Posts Tagged ‘Power’

Partypoker to Roll Out Software Update, New Power Series Schedule

 Partypoker to Roll Out Software Update, New Power Series Schedule

On Friday, partypoker announced that it will release a software update on February 24th which will “see a number of significant improvements to the playing experience.” In the same blog post, the online poker also revealed that it will launch the new Power Series on March 5th. Let’s take a closer look at each.

The software update appears to largely cosmetic, though cosmetic can be good if it makes it easier to see what’s going on at the virtual tables. In the partypoker blog post, the following changes were listed:

• Re-introduction of the oval shaped table alongside the existing table design
• New and improved player plates with larger fonts, improving players’ multi-tabling experience
• Improved display of player notes
• A brand new time-bank indicator
• A number of smaller enhancements, improving the look and feel of the tables

So, nothing earth-shattering, but if things on the table are easier to see and read, especially for multi-tablers, these changes should be positive.

As for the Power Series, we will have to wait and see, as the new schedule won’t be revealed until March. Partypoker says the new schedule will have “increased guarantees, an improved mix of game types and optimised structures.”

And since this is online poker, there will be leader boards. The weekly Power Series leader boards will start March 5th and will be divided into low, medium, and high buy-in levels in order to give as many players as possible a chance to earn rewards. The top ten players each week on the high leader board will receive a $ 5,300 seat to the Millions Online tournament later this year. Those who finish in the top ten more than once will receive $ 5,300 in tournament dollars.

The top twenty players on each leader board will receive prizes. The medium and low winners won’t get Millions Online seats, but rather tournament ticket prizes valued at $ 22 to $ 530.

Partypoker says the leader boards will pay out $ 60,000 per week in prizes, though it was not exactly clear in the blog post if that means $ 60,000 per leader board or $ 60,000 total across all three leader boards. It is likely the latter, as the ten $ 5,300 buy-in awards would leave $ 7,000 in prizes for the remaining 50 winners. That works out to an average of $ 140 per person, which seems reasonable, considering many of the prizes on the low and medium leader boards will probably be in the $ 22 range or slightly higher. $ 60,000 split among twenty people on a low buy-in leader board would be a bit much.

In the first month, the leader board prizes will be doubled in total value, as will the number of winners.

On the blog, partypoker Managing Director Tom Waters said:

We know that our players were expecting our 2018 Leaderboard promotion to start immediately after Powerfest, however we want the players to benefit from the enhanced playing experience on the new tables when working towards the leaderboard prizes. Therefore we have decided to delay the Leaderboard promotion until Monday 5th March to coincide with the launch of the new MTT schedule. We wanted to ensure that the players do not miss out on any value and therefore we have doubled the Leaderboard giveaway for the first month.

The post Partypoker to Roll Out Software Update, New Power Series Schedule appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair Competing to Acquire CrownBet

 William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair Competing to Acquire CrownBet

Gambling industry consolidation talks have started up again, this time with Australian bookmaker CrownBet as the acquisition target by both William Hill and Paddy Power Betfair. CrownBet is 62 percent owned by Crown Resorts – Crown Melbourne is the host venue of the popular Aussie Millions poker series – which is itself part of James Packer’s gambling empire.

The news of William Hill’s interest in CrownBet broke late last week and a William Hill spokesperson confirmed to financial media that there were “very preliminary discussions” going on between the two companies.

That spokesperson, though, cautioned against anyone getting too excited over a possible deal, saying, “This industry is undergoing consolidation and people in the sector talk to each other all the time. Don’t look too much into this as a firing gun.”

William Hill got into the Australian sports betting market several years ago, when it bought Sportingbet and It has not done well in Australia, though. Canaccord Genuity analyst Simon Davies told The Telegraph that the move has been “fairly disastrous.”

Fortunately, Australia only comprises about six to seven percent of William Hill’s sports betting business.

Not long after the word got out about William Hill’s talks with Crown, Reuters reported that Ireland-based Paddy Power Betfair was also courting the Australian company. No further details have been forthcoming.

