Posts Tagged ‘Spin & Gos’

ESports: Poker Savior or Competition?

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

poker-esportsThe past couple years have seen eSports rise to an unprecedented level, as gamers look to use their video gaming skills to compete and make money. Meanwhile, global online poker traffic continues decreasing at a noticeable rate amid complaints of excessive HUD use and heavy regulation across the world. So does this mean that eSports will soon scoop up all the recs who would have, in the past, turned to poker?

Perhaps not…in fact, eSports could actually offer some sort of popularity boost for online poker as we head into the future. We need only look at the rapid rise of Hearthstone – a collectible card game in the same vein as Magic: The Gathering – for what eSports can do for a game.

So it’s little surprise that poker entrepreneurs like Global Poker Index founder Alex Dreyfus and Amaya CEO David Baazov are looking for ways to reinvent the ole’ Texas Hold’em concept. In Baazov’s case, he wants “a new poker variant targeting the large and growing skilled videogaming community.”

david-baazov-pokerstarsHow is this going to happen? At this point nobody really knows, but it’s clear that the business side of poker is looking for ways to put a new spin on an old game. “Spin” is the appropriate word here because Amaya has already proven that their Spin & Go’s (combo of poker/lottery) have worked at PokerStars. So we can only imagine what the Stars team is cooking up now to blend poker and eSports.

Going back to the original point over whether eSports are a threat to poker, well, the latter still has one big advantage – money. Daniel Negreanu recently said that he loves playing Hearthstone, but it would be a financially poor decision to quit poker for the Hearthstone circuit. If anything, it seems like eSports will be a great service in revitalizing online poker and bringing more amateurs to the felt.

Martijn Ardon breaks Sick Supernova Record at PokerStars

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

martijn-ardon-pokerMartijn Ardon has been a high-volume online poker grinder for years, but even he outdid himself by setting a sick Supernova Elite record at PokerStars.

Ardon, who also goes by the name “Quadchrazs,” becomes the fastest player ever to reach Supernova Elite status after accomplishing this feat in 51 days. Considering that becoming a Supernova Elite requires earning 1 million VPPs in a year, that’s inhumanly fast! Further adding to the lore is that the Dutchman could have accomplished this feat quicker, but he had a stomach illness for one week. Even still, he managed to best the old record held by Andrew “azntracker” Li by seven days.

According to Ardon, chasing this mark was merely an afterthought when he got off to a good start in 2015. After playing a high volume for the first three days of the year, he decided to go for the VPP record. What ensued was a 12-hour poker schedule that included over 1,000 sit and go’s every day. His game of choice was $100 SNGs, although he mixed some $60 Spin & Go’s, fifty50 SNGs and satellite hypers into his schedule as well.

Given all of the online poker that Ardon was playing, you’d have thought he would’ve found it boring after a while. However, he describes it as being pretty intense when trying to play well in each SNG. “It’s funny, people ask me this sometimes about SNGs,” said Ardon. “If you think SNGs are boring you miss a lot of important stuff to take into account! It’s more like a lot of stress than it is boring!”

If there’s anybody who can handle this stress, though, it’s definitely a guy like Ardon who plays thousands of SNGs in a week without wavering. But now that he’s reached the record, he can sit back, enjoy high VIP benefits and play some other games.

Daniel Negreanu fully agrees with PokerStars’ Changes

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

PokerStars has started to look like a completely different site over the past few months. They’ve dropped famous pros, increased rake for certain games, introduced Spin & Gos, added currency exchange rates and have reduced upper VIP rewards.

Obviously you don’t make all of these changes without ruffling a few feathers, which is exactly what’s happened in PokerStars’ case. Many regulars are outraged because some of the moves directly affect their bottom line. And they are pointing the finger directly at Amaya Gaming, which recently purchased Stars for $4.9 million.

But the company’s most-prominent sponsored player, Daniel Negreanu, thinks a little differently on the matter. Writing in his blog at FullContactPoker, Negreanu explained that many of PokerStars’ recent moves are meant to bring new players to the game, rather than gouge everybody for money. He also explains that most of these changes were coming before Amaya bought the site:

I wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about some of the recent changes at PokerStars and throw in my two cents. First of all, I think it’s really important to note that most of the recent changes were going to happen well before the new ownership group took over. The online poker landscape has changed over the last few years and many of these changes were inevitable in a competitive market for the company to continue to be the world leader. While I get it, nobody gets excited over rake increases, I think it’s really important to note that PokerStars remains the cheapest place to play online poker. The rake increases are still smaller than what the competition offer, and that’s before you account for the generous VIP programs.

It’s not hard to tell who’s side Negreanu is on after reading this post. So his opinion definitely won’t win him any favor with some of the die-hard regulars at PokerStars. But he and Stars both maintain that the changes are necessary to stay competitive with other poker sites and draw new players.

There’s probably definitely some truth to this, however, most of the players’ complaints about increased rake and currency fees also hold validity – especially when Stars is far and away the market leader.