GGPoker Receives ISO 27001 Certification As Company Continues Expansion

NSUSLAB Korea, parent company of GGPoker, announced this week that it has received ISO 27001 certification for its online gaming platform.

NSUSLAB Korea, parent company of GGPoker, announced a new certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) this week. The company received ISO 27001 certification for its online gaming platform.

The distinction outlines a framework of “policies and procedures that includes all legal, physical, and technical controls involved in an organization’s information risk management processes,” according to

Company officials said the certification signals GG’s dedication to safety and security on the platform.

“NSUSLAB is proud to have secured this ISO 27001 certification, as we have always placed information security at the forefront of our efforts,” NSUSLAB CEO Daniel Lim said in a news release.

“We hope that the news further assures GGPoker, its players, partners, and regulators of our commitment to maintaining the security of their information.” 

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Details on the GGPoker certification

ISO 27001 is an international standard recognized globally for managing risks to the security of organization’s information. The process provides a set of standardized requirements for securely managing information.

With poker sites hosting thousands of players and maintaining their information funds, security is of top importance in the industry.

NSUSLAB Korea’s software powers GGPoker, which hosts hundreds of thousands of players and games each week. The company operates in a number of regulated markets.

Beyond poker, NSUSLAB also produces omni-channel online casino table games, proprietary gaming platforms, and business intelligence systems. The company boasts more than 200 developers.

The site is licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.

More major events coming to GGPoker

GGPoker has made some major poker news in recent weeks. Once again the site will host World Series of Poker online bracelet events for international players this summer.

The international half of the series runs on GG from Aug. 1 to Sept. 12 and awards 33 bracelets.

The site is also hosting the WSOP Super Circuit Online Series May 1-30. That series features a $100 million guarantee and awards 18 championship rings.

The site is also running satellites for the $10,000 WSOP Main Event from Aug. 1 to Oct. 1. World Series officials announced recently that the annual series in Las Vegas was being moved to the fall this year. The annual festival runs Sept. 30 to Nov. 23 at the Rio.

Much of the 2020 Main Event played out online with international players competing on GGPoker. The site also announced another major series in the works. The WSOP Winter Online Super Circuit will run at the site with a schedule released later.

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Partypoker MILLIONS Online Returns with Huge Payouts; KO Series Main Events Wrap Up

Partypoker’s MILLIONS Online returns Feb. 13 to March 9 with 28 events and features an overall guarantee of $17.55 million.

After record-breaking prize pools in two previous editions, partypoker’s MILLIONS Online returns in February. The festival runs Feb. 13 to March 9 with 28 events and features $17.55 million guaranteed.

In recent years, the MILLIONS series has become one of partypoker LIVE’s most successful tours. The online version is designed to replicate the live poker experience as much as possible. Just like in a live tournament, real names are used at the tables.

Partypoker is also again making it easy for players of every bankroll to get in the action with numerous satellites. There should be plenty of action for all kinds of players.

“We’re extremely proud to be hosting yet another online leg of the world-renowned MILLIONS tour,” partypoker’s head of poker room management Chris Donnachie said in a news release.

“The satellite framework this year has been designed with a view to make both the Main Event and Mini Main Event even more accessible to players of all buy-in levels.”

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Highlights from partypoker MILLIONS

The $5,300 Main Event highlights the MILLIONS Online series with a $5 million guaranteed prize pool. Day 1A kicks off Feb. 21 with Day 1B on Feb. 28. There will then be three more days of play with the final table set for March 3.

On top of the first-place cash, the winner also receives a trophy to mark his or her achievement. Benjamin “frenchsniperr” Chalot walked away with the top prize of $2.3 million in the last MILLIONS Online Main Event. All four top finishers claimed seven-figure prizes.

Players with smaller bankrolls also can look forward to several smaller buy-in events. The series begins with Day 1A of the $1,100 Mini Main Event on Feb. 13 with a $1 million guarantee.

Two flights will be held on consecutive days before three more days of action. That culminates in the final table playing out on Feb. 17.

Mini Main Event qualifiers start at just one cent, with 20 seats currently offered in satellite finals on Sundays. The centrolls feed into $1.10 and $11 phases with no direct buy-in to the phase tournament finals.

Players can look forward to several other big events. A few of those on the schedule include:

  • $1,050 Opener – A two-day Progressive Knockout (PKO) event running Feb. 19-21, with a $500,000 guarantee.
  • $1,600 NLHE Six-Max Knockout – A two-day event on Feb. 17 with a $250,000 guarantee.
  • $1,050 NLHE Warmup – This two-day PKO event with $500,000 guaranteed features three starting flights beginning on Feb. 26.
  • $1,050 NLHE Closer – One of the final events with three starting flights beginning March 5. The PKO event features $500,000 guaranteed.
  • High Rollers – The series features several big buy-in events including a $102,000 Mega High Roller with a $3 million guarantee.

Here’s a look at the complete schedule.

