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PokerStars Software – New Features

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The PokerStars software gives you the best poker playing experience available anywhere online. From intuitive features for basic game play to sophisticated functionality for advanced users, we are continuously updating and enhancing the poker software so you can get the most out of your game.

Check below for the latest software news and updates, and try out the newest features when you play poker.

February 2014

* No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha cash games now have player Buy-in Obligations. This feature prevents players from repeatedly joining tables with the minimum buy-in, leaving as soon as they’ve won, and then resuming playing with the minimum at other tables. For more information on this feature, see here, or email support@pokerstars.com.

* Heads up Sit & Go rematch dialogs have been improved for ease of use.

* .FR and .ES now support Flighted tournaments.

* Many bug fixes and small improvements.

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January 2014

* To speed up the time it takes from being seated to being dealt cards, all play money games will default to posting the big blind out of position. Players can change this back to the old behaviour in the ‘Options’ menu.

* Many bug fixes.

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December 2013

* The November and December client updates feature many small improvements and miscellaneous bug fixes.

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October 2013

* Mac Performance - Improvements - We have optimized the Cocoa Mac client’s performance to prevent any client lag issues.

* New Default Card Backs - we have changed the default card backs to be one of the recently added variants. If your card backs have changed and you want to go back to the previous design, please right-click on the table background or felt and select ‘Table Themes’, and adjust your card back design from there.

* Auto-Centering when Automatically Seated - we have added the option to always be automatically centered in the bottom center seat (or the one closest to bottom center) when a player is automatically seated at a table, for example via ‘Seat me’ or ‘Find Me A Seat’.

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August 2013

* Extra Bet Slider Button

The desktop client will now have four configurable buttons that control betting amounts. We have also turned the bet slider shortcut buttons on for everyone, though you can still switch them off if you prefer. If you have already customized the bet slider shortcuts, go to ‘Options’ > ‘Bet Slider Options’ to configure the extra button.

* Mac Cocoa API

The new Cocoa client will be updated and deployed to all remaining licenses (including .COM). The Cocoa client has initial Retina support for text and native OS controls.

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July 2013

* Re-entry tournaments (Beta) - We are introducing re-entry tournaments to the PokerStars tournaments offering. In re-entry tournaments, when you bust during late registration, you are given the option to re-enter the tournament. Unlike in a rebuy, you will not keep your seat (and there is no add-on period); instead, you are given a completely new tournament entry. Initially we will start with a small Beta offering of those tournaments until we verify that everything is functioning properly.

* New card decks (Beta) - We've introduced two new card decks. They are accessible via Table Themes.

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June 2013

* Mac Cocoa support - This month, we are converting our client into the new Mac Cocoa API. This is a prerequisite for adding Retina support and many other large Mac improvements. As a first step, the Mac client now supports emoticons and the ability to re-order different columns in the lobby list.

* New Sounds - We are releasing a new set of beta sounds for the client and have made improvements to the way sounds are played in the client to improve the overall experience. To try the new Beta sounds, simply check ‘Enable beta sounds’ in the ‘Options’ > ‘Sounds’ menu. We will be looking to make those the default sounds for the client after the Beta period.

In addition to the sounds being updated, we have also added a unique sound for Raise actions.

We would love to hear how you like the new sounds – please email your feedback to beta@pokerstars.com.

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May 2013

* Installation and First Time Signup Process changes - In order to test our changes and ultimately make the new user experience better, a percentage of clients will now install with the new Group View mode on by default. To change it back to the original view, go to the View options on the left side of the main lobby and move the red button from the third setting to the first.

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April 2013

* Further Improvements for Rebuy Tournaments - Whenever you are eligible for a rebuy, a rebuy button will show directly on the table. The location of this button on the table will vary based on the theme you are using. Once the Add-on period starts, the button will change accordingly.

* Improvements to First Time Deposit Process - We are making improvements to the deposit process by enhancing the user experience at the first step, where we collect and verify important personal information about the player.

For now, this change will be for the French client only. We will then roll it out to other clients as well. While this is not something that will be visible as a major change to many players, it continues our goal towards making the initial experience more streamlined for recreational players.

