In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
partypoker Enjoys 47% growth in 2020
The poker section of Entain PLC (formerly GLC Holdings) might just be 4% of their business, but a 47% growth in revenue is still something to highlight in the company’s annual report.
As for many other online businesses, 2020 meant a rise in traffic while people stayed at home and tried to find alternatives for an outdoors life during the pandemic. So, a rise in revenue for an online service like partypoker comes as no surprise.
Still, 47% more active customers than in 2019 and almost double numbers for first-time depositors is nothing to sneeze at. partypoker focussed more on attracting casual players in 2020 and it looks like this strategy worked out pretty well. Especially when considering regulatory restrictions in key markets, specifically Germany.
A big focus of Entain will now be to push more into the U.S. market and expand their offerings, online and offline to more states.
23% growth for PokerStars
Not just Entain published their annual reports, also Flutter, the parent company of PokerStars aimed to delight their shareholders with positive numbers for the year 2020.
While the whole group’s revenue grew by 28%, PokerStars’ growth in 2020 was 23% (£1,225m). Flutter’s growth came not just down to the alround rise in traffic, but also because of the Stars Group acquisition. PokerStars makes up about 45% of Flutter’s results.
And just as Entain is planning for 2021, Flutter has a big focus on expanding their offerings to the ultra competitive U.S. market.
PokerStars introduces SCOOP dates and badges
And while we’re at PokerStars – the poker giant has announced the dates for the prestigious Spring Championship Of Online Poker (SCOOP) for 2021.
The popular series will take place from 4th to 28th April. Any details about guarantees or offered tournaments will be released soon, but for now all poker fans can mark these dates in their calendars.
In addition to this announcement PokerStars also presented a new feature in their software, Pokerstars Prestige. It sounds more fancy than it actually is as we’re talking about achievement badges.
So, let’s say you win a Sunday Million or maybe a SCOOP event, you will receive a badge that is going to be displayed on your avatar while you’re playing at the PokerStars tables. It doesn’t do anything other than display your achievement for bragging rights.
888poker WPT DeepStacks Online Series
Interesting news came from the World Poker Tour (WPT) last week. They announced a collaboration with 888Poker in hosting the WPT DeepStacks Online Series. This is not just interesting as it’s not the usual collaboration between WPT and partypoker, but especially as it’s a cross-continent event series synching up three different regions.
888poker is going to host three WPT DeepStacks events at the same time between 18th and 26th April:
- WPTDS Iberia Online – Portugal and Spain
- WPTDS Italy Online – Italy
- WPTDS London Online – Rest of World, excluding the US
Each of the networks will play out 16 tournaments. So, there will be 48 winners and a WPT DeepStacks trophy for each one.
The total guarantee for this event is $3 million, with $2 million of that alone for the WPTDS London Online portion.
Unibet moves all 2021 events online
The up-and-coming poker provider Unibet announced an early decision for the 2021 live poker schedule in moving all events online for the rest of the year.
Unibet was one of the first to react fast in 2020 and is proving to continue this trend in 2021. Instead of scrambling throughout the year, waiting for regional decisions on the execution of live events, they will simply focus on making the online experience the focus.
While many other poker operators drip feed information about live events, or having to revise decisions with the constantly changing state of covid restrictions, we can now safely say that there will be no live Unibet events in 2021 – unless they decide to add some later in a surprise move.
GGPoker Network announces Omaholic Series
And there is more online action. GGPoker Network has announced the Omaholic Series, a tournament series, solely focused on the popular poker game Omaha.
The festival will have $7 million guaranteed and run from 14th to 28th March. All events will be Omaha, but not as pot-limit. The format in which all events of this series are played is No Limit Post-Flop Omaha.
No Limit Post-Flop Omaha means that it’s played pot-limit preflop, but no-limit post-flop. This should be a lot of fun, especially for recreational players, as variance will increase and so chances to win are higher for funplayers than usual.
Buy-ins in the events will range from $15 to $10,300 and the Omaholic Series Main Event will be offered as a $55 buy-in ($500k GTD) and a $400 ($1 million GTD). There will be several start flights for these events and of course a wide range of satellites.
You can find the full schedule on the GGPoker website.