partypoker MILLIONS Online 2021

DateEventBuy-InTournamentGuaranteeDayFormatNumber of days
Feb. 13#01$1,100Mini Main Event$1,000,000Day 1A8-Max[3-Day Event + FT Wednesday]
Feb. 14#01$1,100Mini Main Event-Day 1B8-Max[3-Day Event + FT Wednesday]
Feb. 15#01-Mini Main Event-Day 28-Max[3-Day Event + FT Wednesday]
Feb. 15#02$530Mini Second Chance$50,000-8-Max[1-Day Event]
Feb. 16#01-Mini Main Event-Day 38-Max[3-Day Event + FT Wednesday]
Feb. 16#03$10,3006-Max High Roller$500,000-6-Max[1-Day Event]
Feb. 16#04$5,2006-Max High Roller Turbo$200,000-6-Max[1-Day Event]
Feb. 17#01-Mini Main Event-Final Table8-Max-
Feb. 17#05$1,6006-Max Knockout$250,000Day 16-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
Feb. 18#06$3,200Omaha High Roller$150,000-7-Max[1-Day Event]
Feb. 19#07$1,050Opener$500,000Day 1A6-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
Feb. 20#07$1,050Opener-Day 1B6-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
Feb. 21#07$1,050Opener-Day 1C6-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
Feb. 21#07-Opener-Day 26-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
Feb. 21#08$5,300Main Event$5,000,000Day 1A8-Max[3-Day Event + FT Wednesday]
Feb. 21#09$2,100High Roller Turbo$100,000-7-Max[1-Day Event]
Feb. 22#10$2,100Omaha$200,000Day 17-Max[2-Day Event]
Feb. 23#11$25,5006-Max Super High Roller$1,000,000Day 16-Max[2-Day Event]
Feb. 23#12$5,2006-Max High Roller Turbo$200,000-6-Max[1-Day Event]
Feb. 24#13$1,600Knockout$250,000Day 18-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
Feb. 25#14$3,2006-Max$300,000Day 16-Max[2-Day Event]
Feb. 25#15$5,200Omaha High Roller$200,000-7-Max[1-Day Event]
Feb. 26#16$1,050Warm Up$500,000Day 1A8-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
Feb. 27#16$1,050Warm Up-Day 1B8-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
Feb. 28#16$1,050Warm Up-Day 1C7-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
Feb. 28#16-Warm Up-Day 28-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
Feb. 28#08$5,300Main Event-Day 1B8-Max[3-Day Event + FT Wednesday]
Feb. 28#17$2,100High Roller Turbo$100,000-7-Max[1-Day Event]
March 1#08-Main Event-Day 28-Max[3-Day Event + FT Wednesday]
March 1#18$2,600Second Chance$250,000Day 18-Max[2-Day Event]
March 2#08-Main Event-Day 38-Max[3-Day Event + FT Wednesday]
March 2#19$2,100Omaha Knockout$200,000Day 16-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
March 2#20$25,500Super High Roller$1,000,000Day 17-Max[2-Day Event]
March 2#21$5,200High Roller Turbo$200,000-7-Max[1-Day Event]
March 3#08-Main Event-Final Table8-Max-
March 3#22$1,600Turbo Knockout$200,000-7-Max PKO[1-Day Event]
March 4#23$3,200Mix-Max$300,000Day 1Mix-Max[2-Day Event]
March 4#24$5,2006-Max Omaha High Roller$200,000-6-Max[1-Day Event]
March 5#25$1,050Closer$500,000Day 1A7-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
March 6#25$1,050Closer-Day 1B7-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
March 7#25$1,050Closer-Day 1C7-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
March 7#25-Closer-Day 27-Max PKO[2-Day Event]
March 7#26$10,300High Roller$1,000,000Day 17-Max[2-Day Event]
March 7#27$5,200High Roller Turbo$200,000-7-Max[1-Day Event]
March 8#28$102,000Mega High Roller$3,000,000Day 17-Max[2-Day Event]
March 9#28$102,000Mega High Roller-Final Table7-Max-

Partypoker ramping up MILLIONS qualifying opportunities again

Once again, partypoker is hoping to provide MILLIONS opportunities to players of all levels. In 2018, “Scarmak3r” showed exactly how lower buy-ins can turn into large prizes.

Scarmak3r banked $1.4 million after qualifying for just $5.50 and then finishing third in the Main Event.

Satellites feeding into the series are ongoing with 10 Main Event seats guaranteed this Sunday. More satellites will also be added before the start of the tournament.

Players can qualify for the Main Event for as little as $0.01 with centrolls running multiple times daily. These events feed into $5.50 satellites and then a $55 phase, which leads to the Sunday final. There isn’t a direct buy-in into the final, so no player qualifying in this route will spend more than $55.

UK-based Christian Galvan has already scored big via qualifiers. After placing first in the centroll, $5.50, and $55 stages, he finished fifth in last Sunday’s final for a Main Event seat.

“One of my favorite things about poker is the zero-to-hero stories we hear on a regular basis,” Team partypoker’s Patrick Leonard said. “When I started playing, somebody would qualify for a $5,000 event from a $1,000 satellite and it was a great story when they went on to the final table.

“Recently, at partypoker, we’ve seen numerous people qualify for huge events for as little as a penny and win life-changing amounts. MILLIONS Online is always an amazing tournament and any player with a bankroll of $0.01 or more should get ready.”

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KO Series wraps up with big scores for Main Event winners

It’s been a busy time for partypoker. The KO Series concluded on Jan. 19 with three main events crowning a champion and taking home a combined $185,003.

In the $1,050 Main Event, “Kabuzzz” came out on top for $76,013. With bounties of $68,049, Kabuzzzz’s payout reached $144,062.

In the $109 Mini Main Event, “Scelevco” took the title for a total of $35,800. “Somuchfun” took down the $11 Micro Main Event for $5,141.

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888poker Sunday Sale Offers 50% Off Major Tournament Entries; Turbo Gift Drops Underway

The 888poker Sunday sale if back Jan. 24.

The popular Sunday Sale returns to 888poker’s major tournaments this Sunday, Jan. 24. The site is leaving its guarantees the same but dropping buy-ins by up to 50%.

This all adds up to plenty of value for online poker players. There’s plenty of the bang for the tournament buck with guarantees ranging from $20,000 to $100,000.

The popular buy-in discounts are just part of several 888 promotions running in January and February.

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Big payouts for smaller buy-ins at 888poker

Those looking to get in the action have three Sunday majors with major guarantees to choose from. Here’s a look at the tournaments seeing discounts:

  • $27.50 Monsoon (normally $55) – $20,000 guaranteed
  • $55 Mega Deep (normally $109) – $100,000 guaranteed
  • $215 Whale (normally $530) – $30,000 guaranteed

888 is also adding some nice opportunities to play these events at an even bigger bargain. The site’s “Pennybuy” satellites offer a chance to qualify for the Sunday Mega Deep for just one cent.

There are also low-priced sub-satellites and other qualifiers offering a guaranteed number of seats. To find these events simply look for the “Tournaments” category in the software client.

Players will then find a “Sunday Sale” section to find an event that fits their bankroll.

Turbo Drops bring free money for 888 players

888 is giving players another reason to check out the new 888poker Made To Play software. The site’s “Turbo Gift Drops” promotion offers players some free money and other prizes to get in the action.

Through Feb. 9, the site will be depositing a Gift Drop on one lucky table every 10 seconds. Some of the prizes up for grabs include:

  • $1,000 in BLAST Tickets
  • Cash awards
  • Daily freeroll tickets

How do players qualify for Turbo Gift Drops? Players simply have to play cash games, BLAST and SNAP tournaments, and multi-table tournaments.

Any players at a table that gets hit with a Turbo Gift Drop has a chance to win a prize.

Players also shouldn’t forget their two daily free spins in the “Winner Spinner” promotion. Every spin wins a prize, which also includes tickets to Turbo Gift Drop freerolls.

These freerolls range in prize pools from $200 to $1,090. Plenty of rewards await players getting in the action at 888poker this winter.

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AMATEUR HOUR: Partypoker Hosts World Championship of Amateur Poker With $750,000 Guaranteed

The partypoker World Championship of Amateur Poker (WCOAP) is set for Jan. 23 to Feb. 7 with $750,000 guaranteed.

The major tournament action continues this month at partypoker. The World Championship of Amateur Poker (WCOAP) is set for Jan. 23 to Feb. 7 with $750,000 guaranteed.

