In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
Full Tilt finally retiring
Many poker fans reacted to this news with “Huh? Wasn’t Full Tilt already gone?”. Technically yes, but PokerStars had kept the Full Tilt brand as a skin after the takeover.
Full Tilt Poker had been one of the most iconic, most legendary poker sites and for many it has been the ultimate online poker site. After the disgrace through mismanagement, greed and scams the site went down after Black Friday in 2012 and their arch rival PokerStars eventually bought the brand and made all cheated customers whole.
Those few players that have since been playing on the Full Tilt skin will be migrated to the main skin PokerStars on 25th February 2021 and Full Tilt Poker will finally retire for good.
“Our commitment to improving PokerStars software and the PokerStars customer experience in recent years has limited the amount of focus and resources we could apply to the evolution of Full Tilt,” the company stated. “We feel it is time to consolidate brands so that everyone has access to the newest features and most innovative games which are available exclusively on PokerStars.”
WPN client update
A new software update has been announced by the Winning Poker Network which includes more security features, but also additional game aspects.
Our latest software update is complete and we’re pretty excited about it. Check out this video for all the details, including the ability to Run it Twice.
— Americas Cardroom (@ACR_POKER) February 17, 2021
The latter is mainly the introduction of the Run It Twice feature, a way to run a board or parts of the board more than once to reduce variance.
When it comes to security there is one name clearly in the mix: Randy “Nanonoko” Lew, who was recently hired to help the poker network with decisions on fighting bots and improving the integrity of the game.
Our Security Consultant and Gameplay Expert, Randy Lew @nanonoko, has a huge update about our fight against bots. Watch his short video here.#Security #Integrity #Safety #Gameplay #Poker pic.twitter.com/JL70G4XSrK
— Americas Cardroom (@ACR_POKER) February 18, 2021
One way of fighting bots on WPN is the following: WPN sites can now change the pixelation of the screen. This only makes it possible for a bot to work for a few hands as after that it won’t be able to read the screen anymore.
This won’t eradicate all cheating, but at least automated bots won’t stand a chance anymore for now.
WPT500 on partypoker
Partypoker has announced a new tournament series starting on 7th March. The WPT500 will consist of 25 events with a total of $4 million in guarantees and will run until 24th March.
The collaboration between partypoker and the WPT has been a steady one for a while and it looks like it will continue to thrive.
The festival will include two $530 buy-in main events with a $1 million guarantee each: WPT #01 WPT500 and WPT #13 WPT500.
Buy-ins of the other events range from $165 to $5,200 and all events will only allow a single re-entry.
Partypoker always shines through their satellite offering and these are already in full swing in the client for your chance to get into one of these exciting tournaments.
WSOP packages a good sign?
If the World Series of Poker will actually happen this year is not known yet. This doesn’t stop some poker operators to offer WSOP packages, however. Is this a good sign or a little short-sighted?
You could consider it as a good sign that the WSOP itself is offering a package draw on their online site WSOP.com. The package can be won by participating in a simple prize draw and besides flights, accommodation, some spending money, it does include the buy-in of $10k for the WSOP Main Event.
Want a taste of how a WSOP Poker Champion lives? Enter the Ultimate Poker Champion Experience Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $10K Seat at the 2021 WSOP Main Event and an all-inclusive trip to Vegas.
— WSOP (@WSOP) February 15, 2021
Unfortunately, this WSOP.com prize can only be won by US citizens.
A little bit of hope is also available to some European players though. French poker phenomenon Winamax is also playing out WSOP packages in the popular promotion called “King 5”.
King 5 is a multiple week long team-based competition with free participation. Players compete for €200,000 worth of WSOP packages.
Winamax is offering this promotion that has been a big success in the past couple of years despite uncertainty around the situation for the WSOP in summer this year.
We all hope, of course, that things will be back to normal and we will easily crown a new WSOP champion this year.
Illinois legalises online poker
The next US state has introduced a bill that will allow online poker: Illinois. As opposed to other states before, Illinois is planning to go ahead very fast once the bill becomes law. In order to do so, the lawmakers are very clear to take rules from other states and so learn from what they have been doing instead of it all dragging out forever trying to figure it out by themselves.
Illinois also approves interstate gambling, so once the state officially allows online poker it will be shared with the other states (Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware) that have already agreed to share player liquidity.
Fingers are crossed that more states will follow this example to allow online gambling in this fast, easy, affordable and efficient manner.