PokerStars looking to monopolize Speed Poker

Over the past few months, the speed poker genre has really heated up with a number of sites launching their own fast variant. In fact, this trend inspired us to write tips about playing faster poker games a few weeks ago.

Getting to the point, it now looks as if PokerStars is fighting to make sure they’re the only site where you can enjoy speed poker. This version of the game – which sees players whisked away to another table when their action in a hand is completed – was first introduced by Full Tilt when they rolled out Rush Poker. However, their demise from April to June of 2011 left the door wide open for other competitors to copy Rush.

PokerStars was actually the first room to mimic the idea after rolling out Zoom Poker. This highly-successful speed poker variant eventually drew the ire of former Full Tilt management, which attempted to patent their invention despite an inability to run games (license was taken away). Stars of course argued that fast poker wasn’t something which could actually be patented.

It’s funny how things come around because now it’s Stars which is trying to patent the genre since they purchased Full Tilt from the US DOJ. More specifically, they want Relax Gaming (Fast Poker), Microgaming (Blaze Poker), Party Poker (FastForward) and Titan Poker (Speed Hold’em) to cease their speed operations.

Of course, this all seems a bit hypocritical since it wasn’t too long ago when Stars was stealing the concept. Instadeal Network CEO Per Hildebrand spoke about this when he said, “The funny part is that their lawyers once must have concluded that the product is not patent-able. They launched Zoom and now want to argue it is.”

Obviously Hildebrand has a point here since he and other companies are merely doing exactly what PokerStars did. Of course, these things still have a funny way of playing out in court.

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