The series features 30 events with 16 championship events and buy-ins ranging from $55 to $530. There are also mini versions of each championship starting at just $5.50.

The Amateur Poker Association and Tour (APAT) is hosting the series. Partypoker promises affordable buy-ins, no re-entries, and earlier finish times than most other tournament series.

These features make it a nice series for amateur players to jump in the action at partypoker.

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APAT, partypoker appealing to non-professionals

Founded in 2006, APAT began as the United Kingdom’s first national poker tour. The group now runs live events in Europe and North America well.

The organization is dedicated to the development of amateur players. APAT provides affordable events for members to enhance their poker skills in a fun, competitive environment.

The series comes at a time when partypoker is working to bring more amateurs and recreational players into the game.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be working alongside APAT to bring our players the first fully online version of the World Championship of Amateur Poker,” partypoker poker room manager Chris Donnachie said.

“APAT is dedicated to the development of amateur poker players and this partnership perfectly complements our strategy of leveling the playing field and providing all players with a safe, exciting and fun environment in which to play poker.”

Shifting the action online to partypoker

The series is in its 12th year, but will be held in full online for the first time due to COVID-19 concerns. Events are open to all partypoker players and some hardware will be on the line in the championship events.

Winners take home a WCOAP bracelet or gold, silver, or bronze medal. Players can sign up for free for APAT to receive their winning hardware.

The two-day Main Event closes our the series  on Feb. 7 and highlights the championship event. That tournament features a $109 buy-in and $150,000 guarantee.

The Main Event winner becomes the World Amateur Poker Champion. This player also earns an APAT amateur national ranking on top of a big cash payout.

There will also be a mini-series of 15 events for the first time. The Mini Main Event comes with s $11 buy-in and guarantee of $20,000.

Partypoker WCOAP series highlights

Players will find No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, and Seven Card Stud events. Some of the highlights include:

  • $55 Six-Max Knockout Championship (Event 2, Jan. 24) – $75,000 guaranteed
  • $265 High Roller Championship (Event 5, Jan. 27) – $75,000 guaranteed
  • $27.50 Mini High Roller (Event 5, Jan. 27) – $15,000 guaranteed
  • $55 Knockout Championship (Event 9, Jan. 31) – $75,000 guaranteed
  • $5.50 Mini Heads Up (Event 11, Feb. 2) – $1,000 guaranteed
  • $530 Super High Roller (Event 12, Feb. 3) – $100,000 guaranteed
  • $55 PLO Championship (Event 13, Feb. 3) – $10,000 guaranteed

The series kicks off with another unique event. The International Team Championship begins on opening day with numerous countries invited to compete. Non-playing team captains will select players to represent their country.

Satellites for the series are already underway. Partypoker will also be awarding the most consistent player across the series. The highest-ranked WCOAP player snags a $5,300 MILLIONS Online Main Event seat, which is set for Feb. 21.

Partypoker plans more APAT events throughout 2021. Here’s a look at the complete schedule.

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2020 World Championship of Amateur Poker

Saturday, January 23, 2021#1 International Team Championship [Invitational] - Online 1 Day Eventnonenone
Sunday, January 24, 2021#2 6-Max Knockout Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $75K GTD [2-Day Event]$55$75,000
Sunday, January 24, 2021Mini - 6-Max Knockout - Online 1 Day Event : $10K GTD [2-Day Event]$5.50$10,000
Monday, January 25, 2021Mini - Mix-Max - Online 1 Day Event : $5K GTD [2-Day Event]$5.50$5,000
Monday, January 25, 2021#3 Mix-Max Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $25K GTD [2-Day Event]$55$25,000
Tuesday, January 26, 2021#4 PLO8 Knockout Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $15K GTD [2-Day Event]$55$15,000
Tuesday, January 26, 2021Mini - PLO8 Knockout - Online 1 Day Event : $3K GTD [2-Day Event]$5.50$3,000
Wednesday, January 27, 2021Mini - High Roller - Online 1 Day Event : $15K GTD [2-Day Event]$27.50$15,000
Wednesday, January 27, 2021#5 High Roller Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $75K GTD [2-Day Event]$265$75,000
Thursday, January 28, 2021Mini - FL 7 Card Stud - Online 1 Day Event [2-Day Event]$5.50none
Thursday, January 28, 2021#6 FL 7 Card Stud Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $2.5K GTD [2-Day Event]$55$2,500
Friday, January 29, 2021#7 PLO Knockout Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $15K GTD [2-Day Event]$55$15,000
Friday, January 29, 2021Mini - PLO Knockout - Online 1 Day Event : $3K GTD [2-Day Event]$5.50$3,000
Saturday, January 30, 2021#8 6-Max Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $25K GTD [2-Day Event]$55$25,000
Saturday, January 30, 2021Mini - 6-Max - Online 1 Day Event : $5K GTD [2-Day Event]$5.50$5,000
Sunday, January 31, 2021#9 Knockout Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $75K GTD [2-Day Event]$55$75,000
Sunday, January 31, 2021Mini - Knockout - Online 1 Day Event : $10K GTD [2-Day Event]$5.50$10,000
Monday, February 1, 2021#10 PLO8 Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $10K GTD [2-Day Event]$55$10,000
Monday, February 1, 2021Mini - PLO8 - Online 1 Day Event : $2.5K GTD [2-Day Event]$5.50$2,500
Tuesday, February 2, 2021#11 Heads Up Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $10K GTD [No Late Reg, 2-Day Event]$55$10,000
Tuesday, February 2, 2021Mini - Heads Up - Online 1 Day Event : $1K GTD [No Late Reg, 2-Day Event]$5.50$1,000
Wednesday, February 3, 2021#12 Super High Roller - Online 1 Day Event : $20K GTD$55$20,000
Wednesday, February 3, 2021#12 Super High Roller - Online 1 Day Event : $100K GTD [2-Day Event]$530$100,000
Thursday, February 4, 2021#13 PLO Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $10K GTD [2-Day Event]$55$10,000
Thursday, February 4, 2021Mini - PLO - Online 1 Day Event : $2.5K GTD [2-Day Event]$5.50$2,500
Friday, February 5, 2021#14 Turbo Knockout Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $40K GTD$55$40,000
Friday, February 5, 2021Mini - Turbo Knockout - Online 1 Day Event : $7.5K GTD$5.50$7,500
Saturday, February 6, 2021#15 Turbo Championship - Online 1 Day Event : $20K GTD$55$20,000
Saturday, February 6, 2021Mini - Turbo - Online 1 Day Event : $4K GTD$5+0.50$4,000
Sunday, February 7, 2021#16 Main Event - Online 1 Day Event : $150K GTD [2-Day Event]$109$150,000
Sunday, February 7, 2021Mini - Main Event - Online 1 Day Event : $20K GTD [2-Day Event]$11$20,000

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STAKE WITH SIZZLE: GGPoker Staking Feature Brings Easy Online Option for Backing Other Players

GGPoker staking feature is exclusive to the site and has become a popular option.

