In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
Improved PokerStars Chests in US Markets
PokerStars has announced that they are improving the probabilities of better payouts in their rewards program in the US markets Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To be more precise, the odds of getting the average value of a particular chest have now been increased to more than half the time (odds have been bumped from 20% to 58%).
Most of these changes affect low-level tiers which makes sense to improve the overall experience of the majority of the players that are recreational. Professional and high volume players will still very likely complain about this reward system. However, it’s good to see PokerStars experimenting with different set-ups in smaller markets as this means they are likely to roll out some of the changes in the bigger markets should they be successful.
Spin & Gos now available in Pennsylvania
And while we are at PokerStars in the US, there is another update for players in Pennsylvania. PokerStars now also offers Spin & Gos in the state, which they hadn’t since their launch for some unknown reason.
Now that the two partypoker-based clients of BetMGM PA and Borgata Poker PA launched with SPINS, the partypoker version of jackpot sit & gos, PokerStars also announced the launch of their Spin & Go product. Players now have the availability of $1 to $25 spins with a top prize of $25k in the highest buy-in tier.
No more cash games for Germans on Unibet
The new proposed tax on online gambling is being seen as the killing blow for online poker in Germany. The addition of a 5.3% tax on cash games will mean that these games are simply not beatable anymore. Many German poker players and poker operators fear the death of online poker traffic altogether.
There are rumours that the German online gambling tax is not going to be approved by the European Union, but time is short. The new law is set to be in place on July 1st and poker and casino sites have to comply in order to get licensed.
Unibet has now announced their reaction to this tax by cutting all their cash games and sit & go offerings. In addition to that also the loyalty system will be missing for German players. It’s going to be interesting to see what other sites are going to do and what changes they will apply to their products.
For German players it will more and more look like they will either need to leave the country if they want to pursue a profitable career or side career and if they are recreationals they might just go play on unlicensed sites in the “underground”.
partypoker colab with McLaren
Entain, the mothership of PartyCasino and partypoker, has agreed to a long term deal with the Formula 1 Grand Prix racing team of McLaren. The logos will already be visible at the next event at the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo on 23rd May.
It’s a great step for Entain and it might be an even bigger for online poker. The viewership of Formula 1 events is spectacular and to get eyeballs on one of the world’s biggest poker sites can only help to bring in new players to the game.
More online events announced
The online poker bonanza is not ending. More online poker action has been announced and here is a quick overview of what’s new.
Bounty Builder Turbo Series on PokerStars
PokerStars will hold another tournament series, combining progressive knockouts with turbo and thus creating the Bounty Builder Turbo Series. The $25 million guaranteed series will run from 23rd May to 6th June and feature 184 tournaments with buy-ins from $5.50 to $5,200.
888poker XL Series
888poker has announced a spring series, starting on 30th May and running until 6th June. The series will feature 25 events with a total guarantee of $1 million.
Lex Not Live
Hopefully, this is one of the last events that need to move online as we are more and more coming back to a live poker schedule around the world. Lex Live events were some of the most loved events of poker and Lex Veldhuis fans. Unfortunately, this is now the second time the event is moving online. But this also gives players from other corners of the world an opportunity to play with the legend himself.
The series is already running and can still be played until 23rd May on PokerStars.