In this column, we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
Unibet Poker 3.0
A lot of the updates are to favour tournament play and Unibet is showing that they are paying attention to the recent booming interest in MTT poker.
The client update is called “Unibet Poker 3.0” and it was released on Tuesday, just in time for the operator’s €1 million MTT series.
Of course bug fixes and general upgrades were first, but Unibet decided on a couple of interesting features for desktop and mobile sites.
Here are some of the updates:
- Easier resizing of the lobby
- Tournament favourites sorting
- Portrait mode for mobile
- Option to use “colored bet amounts” for quicker understanding of bet sizings
- Estimated time display for every MTT
- Tournament breaks are now 6 instead of 5 minutes.
The latter point sparked discussion on “poker Twitter” pointing out that this has no value for players choosing to play on multiple poker sites at once.
Sooooo happy to have 6 minute breaks on the new client! 😍 https://t.co/cxCyA1xEAk
— Ian Simpson (@IanSimpsonPoker) September 22, 2020
It is great to see an innovative fresh approach to online poker and another small site that is flying in the face of the status quo.
Fast Fold on iPoker
This week the iPoker Network (Betfair, Guts, Red Star) has released its new fast-fold poker version “Top Trumps Football Stars Poker” (in short: “Football Stars”) and will replace the operator’s previous fast-fold variant Speed Poker.
The old variant apparently never really took off on iPoker, so an overhaul was due. These are the main features of the new fast-fold game on iPoker:
- For now the offer is for NL20 stake, but the operator promises higher games for the near future
- Three casino jackpots as part of Sporting Legends series slots
- Rake: 5%; €1-cap; plus funding for the jackpots: 2%, from each bet made at Football Stars, but no more than €0,1
- 5-max tables
- Vibrant football theme
The jackpots are available for slot players and Football Stars players alike and they follow the timed concept: Daily, Weekly and Mistery.
It’s a new concept by Playtech to offer jackpots across casino games and poker and it remains to be seen just how successful this will be. Fact is, poker players will need extra incentive to play these higher raked games, and only traffic will tell if the visits of weaker players and faster 5-handed action will be enough.
WCOOP pays out almost $100 million
2020’s World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) finishes with total prize money of $99,780,230 over 225 tournaments. The advertised $80 million guarantee has been exceeded by 24% and more than 1 million entries were made throughout the series.
Though the total number of entries (1,119,186) was higher than in 2017 (677,000 entries), it was virtually the same as in 2018 (1,101,677 entries) and it did not surpass the results of the 2019 series (1,219,969 entries).
2020 was not a normal year and the WCOOP numbers still need to be congratulated. The third consecutive year generating around $100 million in prize money, PokerStars can still look further onto a bright WCOOP future.
From WCOOP to PACOOP – yes, just as the global World Championship Of Online Poker finishes, the Pennsylvania version of the series has been launched with $1.5 million guaranteed across 50 tournaments.
The Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP) kicked off on 19th September, buy-ins range from $20 to $500 and it will conclude on 5th October.
The 17-day festival can be played by players residing in Pennsylvania, playing on PokerStars PA. The highlight of the series will be the $300 NLHE, $200K guaranteed Main Event on Sunday, 4th October.
If you are in Pennsylvania or are willing to travel to the U.S. state, here is the full schedule for the festival.
Battle of Malta Online on GGPoker
Another popular European poker event has been taken to the online heavens after being killed by Covid-19. The Battle of Malta was founded by PokerListings.com in 2012 and is now run by Casino Malta by Olympic Casino and one of the most popular stand-alone events in Europe.
The event was under scrutiny in 2019 for placing topless male dealers into the Ladies Event, which was not taken well by anybody really. “Poker Oracle” Kevin “KevMath” Mathers joked on Twitter:
Fortunately, no shirtless male dealers in this edition. https://t.co/vf7Zw39pdf
— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) September 23, 2020
Many online sites were interested in hosting the event this year, but the organizer’s online poker skin Olybet had just migrated to the GGPoker-Natural8 network in May of this year, so the choice was probably easy.
“I’m genuinely excited to announce that the Battle of Malta 2020 will be hosted at GGPoker,” said John Scanlon, Director of Live Events & Sponsorships at GGPoker. “It’s an honor to be unveiled as the organizers’ preferred online partner, and I’m confident that this year’s Battle of Malta will be bigger and better than ever!”
The festival will be run over three weeks from 1st to 22nd November and will be headlined by the $550 Main Event with a $3 million guarantee.