Poker backing deals are probably as old as the game itself. A well-heeled player might peel off a few bucks to back a fellow player, landing a bit of skin in another player’s game.

The practice has grown in recent years to players even seeking some “investment” in online events. GGPpker has recognized this growing trend and made it even easier.

Players on the site can make use of the staking feature to back others on the platform. It’s a simple way to take out a sweat in another player – and possibly win some money without even playing.

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What is poker staking and why is it popular?

Those new to the world of poker staking may be asking: why stake other players at all?First of all, there’s some fun that comes with staking some other players.

Daniel Negreanu

Backers can follow their “horses” throughout an event to have a fun sweat. Seeing one of those players streamed at a final table makes it even more fun.

Backing another player also offers a chance at some winnings should that player run deep. Seeing a nice score for the player means spreading the winnings around to all those backers.

For a player selling action, backing means minimizing his risk. That player may be able to play in a bigger event by selling a chunk of his action.

GG ambassadors Daniel Negreanu or Felipe Ramos may even seek out some action. A big name player’s score also means some dollars coming the way of those who staked him as well. Regular online grinders can also get in the staking game as well.

“The staking feature on GGPoker is cutting edge and incredibly user friendly,” Negreanu tells PokerScout. “I truly love it. Whether you are looking to buy or sell action, you can do it all very easily in the client and when the player cashes in a tournament, the funds are updated immediately.”

The staking feature has also been popular with poker streamers, allowing viewers to check out their play. Staking also tends to make players focus on their best play with others’ money also on the line.

“You can set your own price, how much you want to sell, and even put a cap on how much anyone can buy,” Negreanu says. “This is really helpful for streamers who want to give fans a chance to have a piece of the action while they watch. I did it regularly during WSOP.”

Staking other players at GGPoker

So how does staking at GGPoker work? The ability to back others is integrated directly into the software and mobile app. Exclusive to GG, this is the first online poker feature to facilitate players buying others’ action.

“It’s very popular and in any given tournament there will be a range of players seeking stakes and others staking them,” GGPoker spokesman Paul Burke says.

The process is pretty simple. Players first just need to visit any tournament lobby to back someone in an event. 

The staking tab is found in the lobby of all eligible events. Backers pay a proportion of a player’s entry fee with an added player-defined margin (also known as markup).

A look at the GGPoker tournament lobby staking tab, for Felipe Ramos in this case.

Backers pay the full amount of the stakes they buy, which are purchased in increments of 1%. This can decrease to as little as 0.1% for events with a buy-in of $5,000 and above..

Once a stake is purchased, the transaction becomes non-refundable except when:

  • the seller subsequently cancels the sale or unregisters from the tournament
  • a tournament is cancelled for unforeseen circumstances

Selling action using the feature

Average Joe and Janes can also list some of their own action for sale. Once registered for a tournament, players go to the tournament lobby and use the staking panel to list their action.

After registering for a tournament, sellers set the percentage of their play for sale as well as the markup. Players can value their action as they see fit and sell throughout the tournament registration period. Sellers can cancel a sale at any time during this period.

A look at how players can buy action from another players on the site.

Once a player opts to sell action, a staking profile page will be accessible to potential backers. The profile provides information on a player’s performance.

Potential bakers can check the history of any player selling action to gauge potential success.

What does a staking deal look like?

Imagine a fictitious player named Johnny GG is looking to sell some action. He’s registering for a $10 event, but some backers might be nice to cover that entry fee.

Johnny then sets how much he’d like to sell in the staking tab of the event lobby. Perhaps he’s looking for backers to cover 50% of his entry at a markup of 2x.

A backer purchases 5% for $1. If Johnny cashes for $100, then the backer receives the equivalent percentage of winnings purchased. In this case, the backer receives 5% of the total payout – $5.

Players can sell up to 90% of their action and there’s no fee charged to players for using the feature. Many in the industry have stressed the need to bring the fun back to poker. GG seems to have done its part to add some extra entertainment to the poker mix.

GGPoker’s staking feature has now moved beyond the traditional notion of poker backing. Players surviving past the first day in phased tournaments can also sell some pieces of themselves.

Staking is now available on Day 2 of some events. This makes following a player’s action a bit more fun as cashing is now even closer.

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GG staking success stories

Those looking for some staking action in major events will usually find plenty of opportunities. All 54 of this summer’s World Series of Poker Online bracelet events utilized the staking feature.

The nine multi-day Phase tournaments have also used the recently-introduced Day 2 staking option as well. GGPoker staking has produced some nice scores for players.

Staking Fedor Holz in the WSOP Online at GGPoker paid off in a big way recently for 136 backers. (photo courtesy Poker Central)

The best overall result came during the WSOP Online. GGPoker ambassador Fedor Holz took the title in the $25,000 Heads Up event.

Holz sold 77.5% of his action to 130 investors at a markup of 1.15. Those players bought chucks of  between 0.1% and 10.3%.

After scoring $1.1 million, all players won 36 times their investment. That meant a 0.1% stake of $28.75 turned into $1,089. That was certainly a “good game” for backers.

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Irish Open Online Returns to Partypoker in March; Will Kassouf Scores Main Event Title

The Irish Open Online is coming to partypoker in March.

The Irish Open Online returns in March following the success of the inaugural edition earlier in 2020, partypoker announced last week. A familiar name also rose to the top in the Irish Poker Masters Online, which wrapped up on Dec. 18.

Will Kassouf, known for his “speech play” during his deep run in the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event, turned a satellite entry into a Irish Open Main Event championship. Players now won’t have to wait too long to get back in the Irish poker action.

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What to expect from the 2021 Irish Open Online at partypoker?

The next Irish Open Online begins March 29 and features a Main Event with a €1 million guarantee. The recent Irish Poker Masters featured 21 events with several event variations including Pot Limit Omaha, PKO, heads-up, turbo, and more.

Players can probably expect similar events. With an online poker boom underway, that schedule may even be expanded. 

The 2020 live series paid out €5.6 million with Brazil’s Pablo Brito Silva claiming the Main Event title for €462,100. He topped a field of 2,945 and was one of 22 champions in the series.

Partypoker and Irish Poker Open organizers are currently looking into potential alternative dates to host the live festival in 2021. The festival is Europe’s longest-running poker series.

“We all miss live poker action and we are looking forward to the time when all of us can experience the buzz and the thrill of the Irish Poker Open in a live setting,” partypoker marketing director Vadim Soloveychik said.

