You might think PokerStars is already the best place to play poker, and you'd be right. But that does not stop the clever folk in our poker room from making constant improvements, many of them at your request. So when you next log in to PokerStars and see the software updating, you know the short wait will be worth it.
Our latest software update has loads of goodies to satisfy tournament and cash game players alike. Here's a summary of what's new on PokerStars...
Changes to No Limit and Pot Limit Ring Games
Based on player feedback, PokerStars has made changes to the buy-in ranges available in most No Limit and Pot Limit ring games. There will now be three varieties of ring game at most stakes:
20-50 big blinds
40-100 big blinds
100-250 big blinds (with antes)
Players can see the minimum and maximum buy-in for a table by hovering over the table name with their mouse. Players who don't like these 'tooltips' can turn them off by going to 'Options' > 'Lobby Display Options...' and unchecking 'Show Information Tooltip for Ring Games'.
There are banners in the lobby in all languages describing these changes.
In Knockout tournaments, a cash 'bounty' is placed on every entrant in the tournament. Every time a player eliminates an opponent, they win a cash prize. In a knockout tournament, every player pays an extra entry fee, which serves as that player's bounty. For example, a knockout tournament might have a total buy-in of $20+$5+$2, of which $20 goes into the regular prize pool, $5 is each player's bounty, and $2 is the tournament fee.
Knockout tournaments can be found in the lobby, marked 'KO' or 'Knockout' - players can type these words into the filter to show only knockout tournaments.
KO tournaments will be rolled out slowly in the coming days. SCOOP Event 12 will be a knockout tournament.
Changes to Heads-Up Ring Games
PokerStars has made four important changes to Heads-Up Ring Games:
1. If a player sits out continuously for five minutes, they will be removed from the table.
2. A player can now sit at a maximum of two Heads-Up tables without an opponent.
3. Table names are randomised, to eliminate any advantage to sitting at tables with names beginning with 'A'.
4. Players who attempt to abuse the system or make the Heads-Up games unpleasant for others will be banned from playing at Heads-Up tables.
More Notes Improvements
All of the notes settings are now in one place, 'Options' > 'Player Notes'. In this dialog players can add new notes; view, edit and delete existing notes; edit the notes categories and colors; combine multiple notes files from more than one machine; and change the location of the notes file on their computer.
Responsible Gaming Limits for Tournaments
Players can now choose their own maximum limits for scheduled tournaments and Sit & Gos. They can set a limit in any of the four supported currencies (US Dollars, Euro, British Pounds, or Canadian Dollars) by going to 'Requests' > 'Responsible Gaming' > 'Restrict Tournament Buy-In Limit'.
Special Multi-Event Satellites
Multi-Event satellites are tournaments which award seats in multiple events. This is how they work:
1. Each satellite has up to five different target events, all listed in the 'Tournament Info' section of the lobby.
2. The first time a player wins a satellite, they will be registered in the first event listed.
3. If they win another seat, they'll be registered in the second event listed. If they've already won a seat in that, they'll be registered in the third event listed, and so on.
For example, there could be a SCOOP Multi-Event Satellite which awards seats in Event 1M, 2M, and 16M. Win once, and the player gets a seat in event 1M. Win twice, and they get a seat in both 1M and 2M. Win three times, and they get a seat in all three events.
More Time Zones
We added new time zones for Alaska, Hawaii, Newfoundland, and India.
The main PokerStars lobby has increased in size by default, to 1024x768. This is to accommodate various upcoming changes in future releases. The lobby remains fully resizable - players can drag the edges of the lobby to make it taller or wider.
We can now restrict entry into tournament by gender, allowing for ladies-only or men-only events.
There are number of improvements to various table themes in this release.
Phew! That's an impressive list of improvements. Enjoy.