Weekly Poker Roundup: August 27, 2016
Bubble Rush Tournaments Introduced at PokerStars
PokerStars has run tournaments with decelerating blinds for a number of years, but it has not been until now that these limited offerings have become permanent, full selections in the online poker room’s tourney lobby. On Monday, Stars launched its new slate of Bubble Rush tournaments.
The idea behind Bubble Rush tournaments is that it often takes a long time for players to reach the money in a large, multi-table tournament, and then once the bubble bursts, players don’t have as much depth to their stacks because the blinds get high. This isn’t necessarily the best way to do things. Enter Bubble Rush tourneys. In Bubble Rush, the blinds are hyper-turbo (three minutes) until the money is reached, at which point they are lengthened to normal levels (twelve to twenty minutes, depending on the buy-in).
Speaking of buy-ins, PokerStars has kept them relatively low for Bubble Rush, with prices of just $0.55 to $109 for these tournaments.
California Online Poker Bill Dead Again
The more things change, the more they stay the same in California. Once again, online poker legislation is being shelved. There was a chance that there was going to be a vote on Assemblyman Adam Gray’s AB 2863 in the full Assembly this past Monday, but because of further disagreements over a “bad actor” clause, it never happened and likely won’t have a chance to happen until next year.
A hard-line and politically powerful coalition of tribes has been against the inclusion of PokerStars since day one (technically against the inclusion of all operators who accepted U.S. customers after the UIGEA in 2006, but really, it’s PokerStars). It looked for a while that they may have been willing to compromise and simply allow the state’s gaming board to determine operator eligibility, but they recently got an amendment added to AB 2863 that would shut PokerStars out of the California market for five years. A coalition of tribes and card rooms that side with PokerStars does not like this and thus the push-and-pull continues.
Two tribes who are in favor of a bad actor clause, the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, were also against the amendment, but because it was not strict enough. They prefer that the five year ban starts from the day the first online poker cards are dealt, not from when the law is enacted, as it could be a couple years before any poker rooms get up and running.
PKR Launches Live Internet Casino
Innovative 3-D online poker room PKR.com has launched a new live casino product as it celebrates its tenth anniversary. This live casino is actually still only online; the gimmick is that rather than all of the graphics and cards being computer generated, there is a real, flesh-and-blood dealer running the game on the other end of the series of tubes.
The dealer is located in a studio operated by Evolution Gaming in Riga, Latvia or Malta. PKR will have a number of dedicated tables at said studio, with dealers running games like blackjack and roulette, as well as possibly share tables with other rooms (not necessarily, but this is an option for Evolution’s clients). Just like in a real casino, there are limited seats at the tables, but those who have to wait can still place bets. For instance, in blackjack, onlookers can “bet behind” a seated player, essentially putting money on whether or not that player will win or lose. Only the seated player has control of the decision making, so the one who is betting behind had better hope the person doesn’t hit on 20.
Evolution operates live online casinos for a number of other big online poker names like PokerStars, Unibet, 888, and bwin.party.
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