“Meanwhile, we are excited about the opportunity to once again host the Irish Open Online in the coming spring and we hope Irish Poker Open fans will enjoy it.”

Will Kassouf turns €109 satellite into Irish Poker Masters Main Event title

In taking the December Irish Masters Main Event title, Kassouf outlasted 1,340 opponents in the €1,100 buy-in tournament. The British poker star won his seat via a €109 satellite and turned that into €215,163.

Manuel Ruivo finished runner-up for €148,042 and also recently found big success in the WSOP Main Event at GGPoker. He finished third in the GG half of that event for $728,177.

When heads-up play commenced, Ruivo held a massive chip lead over Kassouf – 213,940,000 to 54,260. Kassouf managed to draw level, however, and the two battled back and forth before he claimed the title.

It was an unlikely finish as Kassouf began the day as one of the short stacks.

Other big names score in High Roller

The €2,100 High Roller attracted quite a few major names to the player pool. Dominik Nitsche, Evaldas Aniulis, Jans Arends, and Vlad Lache all cashed in the event.

The UK’s Jonathan Proudfoot beat Elio Fox heads-up to claim first prize of €40,206

Team partypoker’s Kristen Bicknell took third for €16,297. The event attracted a field of 67 players. 

Players can spin partypoker’s Christmas Wheel throughout December

Partypoker is giving away plenty of gifts this holiday season. Players have the chance to win up to $500 every day with the launch of Christmas Wheel promotion.


Prizes include cash bonuses and freeroll tickets, which are awarded every day until Dec. 31. Players earn one point per day by playing any:

  • SPINS game
  • cash game
  • fastforward cash game

Earning just one point allows players to head to the Christmas Wheel. The wheel can be found under “promotions” in the desktop client or via the “offers” section on mobile.

The two daily freerolls feature prize pools of $1,000 and $2,000. Players will find plenty of opportunities to brighten up the season even more.

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888poker Winter Series Goes XL With Rebrand; Festival Features $1 Million Guaranteed

888poker has completely rebranded the XL Winter Poker Series.

The XL Winter Series is back at 888poker with a completely new look. Set for Dec. 10-20 with a $1 million guarantee, the site has worked to rebrand the series.

Some changes have been made, with 888 promising affordable buy-ins ranging from $5 to $50 for the majority of events.

“We are focusing on what our players want,” the company notes in a news release.

The series features 34 events, culminating with a $250 progressive knockout Main Event and a $500,000 guarantee.

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888poker XL Winter Series highlights

888 recently released its new software and mobile app dubbed “Made to Play.” The site is hoping to carry that theme over to the renewed XL Winter Series.

The Main Event is set for Dec. 20 and comes with a $500,000 guarantee. The progressive knockout (PKO) format should make for a fun and interesting way to cap the series.

In a PKO, all players have a bounty on their heads. Similar to a traditional bounty tournament, players receive a prize for eliminating other players.

However, in a PKO a portion of each bounty won is added to the bounty on each winning player’s head. Each player’s bounty can increase, making knockouts later in the tournament even more valuable.

Beyond the Main Event, there are numerous other interesting tournaments. The $109 Opener on Dec. 10 comes with a $50,000 guarantee to kickstart the Winter XL. A few other highlights include:

  • $55 Tune Up (Event 10, Dec. 13) – $50,000 guarantee
  • $320 High Roller (Event 17, Dec. 15) – $50,000 guarantee
  • $55 DeepStack (Event 26, Dec. 18) – $25,000 guarantee
  • $33 Mini Main Event (Event 33, Dec. 20) – $50,000 guarantee
  • $5.50 Late Main Event PKO (Event 34, Dec. 20) – $15,000 guarantee

Here’s a look at the complete schedule:

Dec. 10Event#1 - $50,000 Opening Event$109$50,000
Dec. 10Event#2 - $15,000 Mini Opening Event$16.50$15,000
Dec. 10Event#3 - $15,000 Late Opening Event$55$15,000
Dec. 11Event#4 - $30,000 PKO$55$30,000
Dec. 11Event#5 - $15,000 Mini PKO$22$15,000
Dec. 11Event#6 - $10,000 Late PKO$33$10,000
Dec. 12Event#7 - $30,000 8-Max$109$30,000
Dec. 12Event#8 - $10,000 Mini 8-Max$12$10,000
Dec. 12Event#9 - $15,000 Late 8-Max$55$15,000
Dec. 13Event#10 - $50,000 Tune Up$55$50,000
Dec. 13Event#11 - $30,000 Mini Tune Up$16.50$30,000
Dec. 13Event#12 - $10,000 Micro Tune Up$5.50$10,000
Dec. 13Event#13 - $20,000 Late Tune Up$55$20,000
Dec. 14Event#14 - $20,000 R&A Event$33$20,000
Dec. 14Event#15 - $10,000 Mini R&A$5.50$10,000
Dec. 14Event#16 - $10,000 Late R&A$12$10,000
Dec. 15Event#17 - $50,000 High Roller$320$50,000
Dec. 15Event#18 - $25,000 Mini High Roller$55$25,000
Dec. 15Event#19 - $20,000 Late High Roller$109$20,000
Dec. 16Event#20 - $30,000 PKO$109$30,000
Dec. 16Event#21 - $15,000 Mini PKO$16.50$15,000
Dec. 16Event#22 - $10,000 Late PKO$33$15,000
Dec. 17Event#23 - $40,000 PKO 8-Max$160$40,000
Dec. 17Event#24 - $15,000 Mini PKO 8-Max$22$15,000
Dec. 17Event#25 - $15,000 Late PKO 8-Max$55$15,000
Dec. 18Event#26 - $25,000 PKO DeepStack$55$25,000
Dec. 18Event#27 - $15,000 Mini DeepStack$16.50$15,000
Dec. 18Event#28 - $10,000 Late DeepStack$33$10,000
Dec. 19Event#29 - $25,000 PKO 6-Max$109$25,000
Dec. 19Event#30 - $15,000 Mini PKO 6-Max$16.50$15,000
Dec. 19Event#31- $15,000 Late PKO 6-Max$55$15,000
Dec. 20Event#32- $500,000 Main Event PKO$250$500,000
Dec. 20Event#33- $50,000 Mini Main Event PKO$33$50,000
Dec. 20Event#34- $15,000 Late Main Event PKO$5.50$15,000

Plenty of extras planned during series

888 has ramped up the promotional power for the festival. Players following the XL Winter Series on the 888 social media channels have a chance for some freebies.

The site will hold special contests during the live streams on Facebook and YouTube.

888 is giving away three $109 and five $33 tournament tickets during each session. Look for a star-studded line-up of commentators including David Tuchman and Nick Wealthall.

