PokerStars Tournaments Now Pay More Players
PokerStars just keeps making tweaks to push its online poker room towards being recreational player-friendly. Last week, we talked about its changes to its policy for satellites into live tournaments. Now PokerStars is making more tournament adjustments, this time flattening the payout structures to the majority of its online events.
In a blog post, PokerStars Poker Operations Manager Mike Jones explained the history of his site’s tournament payouts, going back to the poker boom of 2002 – 2006 when PokerStars paid a simple 10 percent of the field. This number was chosen mainly to mirror live tournaments to make it easier for live players to get into the online game. All was not well, though:
….there was often significant deviation from the 10% target; a huge portion of the money went to the final table; first place received too much, the jumps in final table prizes were too severe; the pay tiers were often very large, meaning that large swaths of finishing positions received the same prize; most importantly, nine out of every 10 people who played walked away with nothing to show for their investment of time and money.
So Jones and his crew made some adjustments, narrowing the payout tiers and introducing more “granularity” in non-final table prizes so that there would actually be differentiation in winnings as players advanced in the tournament.
As time went on, PokerStars took money from first place and spread it out away from the final table. Gigantic pay jumps were reduced, more granularity was installed, and more players got paid.
It’s clear to us that paying more places has a direct benefit to most of our players. PokerStars runs a great many large-field tournaments and paying, for example, 1 in 8 players instead of 1 in 10 means that lots more people are paid who would have otherwise had a losing experience. We want more people to have more fun by winning more often, so we’ve continued to make changes big and small: we moved from 10% to 11.1% to 12.5% to 14.2% to 16.6% gradually across the years. The last time we did this was early 2017 when we moved the payouts in most tournaments to 18%, or 1 in 5.5 players.
So, starting this past Monday, PokerStars increased the number of players earning money even more. An additional 2 percent of the field will earn payouts in tournaments that had been paying to 12, 14, 16, and 18 percent of the field. Thus, some tournaments will pay as deep as 20 percent.
Jones said that this should affect about 70 percent of PokerStars’ tournaments. Those that won’t see changes are some high buy-in events, Progressive Knockouts, and tournaments that already paid 20 percent.
“The changes will be subtle and most players will only notice when they realize that they’re experiencing the thrill of cashing a little more often,” Jones concluded. “It’s been years of tinkering to get to this point, and we’ll keep working to create the best overall playing experience.”
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