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March 2013

* New Game Types: 5 Card Omaha & Courchevel - We have deployed two new game types: 5 Card Omaha and Courchevel. Both will be rolled out in Hi and Hi/Lo variants, and you can find Ring Games under the ‘Omaha’ > ‘5 Card Omaha’ tabs.

In case you are not familiar with those variants, 5 Card Omaha is played just like regular Omaha, but with five hole cards. Courchevel is a variation of 5 Card Omaha where the first flop card is dealt face up at the beginning of the hand.

* Font Options and Changes to Default Font Setup for List Of Games - In order to improve readability of the list of games, we are adding three pixels to the height of the rows in the main lobby game lists.

We also have added options to change the font used in the main lobby game lists. To access these options go to ‘View’ > ‘Game List Font Options’.

* Auto Rebuy for Tournaments Improvements – We have introduced the ability for players to specify in more detail how they want Auto Rebuy to work in rebuy tournaments. You will now have three options to specify from the table of a rebuy tournament:

  • Whenever possible
  • 1x Rebuy when 0 chips
  • 2x Rebuy when 0 chips

In addition, we are adding the ability to set your default tournament Auto Rebuy preference so that you don’t need to specify your selection for each tournament. To do this, simply go to ‘Options’ > ‘Auto Rebuy (Tournaments)...’. Of course, you can also later change your choice via the table controls for each individual tournament.

* Option to Register for a New Sit & Go from Elimination Dialog – We have added the ability to register for another Sit & Go of the same type in the dialog that shows once a tournament ends for you. This is simply a convenience feature to allow players to jump straight into another Sit & Go of the same type.

* Zoom Observation Mode – This item was briefly mentioned last update, but we have now rolled out the ability to observe a Zoom group. Once you select a Zoom group you will notice an ‘Observe Game’ button. What actually happens is that observers see a selection of hands that have been recently played, to allow them to get a feel for Zoom. There are multiple factors that determine which hands are picked and shown to observers, but the goal is to pick the most interesting hands.

We also now have the ability to show Zoom groups in the main list of Ring Games, as some of you have already noticed.

* Hall Of Fame Client Badges – We are introducing ‘Hall of Fame’ badges for players who are members of the VIP Club Hall of Fame. You can read more about the Hall of Fame here.

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February 2013

* Views for Ring Game Lobbies - After adding a few enhancements to functionality during the Beta stage, we are releasing new views for the list of available games in the ring game lobbies. After you next update the software, you will see a new control in the ring game lobbies that allows you to change the ‘View’, with these three options:

  • Table View - This is the usual standard view, i.e. one list with all tables that match your filter settings
  • Groups View - All tables of the same type are grouped together in one entry, and there is a ‘Find Me A Seat’ button. This button looks for an empty seat at a table of this type. If no seat is immediately available, you will be given the option to continue searching for a seat. In this instance, the system will automatically add you to waiting lists and check for available seats until you either cancel the search or a seat is found. In either eventuality, you are automatically removed from any waiting lists where the system has added you. Soon, the plan is to integrate this with Table Starters (see November 2012 update below), so that if one exists you will also be added to the Table Starter.

    We have also added a new ‘Observe’ icon, which when clicked will open a table of this type that can be observed. Also, the number of tables now shows only tables which are dealing (for non-HU types), as opposed to also including empty or non-dealing tables.
  • Combo View - Here you can see groups, and once you select a group you will also see the specific tables within a group. It’s great for players who like to monitor multiple table types, but like to switch easily between them.

* Graphical Preview for Ring Games - We have added a graphical preview of the selected ring game in the main lobby. You will see a new toggle icon above the list of players on a table in the main lobby, allowing you to switch between the standard list view and a new graphical view of the table. In the graphical view you will still see notes on opponents, but in addition you will also be shown sitting out players, and where the button is. You can also choose a specific seat directly from the lobby, if one is available.

Graphical Preview for Ring Games

* Progressive Knockout Tournaments - We will be trialling a new type of a knockout tournament, currently given the working title ‘Progressive Knockouts’. In this variant, when you eliminate a player, you get a part of their bounty credited to your account, but another part goes towards your own bounty. This means you become more attractive to your opponents!