888poker ambassadors will also be manning the microphone providing commentary on several events. Here’s a look at the streaming schedule:

  • $50,000 Opener – Dec. 10
  • $50,000 Tune Up – Dec. 13
  • $500,000 Main Event PKO – Dec. 20

Those looking to get in the action for a bargain buy-in also have plenty of opportunities. There are three ways players can qualify for as little as $0.01 or even free

Several freerolls are planned beginning on Dec. 3 and running until the series finale. Satellite buy-ins start for as low as a single cent.

Players can also look for random gift drops throughout the series with XL tournament tickets and other prizes. It looks like a couple nice weeks of online poker action are in the works at 888.

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MONEY MADNESS: Partypoker MILLIONS Online Returns for 2021 with $5 Million Main Event

The partypoker MILLIONS Online series returns in February 2021.

A live partypoker MILLIONS may not be currently possible, but players can still get in the action in February. The site announced this week that the MILLIONS Online returns next year with a $5 million guaranteed prize pool.

The fourth edition of the online version may warm the heart – kicking off on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Players should love the opportunity to get in two starting slights in the $5,300 Main Event. The first flight is set for Feb. 14 and the second for Feb. 21.

With most major live poker tournaments shut down, the online poker boom continues around the world. Operators like partypoker continue working to meet demand and MILLIONS should help fit the bill.

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Some partypoker MILLIONS details

A full schedule isn’t available yet. However, partypoker has offered some insight on the Main Event.

The site will continue its trend of limited re-entry – only one per starting flight in this case.

That’s meant to make the series more like a live tournament and appeal to more recreational players. Here’s a look at the Main Event schedule:

DateTournamentTime (GMT)Additional details
Feb. 14MILLIONS Online Main Event Day 1A19:05Buy-in $5,300
Feb. 21MILLIONS Online Main Event Day 1B19:05Guarantee – $5 million
Feb. 22MILLIONS Online Main Event Day 219:05
Feb. 23MILLIONS Online Main Event Day 319:05
Feb. 24MILLIONS Online Main Event final table19:05

Partypoker MILLIONS satellite plans

For much of 2020, partypoker has stressed reaching poker players of all levels and bankrolls. That looks to continue in 2021 and begins with the latest MILLIONS Online.

Satellite events for the series have already begun. The site will award at least 10 Main Event seats every Sunday. Players will also find phase tournaments running daily.

Players can qualify for as little as $0.01 – with these “centrolls” running throughout the weeks preceding the series. These qualifiers run daily and award $5.50 tickets for Phase 1 tournaments. Players who advance through 18 levels then progress to Phase 2.

This phase comes with a $55 entry fee (for those who don’t qualify in Phase 1) and those lasting 22 levels qualify for the weekly final. Each final awards at least 10 Main Event seats.

Boosted Daily Legends continue in December

The popular Boosted Daily Legends promotion returns at partypoker through Dec. 20 – this time as a satellite edition. These events allow players to turn a small investment into possibly a massive prize.

Each player receives a random prize after a Daily Legends satellite. Prizes include $1,000 Daily Freeroll tickets, Daily Legends tickets, and satellite tickets worth up to $109.

Players can win up to four tickets every day. The four buy-in levels for the Boosted Daily Legends: Satellite Edition are:

  • Level 1: $0.11 to $0.99
  • Level 2: $1 to $5.49
  • Level 3: $5.50 to $21.99
  • Level 4: $22 and over

In December, it pays to play satellites – not just for a shot at a potentially bigger score. Those freebies can add up as well.

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Irish Masters Online Begins Friday at Partypoker; Caribbean Series Wraps Up With Success Stories

Partypoker's Irish Poker Masters begins this weekend.

Players at partypoker will be looking for the luck of the Irish beginning this weekend. The Irish Poker Masters final schedule has been released and action starts Friday with 21 events set for Dec. 4-16.

Party announced in October that the Irish Poker Masters would be moving online this year. The series includes a €1,100 Main Event with a €1 million guarantee.

Recreational players will also find mini versions of several events on the schedule. It should be a nice two weeks of action with plenty of nice guarantees for every player level.

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Partypoker Irish Poker Masters highlights

The fun starts right away on Friday with the €530 Opener, a progressive knockout (PKO) tournament with a €250,000 guarantee. Players will find a trio of starting flights to take a shot at this Irish Masters title.

The Main Event features two starting flights and wraps up on Dec. 14. Those with smaller budgets may want to check out the €109 Mini Main Event.

That tournament also includes two starting flights and comes with a €100,000 guarantee. The action gets started on Dec. 14 and wraps up two days later.

The series is designed to put players’ skills to the test with several event formats. Some of those include: Pot Limit Omaha, seven-max, PKO, heads-up, turbo, and more. Here are a few more highlights from the series:

  • €2,100 High Roller (Event 8, Dec. 8) – €100,000 guarantee
  • €530 JP Masters (Event 14, Dec. 11) – €250,000 guarantee
  • €1,050 Omaha High Roller (Event 17, Dec. 13) – €100,000 guarantee
  • €109 Mini Omaha High Roller (Event 17, Dec. 13) – €15,000 guarantee
  • €55 Mini Second Chance Turbo (Event 19, Dec. 14) – €10,000 guarantee

Numerous satellites planned, focusing on fun

Players will find numerous satellites for the Main Event with some qualifiers starting at only €0.01. A massive €109 mega satellite event is planned for Dec. 6, with 50 Main Event seats awarded.

All Irish Poker Masters events are designed for fun according to partypoker officials. Organizers said they hoped to level the playing field with limited re-entry and reducing the late registration period. Here’s a look at the complete schedule:

