PokerStars Adds Zoom Poker Tournaments

Date: 2013-01-08
Author: Jason Glatzer

PokerStars is the industry leader in online poker for a good reason.  In addition to great support, it has the top software and is constantly looking for ways to improve and enhance the playing experience.

The biggest change in the latest update to PokerStars is adding Zoom Poker tournaments.  Like the cash game version of Zoom Poker, players will enter a tournament with a shared player base.  When folding their hand, they are instantly moved to another table against new opponents.

This fast-paced type of tournament easily cuts the time needed to play a big field online poker event in half since you are able to see many more hands in the same time you would playing a normal online tournament.

These tournaments are similar to what its sister site, Full Tilt Poker, offers in Rush Poker tournaments, with the major difference at the moment being when there are three tables left, the tournament sheds its Zoom format.  Currently, Zoom Poker tournaments are in Beta mode on PokerStars, with most buy-ins being $1 or 1 Euro, but we expect there will be a wide range of Zoom tournaments offered soon.

Another new feature for online tournament players on PokerStars is variable time length of blind levels in the same tournament.  This is great, as the beginning levels can go a little quicker and as you move up the money ladder, the length of time before the blinds go up is increased, providing more play and potentially deeper stacks at the final table.  This idea was also borrowed from Full Tilt Poker.

The last improvement for tournament players that was introduced with this update is the ability to see how many players you eliminated in Knockout tournaments.  While this may seem like a minor improvement, for multi-tablers, it can be difficult to keep track of this and not all the time does your HUD keep proper count.  If you fall into this category and also want to keep good records, then this is a nice additional feature.

Cash game players who play Zoom Poker also should be happy that there is now a run-it-twice feature.  This feature was introduced recently in non-Zoom cash games and proved to be a popular feature.  If you are all-in at any time before the river, if both players have the run-it-twice button clicked, the cards will come out twice for the remainder of the board.  This will help smooth out some variance.

Cash game players also have the ability to further manage their waiting lists.  There is now a dialog box to allow you to remove yourself from individual waiting lists or all waiting lists without having to do it in the lobby individually.

PokerStars has revamped once again its VIP program by adding a new ChromeStar level.  If you are a micro-stakes player and felt left out of the site's VIP system, you now have a very obtainable tier.  You can achieve ChromeStar by earning 100 VIP points in a month, which is less than $20 of rake.

PokerStars has kept its other levels, but dropped the threshold from 750 to 500 points a month to achieve SilverStar status and from 3,000 points to 2,500 points for GoldStar Status.  It also added a Hall of Fame for those serious grinders who have achieved 5,000,000 lifetime VIP points.

PokerStars also improved the VIP Store for non-English speaking players by allowing it to be viewable in multiple languages.  With the growing number of non-English speaking players, this improvement is necessary to encourage worldwide play.

The last change was PokerStars defaulting its Nova table theme instead of the classic theme.  Players who have never changed their theme will be prompted to change it.  PokerStars players will still be able to manually change their theme like before and this will not change your overall playing experience.

As you can see, PokerStars is constantly looking for ways to cater to their players by giving them what they want.   If you are not already playing on PokerStars, check it out today!

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