Showcase online tournament series begin, Fedor Holz signs with partypoker and more.
We are quickly approaching the final quarter of what has been a historic year for the poker industry as players establish themselves as a major marketing apparatus in promoting the game we all love.
Here is a look at the main poker industry story lines for the month of September 2017.
Online Poker Tournament Series Begin
Online poker tournaments are expected to dominate the industry landscape throughout this month, as the three major sites offer up well over $100 million USD in combined guaranteed cash prizes in an effort to attract players to their real money tables.
Partypoker — which has achieved major strides in traffic since mid-year — is placing $35,000,000 on the line while providing several “major” events that have multiple Day 1 flights in its Powerfest series.
Not to be outdone, PokerStars has $60 million up for grabs in its historic World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), while 888 Poker has $8,000,000 guaranteed in its XL Eclipse series.
Online poker tournaments are one of the best for-profit options for professional players who have been affected by a wave of cash game rake increases on sites like PokerStars.
They also grant casual players an excellent opportunity to take home a life-changing score. Satellite events are scheduled on all sites — giving those with a smaller bankroll a chance to qualify for a big event for a reduced fee.
Several big name personalities will be live streaming their real money online poker tournament play this month on Twitch, and it will be interesting to see which entertainers are able to make their way to a huge final table with thousands of fans watching in real time.
Aspiring for-profit players who are looking to invest in premium training to improve their chances of taking down a major tournament this month should check out our Tournament Master Class strategy course hosted by Pratyush Buddiga and Doug Polk. The duo have over $15 million in combined live tournament cashes along with a stellar online event resume.
Fedor Holz Signs with Partypoker
Renowned high roller poker tournament player Fedor Holz signed with partypoker this week. The announcement was made Friday by “CrownUpGuy” on his official Twitter account.
From this month on I'll partner with @partypoker. I'm excited about their plans for the future of poker and I'm happy to be part of it.
— Fedor Holz (@CrownUpGuy) September 1, 2017
The partnership appears to be a coup for PokerStars‘ main competitor and in-line with partypoker‘s apparent strategy to maintain an important link with veteran players.
However, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment has received its own share of criticism in recent months on the world’s largest poker forum TwoPlusTwo, where for-profit players — although supportive of partypoker’s large rakeback rewards for high volume players — are unsure if the move will result in more recreational players participating in real money games.
Upswing Poker contributor Miikka Anttonen is one of many players on Party who believe more budget priority should be allocated towards the site’s software, which is still viewed as far inferior to that of its main competitor.
Gotta love Fedor, but if Party spent 10% of their sponshorship budget on fixing all the ridiculous bugs maybe they could actually become #1
— Miikka Anttonen (@chuckbasspoker) September 1, 2017
Our readers can join-in on the conversation as it happens over at the TwoPlusTwo News, Views & Gossip forum.
PokerStars Limits Satellite Seats to Live Events
In another big announcement this week, PokerStars released a statement that it will no longer allow players to win “multiple seats” into a live event through its online satellite qualifiers. The decision will limit each PokerStars player to One Seat and One Package — effectively ending a long-standing practice of professionals cashing in by qualifying several times for the same live event.
“For the first time ever at PokerStars there is a limit on the number of packages and seats that can be won by an individual player. Players can now win only one full package and one seat,” stated Mike Jones on the official PokerStars Blog.
TwoPlusTwo contributors have given positive feedback on this move for the most part. Although the change will significantly impact “satellite grinders” who have made at least part of their living from qualifying for multiple seats, it also provides casual players and fans with a better shot at experiencing a major live poker event.
This in turn renews the debate over whether game selection and availability of traditional formats will remain plentiful for newer, recreational players as the changes are implemented.
Professional players have historically been willing to “open sit” games where they have a perceived edge which gives all players more round-the-clock access to a wider range of options. Without this, it is feared that many formats will simply cease to exist as PokerStars and other sites continue to herd their newer players towards higher rake, lottery-style games.
Regardless, much of the focus in September will be on the various online poker tournament series that are being hosted on poker sites throughout the world. Best of luck to all of our readers who will be participating in real money online poker tournament series this month!
David Huber (known as “dhubermex” online) has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade. He currently assists several poker and gaming entities as a researcher, writer, and consultant. Former Editor-in-Chief & Head Moderator of online tournament rankings site PocketFives (2006-2011).