It’s been a few weeks since PokerStars made the controversial decision to switch all of their regular high stakes games (50/100 NLHE, PLO and up) to Zoom Poker format. And Stars recently struck again by changing their $25/$50 PLO games to Zoom on February 1st.
Given these huge changes, a poster on TwoPlusTwo raised a good question about if PokerStars is set on transitioning all of their cash game formats to Zoom. Here’s a look at the OP:
First it was 50/100 NLHE/PLO, now 25/50 PLO, eventually they will do this at 10/20 and maybe 5/10. I think lower limits won’t be changed, but who knows..
As Stars Head of Poker Communications Lee Jones said back in December, the idea behind switching games to Zoom format is to eliminate what’s become a predatory environment. Rather than top-ranked players consistently clashing in high stakes games, online poker has become a place where pros are far more worried about seeking out fish. As another TwoPlusTwo poster put it:
yea they do this to prevent the current predator system which leads to auto-sitting when a fish sits and auto-leaving when the fish leaves. it’s bumhunting to the extreme and it has to be dealt with
Going back to the OP, will Stars eventually become a place where the only cash action is Zoom? This is an experiment right now, so the answer to this question depends on if players are largely happy with the changes, and if Stars is happy with their profits. The world’s largest online poker site can more than live with a few disgruntled regs as long as they’re continually attracting fresh recreational players and making money.
Until PokerStars can move into the United States and other unfriendly, but lucrative markets, it seems that they’ve hit a ceiling. So look for them to keep testing Zoom in other stakes to try and get something going in the profits department. And even if they lose regs over this move, a good portion of these players will go to the Rational Group’s (PokerStars) other site, Full Tilt.