DateNameBuy-inGuaranteeTime (GMT)
Fri 4 Dec#01 The Opener Day 1A: €250K Guaranteed [PKO, 2-day event]€530€250,0007:05 p.m.
Fri 4 Dec#02 7-Max Turbo: €25K Guaranteed [PKO, 1-day event]€162€25,0009:15 p.m.
Sat 5 Dec#01 The Opener Day 1B: €250K Guaranteed [PKO, 2-day event]€530€250,0007:05 p.m.
Sat 5 Dec#03 6-Max Turbo: €20K Guaranteed [1-day event]€162€20,0009:15 p.m.
Sun 6 Dec#01 The Opener Day 1C: €250K Guaranteed [PKO, 2-day event]€530€250,0004:05 p.m.
Sun 6 Dec#04: Irish Poker Masters Main Event Day 1A: €1M Guaranteed [3-day event]€1,100€1,000,0007:05 p.m.
Sun 6 Dec#05 Omaha High Roller: €50K Guaranteed [1-day event]€530€50,0007:05 p.m.
Sun 6 Dec#05 Mini Omaha High Roller: €10K Guaranteed [1-day event]€55€10,0007:05 p.m.
Sun 6 Dec#01 The Opener Day 2: €250K Guaranteed€530€250,0008:05 p.m.
Sun 6 Dec#06 6-Max Hyper: €25K Guaranteed p1-day event]€265€25,00010:05 p.m.
Mon 7 Dec#07 Deepstack: €50K Guaranteed [2-day event]€265€50,0007:05 p.m.
Mon 7 Dec#07 Mini Deepstack: €15K Guaranteed 02-day event]€27€15,0007:05 p.m.
Tue 8 Dec#08 High Roller: €100K Guaranteed [2-day event]€2,100€100,0007:05 p.m.
Tue 8 Dec#09 Heads-Up: €25K Guaranteed [256-cap, No Late Reg, 2-day event]€320€25,0008:05 p.m.
Tue 8 Dec#09 Mini Heads-Up: €3K Guaranteed [512-cap, No Late Reg, 2-day event]€33€3,0008:05 p.m.
Wed 9 Dec#10 Mix-Max: €50K Guaranteed [2-day event]€320€50,0007:05 p.m.
Wed 9 Dec#10 Mini Mix-Max: €15K Guaranteed [2-day event]€33€15,0007:05 p.m.
Wed 9 Dec#11 Omaha Knockout: €30K Guaranteed [PKO, 1-day event]€320€30,0007:05 p.m.
Wed 9 Dec|#11 Mini Omaha Knockout: €10K Guaranteed [PKO, 1-day event]€33€10,0007:05 p.m.
Thu 10 Dec#12 6-Max: €50K Guaranteed [2-day event]€265€50,0007:05 p.m.
Thu 10 Dec#12 Mini 6-Max: €15K Guaranteed [2-day event]€27€15,0007:05 p.m.
Thu 10 Dec#13 Omaha: €20K Guaranteed [1-day event]€215€30,0007:05 p.m.
Thu 10 Dec#13 Mini Omaha: €5K Guaranteed [1-day event]€22€5,0007:05 p.m.
Fri 11 Dec#14 The JP Masters Day 1A: €250K Guaranteed [PKO, 2-day event]€530€250,0007:05 p.m.
Fri 11 Dec#15 7-Max Turbo: €2K Guaranteed [1-day event]€162€2,0009:15 p.m.
Sat 12 Dec#14 The JP Masters Day 1B: €250K Guaranteed [PKO, 2-day event]€530€250,0007:05 p.m.
Sat 12 Dec#16 6-Max Turbo: €25K Guaranteed [PKO, 1-day event]€162€25,0009:15 p.m.
Sun 13 Dec#14 The JP Masters Day 1C: €250K Guaranteed [PKO, 2-day event]€530€250,0004:05 p.m.
Sun 13 Dec#04 Irish Poker Masters Main Event Day 1B: €1M Guaranteed [3-day event]€1,100€1,000,0007:05 p.m.
Sun 13 Dec#17 Omaha High Roller: €100K Guaranteed [1-day event]€1,050€100,0007:05 p.m.
Sun 13 Dec#17 Mini Omaha High Roller: €15K Guaranteed [1-day event]€109€15,0007:05 p.m.
Sun 13 Dec#14 The JP Masters Day 2: €250K Guaranteed [PKO, 2-day event]€530€250,0008:05 p.m.
Sun 13 Dec#18 6-Max Hyper: €25K Guaranteed [1-day event]€265€25,00010:05 p.m.
Mon 14 Dec#04 Irish Poker Masters Main Event Day 2: €1M Guaranteed [3-day event]€1,100€1,000,0007:05 p.m.
Mon 14 Dec#04 Irish Poker Masters Mini Main Event Day 1A: €100K Guaranteed [2-day event]€109€100,0007:05 p.m.
Mon 14 Dec#19 Second Chance Turbo: €50K Guaranteed [1-day event]€530€50,0009:15 p.m.
Mon 14 Dec#19 Mini Second Chance Turbo: €10K Guaranteed [1-day event]€55€10,0009:15 p.m.
Tue 15 Dec#20 Super High Roller: €200K Guaranteed [2-day event]€5,200€200,0007:05 p.m.
Tue 15 Dec#04 Irish Poker Masters Mini Main Event Day 1B: €100K Guaranteed [2-day event]€109€100,0007:05 p.m.
Wed 16 Dec#04 Irish Poker Masters Mini Main Event Day 2: €100K Guaranteed [2-day event]€109€100,0007:05 p.m.
Wed 16 Dec#21 The Closer: €40K Guaranteed [1-day event]€265€40,0009:15 p.m.

Diego Ventura crushes Caribbean Poker Party Main Event – start to finish

The Irish Poker Masters is just beginning, but the Caribbean Poker Party Online just finished. The series ran from Nov. 13-25 with a $10 million guaranteed prize pool and 10 events with mini and micro versions.

The series produced a couple of unique stories including in the Main Event. It’s rare for a poker player to lead a tournament from start to finish, butr Peru’s Diego Ventura did just that.

Caribbean Poker Party Main Event winner Diego Bentura (photo courtesy partypoker)

He finished Day 1B of the event not only as the flight’s chip leader, but as the player to catch overall. That run continued on Days 2 and 3 before he started a star-studded final table as the leader.

The $5,300 tournament featured a $5 million guarantee and a trophy to the champion. Ultimately, Ventura’s big run ended with the title and the $879,894 top prize.

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Player turns penny into five figures

Beyond Ventura, another player also scored big with a significantly smaller buy-in. Partypoker regularly offers qualifiers starting at just €0.01. Players can take a shot in these and hopefully work their way up to a tournament ticket.

Ukraine’s Yevhenii Dushko did just that. He turned a penny into a Main Event entry and went on to finish 55th. That turned into a payday of $19,184. Simply turning one cent into a Main Event seat was quite an accomplishment – and cashing is even bigger.

Ukraine’s Yevhenii Dushko turned one cent into a five-figure payday in the Caribbean Poker Party. (photo courtesy partypoker)

“I got lucky during Day 1A when I had a set of Aces over a set of eights and that helped build a stack and progress to Day 2,” he told partypoker. “I felt I played quite well despite the obviously different level of skill compared to my usual limits; there were a lot of strong players.”

The payout is about 40 times the average monthly salary for someone in the Ukraine. So far, Dushko isn’t sure how he’ll use the cash.

“I haven’t even thought about any big purchases to be honest,” he said. “I know that I have to keep my head cool after winning this big prize. The money will help my life for sure, but I feel like I don’t have to do anything spontaneous.