Both Paddy Power Betfair and William Hill have been involved in the gambling industry’s consolidation in recent years. Paddy Power and Betfair, once rivals, agreed to a merger in August 2015. Paddy Power owners controlled 52 percent of the company in the deal. It was one of the rare combinations in which the two companies had a strong understanding of the other before the merger took place, as Betfair CEO Breon Corcoran was once COO of Paddy Power.

Edward Wray, co-founder and Chairman of Betfair, told The Financial Times of Corcoran back then, “He knows both businesses inside out. Often when you do a merger, it is 25 per cent known and 75 per cent unknown. This is the other way around.”

William Hill has been very active in the M&A arena. In 2015, the company was thought to be one of the suitors for and before that, it attempted to acquire 888 Holdings. William Hill was in talks to merge with Gala Coral, as well, in 2015, but nothing ever happened there. Gala Coral eventually joined up with Ladbrokes.

Last year, in a reversal, 888 Holdings attempted to acquire William Hill, teaming with The Rank Group to do so. William Hill rejected multiple bids by the duo, rankling 888 owner Eyal Shaked, who tweeted, “Pure ego made #WilliamHill reject #Rank and #888 £3.16bn bid and that will be their downfall.”

Also in 2016, William Hill and Amaya Gaming – now The Stars Group, parent company of PokerStars – were in talks about a “merger of equals.” Mads Eg Gensmann and Edoardo Mercadante, co-founders of Parvus Asset Management, William Hill’s largest shareholder, hated the deal, writing to the William Hill board, “We strongly encourage that the board and management stops wasting valuable time and shareholder resources pursuing this value-destroying deal.”

Eventually, talks were canceled. Stay tuned to find out if William Hill finally finds a merger partner.

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Power Up Expands to More PokerStars Domains

 Power Up Expands to More PokerStars Domains

It now looks like if you have the ability to play on PokerStars for real money from wherever you live and DON’T have access to the new Power Up game, you are in the minority. After initially only rolling the game out to the .EU platform a couple weeks ago, PokerStars has now expanded it to .UK and the flagship site, .COM.

As happens sometimes with online games and technology in general, Power Up actually ran into a technical snag two days after launch, forcing PokerStars to take the game down for a while. At 2:00pm ET on October 11th, just the second day of Power Up’s official real money existence, it was removed from the client software mysteriously, though the company did say on Twitter that it had something to do with the mobile version of the game.

Half a day later, Lee Jones went online to explain that for some reason, the mobile PokerStars lobby was only allowing players to search or filter for Power Up games, rather than all games on the client.

“As a result,” he said, “we have removed PowerUp from our desktop and mobile platforms in order to ensure players continue to have a high quality experience. It is important to note that the Power Up real money experience was not impacted and performed as we had expected.”

Last week, on October 17th, Power Up was put back online.

PokerStars has also added buy-in levels. I had originally reported that there were buy-in options of $ 1, $ 3, $ 7, and $ 15, as that’s what the PokerStars’ website said, but as I am in a state in the U.S. not called New Jersey, I can’t play for real money and, in fact, can’t even SEE the PokerStars lobby. Thus, I was unable to verify that the only buy-ins at launch were $ 1 and $ 3. According to reports (it’s really sad, frankly, that I have to rely on a report for this and can’t just look at the lobby and/or observe games), $ 7 and $ 15 buy-ins have launched this week.

So far, the early reviews of Power Up have been positive, as players have been enjoying the added complexity and strategy the “power” cards bring to the table. PokerStars even came up with a back story for Power Up, which is really bizarre for a poker game:

Clean and renewable energy abounds, bioengineers have eliminated world hunger and the world remains connected at all times through Continuous Presence. However human nature demands competition which is satisfied through intellectual sport. The biggest of all of these, is Power Up. Key to its success and dominance are the nine powers, which require new strategies and approaches to be learnt to master the tactics for success.

Power Up employs completely different player avatars than does other PokerStars games and the poker room has even invented short bios of each character. Murray Hoarsebark, for example, is from the nation “Canine Legion,” has a “slow, thoughtful” play style, is good at spotting bluffs, but allows self-doubt to creep into his game.

Right now, players are automatically assigned an avatar each time they sit down (despite the bios, the avatar has no effect on gameplay – it’s just for show), but apparently PokerStars will allow players to choose their character at some point in the future.

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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.

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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.

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