Online News: Two Plus Two website sold; PokerStars’ new VIP program; launches in Pennsylvania; MTT series across major networks

In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.

Two Plus Two website transitions to new owner

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A surprising announcement came yesterday on the popular Two Plus Two forums wherein founder Mason Malmuth, revealed the news of its website domain to be officially sold. Having been around for 24 years, the site grew to become the industry’s biggest forum and go-to resource relating to poker news, strategies and anything under the scope. Seasoned pros, casual players and fans alike have written over 60 million posts throughout the years, making the website a solid part of the poker community.

With the major change coming into effect, Malmuth made known their reasons for the decision while also revealing that the new owners are the ones behind the Hand2Note HUD poker tracking software. Mainly confident in the younger owners’ ability to “make this site better than it has ever been”, Malmuth assured its users that Mat Sklansky, Chuck Weinstock, and himself will remain active for some time to pave the way for a smooth transition.

Our reasons for selling at this time is simply that those of us, including myself, who run this site are getting old, and I’ll be 70 this fall. So, when the offer came in to sell the site to new younger people who are on top of all the latest programming technology and who should have the ability to make this site better than it ever was, we felt that the time was right and would be best for everyone, including those of you who are members of the Two Plus Two Community”, Malmuth posted.

PokerStars rolls out new VIP program

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After losing its top spot to now leading site Natural8-GGNet, PokerStars is making a stride to improve its platform by equally focusing on ‘customer generosity’ much like its competitors. For its most recent development, the major platform is testing out a new loyalty program wherein players are eligible to earn up to 65% cashback. 

While the new volume-based system is a huge improvement from its previous rewards program, PokerStars’ entire player base will have to wait a while as only select players will be able to utilize this new feature until September 30, 2021. The new Stars Rewards direct rakeback program is set to start all players with a base of 15% – 25% and monthly poker challenges for bonus cashback of up to 40%. The program which took effect last July 6, surpasses the loyalty program of its closest competitors offering up to 60% in rewards.

Chest Type Points Earned Rakeback Value Rakeback (%) # of chests required to level up Total Rakeback w/ Monthly Challenges (%)
Blue 333 $0.50 15% 5 55%
Bronze 935 $1.50 16% 5 56%
Silver 2,850 $5 17.5% 7 57.5%
Gold 10,800 $20 18.5% 7 58.5%
Diamond 37,500 $75 20% 10 60%
Black 100,000 $250 25% 65% launches in Pennsylvania

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Players geo-located in the state of Pennsylvania have welcomed its fourth online poker operator, the official platform just this July 12. Running on soft-launch, the first four days will offer limited hours of operations to test out its new Poker 8 software, which boasts of a more modern design, new features and mobile support for Android and iOs devices.

Being the biggest regulated market in the United States, the state has been on the top of the brand’s priority list for a while now. Currently, PokerStars PA holds the majority share of traffic in the state, having held a monopoly for two years. BetMGM and Borgata Poker have only recently joined the market earlier this year with joining soon after. While PA hosts an independent player pool for now, shared liquidity between states Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware may not be far off given recent developments on the country’s regulations.

Americas Cardroom hosts record-guarantee $10 Million Venom event

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While major events such as the WSOP Online have stolen the spotlight in previous months, it appears Americas Cardroom is grabbing some of that worldwide attention with its biggest tournament to date. The two decade-long running site is set to host its second Venom event this year with an even bigger prize guarantee of $10 million. The record-breaking prize pool promises to reward at least two of its winners with seven-figure scores, making the champion and runner-up as well instant millionaires.

Direct buy-in to the tournament is slated at $2,650 with players of more modest bankrolls encouraged to join its series of freerolls and satellites available daily. The event beginning on July 23, 2021, will host a total of four starting flights across its 7-day schedule with the final table scheduled to conclude on August 4th.

  • Day 1A – July 23, Friday at 1pm ET
  • Day 1B – July 25, Sunday at 1pm ET
  • Day 1C – July 30, Friday at 1pm ET
  • Day 1D – August 1, Sunday at 1pm ET
  • Day 2 – August 2, Monday at 1pm ET (approximately 11 hours of play)
  • Day 3 – August 3, Tuesday at 1pm ET (plays down to FT – 8 players)
  • Day 4 – August 1, Wednesday at 5pm ET (Final Table)

100% Bonus up to $1,000 on Americas Cardroom

Second Battle of Malta Online series on Natural8-GGNet underway

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With live events having taken a huge step back last year, regular players on the Natural8-GGNet client have already played through the inaugural online edition of the Battle of Malta series last November 2020. Coming back for a second round of events, the upcoming $25 million GTD 2021 series will similarly cover a full schedule of several hundred side events while featuring 3 trophy events and 15 ring events

While the festival is known as Europe’s largest mid-stakes series, players of all levels will be able to find games suitable to their own liking with buy-ins covering a wide range of games from $25 to as high as $1,050. This year’s Main Event offers the same buy-in of €550 (~$648) through a total of 58 starting flights starting on July 18th. The final day is scheduled to play on July 25th wherein remaining players will compete for the lion’s share of the €3M prize pool.

Currently running until the 25th, fourteen featured events are yet to crown their respective champions with the race to top the Player of the Series Leaderboard running underway as well. The top ranking 20 players will happily receive a share of the $30,000 in prizes which include Battle of Malta Main Event and High Roller tickets, accommodation and travel expenses.

Join Natural8 – $100 in Free tickets with your 1st Deposit

$8.3M GTD Super Millions Poker Open at Bodog Poker/ Ignition Casino

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Online grinders are in for a busy summer ahead as another major site, Bodog Poker/ Ignition Casino prepares for an equally impressive series, the 2021 Super Millions Poker Open. Scheduled from July 17 to August 18, 2021, a total of 150 tournaments (most of which are in NLH format) are lined up for a month filled with fun action and excitement. The $8.3 million GTD festival will likewise cover a range of buy-ins from $5.5 to a heftier $1,035 for its high roller events.

Highlighting the series are three Main Events showcased for the low, mid and higher level players, with the biggest one alone offering a $350,000 guarantee.

  • SMPO #134 Mini Main Event, $150,000 GTD, $109 buy-in
  • SMPO #135 Main Event, $350,000 GTD, $450 buy-in
  • SMPO #136 Micro Main Event, $20,000 GTD, $20.2 buy-in

Partypoker’s Grand Prix KO Online summer series

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Joining the PKO craze is 20-year running partypoker with its latest series for the summer, the Grand Prix KO Online. The first five tournaments of the festival will kick off in a few days, beginning on July 18th with the rest of the 16-event schedule running through this August 2nd. Featuring three different buy-in levels ($5.5, $55, $530) and multiple flights, interested players of different levels can jump into the extensive daily schedule suitable across different time zones.

Two Main Events fill the schedule with the $109 buy-in event boasting of a $500,000 prize pool and a mini version for just $11 with a $100,000 prize guarantee. Several starting flights will run throughout the nine remaining days with the first flight set on July 25th. Both Main Events will conclude on the same day and crown its two lucky champions on the last day of the festival, August 2, 2021.

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Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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