“It also will help me continue growing as a poker player. I am grateful that my friends and family treat my love of poker with respect and without the stereotypes about gambling. This support was very important to me.”

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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: PokerStars’ Severin Rasset Discusses Current Boom, Industry, & More

PokerStars managing director and commercial officer Severin Rasset recently spoke with PokerScout.

To say that online poker is booming would be an understatement and Severin Rasset knows that first hand. The PokerStars managing director and commercial officer saw the company guarantee more than $200 million among its tournament series in September.

Even more is in the works from operators around the world and cash game player numbers have also surged. With major live tournament series still slow in returning, online poker should remain a force in the coming months.

Rasset spoke with PokerScout recently about the current environment, how PokerStars has worked to meet demand, the game’s future, and more.

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New gaming environment, telling a story

With so much action underway, online poker companies find themselves in an interesting spot. Demand is at the highest it’s been since a player named Moneymaker kickstarted the poker boom.

Keeping up with that demand and seeing those big player pools continue is the challenge. For PokerStars, the day-to-day process of creating major series falls to the operational team. It’s a time-consuming process and involves constantly determining player demand.

“I don’t think it will come as a surprise to hear that it has been a challenge for our operational team to respond to the ever-changing landscape and accommodate players over the last few months,” Rasset says. “But I am really proud to say that they managed to overcome this challenge thanks to their expertise and years of accumulated experience with PokerStars.

PokerStars managing director and commercial officer Severin Rasset.

“The bulk of their work has been about analyzing the tournaments being played, examining how player demand is evolving, and adapting our offer on a weekly basis, albeit with bigger variations than usual. We also have quite powerful tools for scaling our tournament offering up or down based on the demand.”

Engaging players is a big part of that as well as experimenting with new ideas and constantly evolving. Building content around its unique online environment is also important.

“We know, for example, that a key challenge and differentiator for us is to keep creating unique content and events that players aspire to get involved,” Rasset says. “Poker has to continue to create its own content if it is to expand its base.”

In essence, poker is more than just the game on the felt. Products can tell a story – connecting with players, viewers, and readers as the action unfolds.

Building a sense of community at PokerStars

To Rasset, building a sense of community is a key part of any poker operation. Poker is a social game. While playing online may be an isolated gaming experience, PokerStars works to overcome some of that.

Those efforts involve building a community of players interested in the game and events beyond simply clicking a mouse.

Products like PokerStars Home Games are a part of that and demand for the service surged during the pandemic.

“As far as I’m concerned, the community aspect is key,” Rasset says. “Poker is a game of interactions. Players enjoy playing with friends and we have seen a clear increase of the number of home games throughout the year as people look for new ways to get together, catch up, and have fun.

“Players also seem to have chosen games that can give them the most entertainment value for their investment. Reasonable buy-in in multi-table tournaments, for example, can provide a couple of hours of entertainment for a single buy-in.”

Changing to meet demand, growing a brand

Players suddenly with more time on their hands looked to PokerStars and other operators during the pandemic. The site began revamping existing series and creating new formats like the Stadium Series.

That festival featured $50 million guaranteed and brought some sporting elements to the game. Players battled all week in “heat” events before playing in big Sunday Finals.

Rasset believes players respond to that kind of creativity and innovation. Streaming online via also remains a company focus.

“We also have our PokerStars Player Championship as well as amazing voices in our ambassadors and fans, who showcase the greatness of this game on Twitch and other streaming and social channels,” Rasset says. “This, to me, is one of the ways to take the game forward. 

“One of the reasons for its success is that poker is at its core a community game that is even more enjoyable with friends and people that we know. That’s an area that we want to focus on. We want players to be excited to meet up and play online, just as they’d look forward to a home game at the kitchen table on a Saturday night.”

Entertainment is the key 

While some players dream of life as a poker pro, much of the poker environment revolves around recreational players. These regular Joes and Janes are simply looking to have some fun for a couple hours.

Growing these numbers is key and Stars hopes they become bigger fans of the game. Some of the site’s outreach involves appealing to this segment through added event coverage.

ESPN and live poker coverage helped fuel the first poker boom. Twitch and online streaming now play a major part of the current online poker rush. PokerStars launched cards-up coverage during the Stadium Series and more is planned.

“It’s just like coverage of live events and adds a whole new dimension to commentary and the overall viewing experience,” Rasset says. “I think we’ve only scratched the surface there in what we can do to provide great content to our players.”

Keeping the current massive player pools going may not be possible in the long run. But even keeping some of those new players is a positive for the industry.

Rasset believes players are attracted to poker because it’s simply a fun game and can be enjoyed from the opening minutes of play. 

It’s also a game with unique depth and an element of discovery that can be relived each game. The community element only adds to that.

“You can explore different levels of thinking and learn new elements of play with each game,” Rasset says.”What’s more, you can do it with friends, playing together for free or for a few cents in ring games or tournaments.

“When you combine that with the range of other media we provide as part of a rounded poker experience – streaming, tutorials, social media, for example – it makes poker a very interesting choice, particularly while people have more free time to explore different entertainment options.”

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Sustaining the online poker momentum

Those concepts of entertainment and engagement are crucial to driving more players to online poker, Rasset says. Those elements also hopefully keep them coming back.

“To me, the future of online poker is all about entertainment and a great player experience, regardless of playing preferences,” he says.

“Our players have plenty of opportunities to spend their time on other applications and other games. So our focus has to be on providing a flawless experience when players choose to spend their time with us.”

To differentiate from competition in the entertainment space, Rasset believes in a few long-term investments:

  • developing great customer journeys
  • intuitive promotions
  • fast and reliable customer service
  • the reassurance of a safe and secure gaming environment

That last bullet point stands out for Rasset and has helped in finding success in new markets.

“We’re proud to have consistently invested in the integrity of our games over the years, with the goal of protecting our players with dedicated fraud and security teams armed with highly sophisticated machine learning tools and proprietary technologies,” he says.

“We think our capabilities are the best in the business. We apply them across all our markets and we’re one of the most licensed online poker companies in the world.”

Responsible gaming also remains a priority, Rasset says. The company continues investing in resources for players to maintain control over their play and seek help if necessary.

“So at every level, even if it presents more challenges in the short term for us, I believe that this longer term investment is how we can build trust and create reasons to be loyal to PokerStars,” he says. 

Positivity about the future of online poker

While some may see online poker in a downward trend, there are still millions and millions of players out there. Reaching and connecting with them is critical to the industry.

Rasset remains an optimist and the current environment shows the game can still flourish.

“This industry is still young, barely 20 years old, and there is still so much that we can improve,” he says.

“One thing that I know: in five years, this game will still be as enjoyable as it is now. We want to share our love for poker with as many people as we can while ensuring we always do this in a responsible way.”

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