Day 1d
Sun, Jan 18 12:30 PM #1: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Day 2
  2:15 PM #2: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Shot-Clock Shootout
Mon, Jan 19 12:30 PM #3: $2,500 8-Game Mixed
Tues, Jan 20 12:30 PM #4: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em
Wed, Jan 21 12:30 PM #5: $1,150 Pot-Limit Omaha
  6:15 PM #6: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Accumulator Day 1a
Thurs, Jan 22 12:30 PM #7: $2,500 H.O.R.S.E.
  2:15 PM #6: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Accumulator Day 1b
Fri, Jan 23 12:30 PM #6: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Accumulator Day 1c
  2:15 PM #8: $25,000 Challenge Day 1
Sat, Jan 24 12:30 PM #6: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Accumulator Day 2
  2:15 PM #9: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Terminator
  2:30 PM #8: $25,000 Challenge Day 2
Sun, Jan 25 12:30 PM #10: $10,600 Main Event Day 1a
  2:15 PM #11: $100,000 Challenge Day 1
  2:30 PM #12: $1,650 No-Limit Hold’em Bounty
Mon, Jan 26 12:30 PM #10: $10,600 Main Event Day 1b
  2:15 PM #11: $100,000 Challenge Day 2
  2:30 PM #13: $1,150 Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions
Tues, Jan 27 12:30 PM #10: $10,600 Main Event Day 1c
  4:15 PM #14: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha
Wed, Jan 28 12:30 PM #10: $10,600 Main Event Day 2
  6:15 PM #15: $1,150 No-Limit Hold’em Mixed-Max
Thurs, Jan 29 12:30 PM #10: $10,600 Main Event Day 3
  2:15 PM #16: $2,500 Pot-Limit Omaha
Fri, Jan 30 12:30 PM #10: $10,600 Main Event Day 4
  2:15 PM #17: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Shot-Clock Six-Max
Sat, Jan 31 12:30 PM #18: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em “Deep Freeze” Day 1
  2:15 PM #11: $100,000 Challenge Day 3
  6:15 PM #19: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Max
Sun, Feb 1 12:15 PM #10: $10,600 Main Event Day 5
  12:30 PM #18: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em “Deep Freeze” Day 2
  2:15 PM #20: $1,150 Australian Poker Hall of Fame No-Limit Hold’em
  2:30 PM #21: The LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge Day 1
Mon, Feb 2 12:30 PM #18: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em “Deep Freeze” Day 3
  2:30 PM #21: The LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge Day 2


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