PokerStars Intros Hyper-Fast Poker and Tests Anonymous Tables
For a company that has lessened its focus on internet poker in the past few years, PokerStars remains busy with innovations and ideas for its poker offerings.
The latest innovation is Spin & Go Flash, an even faster version of the Spin & Go turbo SNGs. The PokerStars announcement said it will be “lightning speed” poker.
PokerStars is also testing new anonymous tables, ones that will be optional and possibly with the ability to turn the feature on and off. The “stealth mode” is only in its testing phase and not ready yet for wide release. In fact, there is little information available at this time.
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It’s been a busy few weeks for PokerStars, having recently released Chat Plays Poker as a participation-based cash game in conjunction with Jason Somerville and Run It Up. PokerStars also removed 6+ Hold’em Spin & Gos from its offerings but added the option for players to show their stacks in number of big blinds instead of chip values. The site also announced the first-ever Virtual Reality Poker Tour (VRPT) and a chance for a player to become the first VR Ambassador.
PokerStars also announced the 2019 Bounty Builder Series to begin this weekend.
There was also the matter of PokerStars’ parent company, The Stars Group, announcing its acquisition by Flutter Entertainment. The £10 billion deal was quite newsworthy, taking investors by storm and creating one of the largest online gambling companies in the world.
Other than those things, it’s likely been fairly quiet over at PokerStars.
Spin & Go Flash Games
By fairly quiet, we mean launching a new version of one of the site’s most popular innovations.
Spin & Go is the fast-fold sit-n-go poker offered on PokerStars. Players buy in, and they’re assigned to a three-handed table, at which time a prize is generated. It could be as much as 10,000 times the buy-in.
The normal Spin & Go is a fast game with a hyper-turbo structure and 500-chip starting stacks. Blind levels are three minutes long.
Launching today on @PokerStars, a new (even faster) version of Spin & Go…
— PokerStarsBlog (@PokerStarsBlog) October 11, 2019
Now, PokerStars is introducing Spin & Go Flash games. They launched this week on the dot-com, European, and Italian sites, but more will follow in the weeks and months to come.
Spin & Go Flash is a hyper-fast version of the regularly-fast-paced Spin & Go. Players will receive a starting stack of 300 chips, and blinds will increase every one minute.
The buy-ins currently available are $0.25 to $1,000.00, and the top prize is $1 million.
When a player buys in to a Spin & Go, they will be given the choice of the regular one or the Flash version.
PokerStars’ Managing Director of Poker Severin Rasset commented, “We want to give our players plenty of choice and have a wide range of formats and variants available to cater for all player preferences.” He went on to say that Spin & Go Flash is the perfect game for those who have only a few minutes to play.
Many online poker sites have tested and/or switched to anonymous tables in some way. Bovada began it nearly a decade ago to allow players to keep pros from attaching hand histories to their screen names and figuring out their play.
The Microgaming Poker Network offered the option, as did iPoker sites.
At a glance, a list of online poker operators & whether they offer anonymous tables.
— pokerfuse (@pokerfuse) October 11, 2019
The new Run It Once Poker, the poker site launched earlier this year by poker pro Phil Galfond, made it mandatory. Galfond explained that fictitious names would disincentivize HUD users.
PokerStars is now ready to try it as an option for players.
As revealed exclusively by Pokerfuse, the anonymous tables will be optional. Players can choose the tables with a “stealth” icon next to them. Players will then likely be able to toggle in and out of stealth mode at each table.
As for hand histories, they will be displayed a day after the play occurs with player screen names.
🕵️POKERSTARS STEALTH MODE 🕵️
Find out what we know about the new Stealth Mode feature from PokerStars in our EXCLUSIVE feature. https://t.co/ubZgM5XcO4
— pokerfuse (@pokerfuse) October 11, 2019
Rasset commented that PokerStars is always seeking to try new things and collect feedback from players. As for the anonymous tables, he noted that they will monitor them very closely “as the overall player experience and health of our poker ecosystem is top priority for us.”
He also added, “This feature has been developed with the integrity of the game at its core, and in order to ensure our players continue to fee secure, they will have access to hand histories with the UserID of their opponents exposed 24 hours after the hand has been played.”
There is no date set for the testing to begin, and Rasset said that all other details will be revealed in the coming months.