In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
WCOOP set to fail?
The summer of 2020 has been the biggest summer ever for online poker. So big in fact that players were overwhelmed by choice and might have depleted their bankrolls while chasing for glory.
The big winner is the GGPoker – Natural8 network that has been running a majorly successful online WSOP – and still is. And while traffic was up across the board, the compared success of the once prestigious online poker giant PokerStars is debatable.
Massive overlays during the Stadium Series will make sure this tournament series is going to be entered into the poker history books as the most costly series that has ever been.
Now all eyes are on the upcoming World Championship Of Online Poker (WCOOP) that will start right in the wake of the online WSOP and online WPT. Will players still be interested and financially able to play and make the WCOOP the biggest ever or will PokerStars fail to get this tournament beast off the ground in triumph?
The online WSOP will end on 6th September, right around the time the WCOOP usually starts, but it hasn’t been announced yet. There is no information on how big Stars is going to make this once most prestigious online festival.
The still successful Spring Championship Of Online Poker earlier this spring paid out a massive $185 million in guarantees. How could the WCOOP in the “year of online poker” pay out anything less than that?
Last year, it guaranteed $75 million for the series and it surpassed that by nearly 40% to pay out over $104 million. In order to make sure PokerStars’ 19th ever flagship event stays the biggest online tournament series of the year, the guarantees would have to be at least $200 million.
We’re all desperately waiting to see how the poker giant decides: Go for glory with a $200 million festival or slow down to $100 million and have the WCOOP NOT be the biggest series in a given year?
We’ll find out soon.
GG WSOP 2020: halfway hero
There was only a tiny technical hick-up right at the start of the WSOP Online series on GGPoker and Natural8 when the software could not handle the incoming traffic.
Since this has been resolved, however, there has been no stopping for the network in making the WSOP 2020 one of the most successful tournament series in poker history.
Now, halfway through the series it is obvious: Guarantees are being smashed, with a $2.5 million-prize-pool-average in the 54 events. The WSOP Online is on course to reach a series prize pool of $130-140 million and become one of the most successful online poker series in history.
Massive software update for RIO Poker
There’s movement in the Run It Once Poker lab as a massive upgrade of the client presents valuable new features.
Besides advanced window tiling features, more table chat options, an all-in equity display and improved table rebuy rules it also now includes a built-in HUD called HeroIQ.
“With HeroIQ, we’ve made it possible to get some basic and fair data on your opponents, to help you read their playing style,” it says on the website.
The HeroIQ HUD tracks and displays three frequencies: how often the players enter the pot (known as VPIP); how often they raise (PFR); and how often they re-raise (3-bet).
So far RIO Poker had used changing avatars to show their aggressiveness and so visually displayed certain stats in a very simplified way. This news upgrade will be loved by many professional players.
UNIBET Client Upgrade & Tourney series
Run It Once is not the only site shining with a product upgrade. Unibet just announced a major design upgrade for September as well.
The updated desktop client, which is only going to be version 3 of the lobby, will mainly have interface upgrades, but the independent poker operator is readying for a new loyalty program in early 2021 as well.
On top of this announcement, Unibet also calls for players to take part in its latest tournament series dubbed ‘Summer Circuit Series’. This €250,000-guaranteed tournament series will run from 21st to 30th August and offer 40 events.
The operator is fully aware that a series at this time of the year with the competition available is a risky move, but if overlays occur they can be written off as marketing expenditure.
Largest ‘The Venom’ in history
The multi-day tournament ‘The Venom’ by the US-facing online poker network Winning Poker Network (WPN), paid out the largest total prize in its history: almost $10 million.
The event had a $7 million guarantee, but 3872 entrants created a prize pool of $9,680,000 with a first prize of $1.3 million. That first place payout was also the biggest the network had ever given out.
“The turnout blew away all our initial projections and we’re thrilled with just how big The Venom has gotten,” WPN CEO Phil Nagy told the poker industry website Poker Industry PRO. “The deep structure makes this tourney the closest thing to a huge live event, while playing from home. And you can really feel the excitement at the final table as players are literally fighting it out to become millionaires. We can only see it getting bigger and better from here.”
This is great news for U.S. poker and of course for the network’ Online Super Series Cub3d X that is still running until 30th August.
GGNetwork -Natural8 introduces SnapCam
The emotes on GGNetwork- Natural8 are already legendary. Sharing your reaction in shape of a happy, angry, sceptical or confused (to name just a few) ‘smiley’ at the table is a fun way to convey feelings and communicate with other players.
Now you are also able to send actual video reactions to fellow players at the virtual poker table. With SnapCam you can share a 15-second video that will appear on the table for everyone to see.
For now the feature is only available for the Windows PC software, but the rollout to Mac is imminent.
There cannot be more than four videos playing at once. If there are more, they will be queued. And just in case you are not interested in this gimmick or some of the video chatters are getting weird, you can of course mute the feature.
It’s fascinating what comes out of this innovative operator and we can be curious about what else might be around the corner.