We are initially deploying only a few of these, to make sure everything is running smoothly before we deploy on a wider scale.

* Ability to Change Order of Columns in Lobby - This update adds drag & drop functionality to the columns in the main lobby, so you can arrange them just the way you want. Simply drag the header of any column and drop it where you want. You can also click the Column Settings gear icon just above the scroll bar to further configure your lobby.

* Auto-Seating Options (Ring Games) - This update merges the ‘Find Seat Options’ and ‘Table Starter Preferences’ into a new ‘Auto-Seating Options (Ring Games)’ dialog that is found under the ‘Options’ menu in the main lobby.

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January 2013

* Game List Font Options - We have added three new font set-ups. You can change the font set-up from ‘View’ > ‘Game List Font Options’. The new options are:

  • ‘Microsoft Sans Serif with Row Padding’ - this is the current font, with a few pixels of added row padding to aid readability.
  • ‘Utah’ - this is a set-up that uses the Utah font. Utah is a relatively new font that is designed to be narrow but at the same time very readable.
  • ‘Arial’ - this is a set-up with the Arial font.

For each of the set-ups you can change the font size to adjust the size up and down to your liking.

* Preferred Seat Enhancements - We are enhancing the preferred seat functionality slightly. In addition to updating the graphics to the Nova theme, we are also adding two new options: ‘Auto-center me at ring game tables’ and ‘Auto-center me at tournament tables’. If checked, each option will automatically seat you in the bottom centre seat for the respective game type, unless you already have a preferred seat setting for a specific layout. For themes that don’t have a bottom centre seat, you will be seated in the seat on the right of the bottom centre of the table.

We will also make the option for tournaments switched on by default, while the one for ring games will be off by default.

* Speed Filter Changes (Ring Games) - In line with the changes to table speed, the ring game filters will not have a Speed box anymore. Same applies to Easy Seat.

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December 2012

* Zoom Tournaments

Zoom tournaments are tournaments that play in a ‘Zoom’ style, i.e. once you fold you are moved to another table with different players from the same tournament that, like you, have finished their hands. Once the tournament nears the final table, it will switch to a regular playing style till the end of the tournament. There is also support for hand-for-hand while in Zoom mode of the tournament. During hand-for-hand, each hand will be synchronized so that once all tables have finished players will be re-seated and the next hand will be dealt. This way, we keep the spirit of Zoom game play, while disincentivizing stalling on the bubble.

* VIP Club 2013 Changes - This update lays the groundwork for the new VIP Level, ChromeStar, which is being introduced from the start of 2013.

* Variable Level Length in Tournaments - Tournaments will support variable time for different levels with this update. This would allow, for example, a tournament to have shorter initial levels, while having longer late-stage levels. This will be tested and then gradually added to some tournament structures.

* VIP Store Localization - The VIP Store will support multiple languages after this update. It will take time to populate the language data, but this should be a great improvement for non-English speakers.

* Run It Twice for Zoom - After this update we will be able to deploy Run It Twice (RIT) on Zoom groups. The exact timing of when RIT will be enabled for Zoom is not clear just yet, but we will update you once deployed. It might take some time after the client update.

* Nova Becoming the Default Theme - Nova will become the default table theme at PokerStars. Players who have never changed their theme on their current install will be prompted to change to the Nova theme, and new installations will have Nova by default.

* ‘Waiting On Tables’ Dialog Improvements - The ‘Waiting on Tables’ dialog will now allow you to remove yourself from individual waiting lists, in addition to leaving all waiting lists.

* Showing Number of Knockouts in Knockout Tournaments - In knockout tournaments, we will show in the Tourney Lobby the number of players someone has knocked out as an additional statistic.

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November 2012

* Zoom Shorthanded Dealing - This update will allow a Zoom player pool to begin shorthanded. When the Zoom group has a low number of players we can set the system to start dealing hands even if a table won’t be full.

* Table Starters - Table Starters acts like an interest list for specific ring game table types. They will appear in the lobby as another table and will be identified with a special icon at the start. Players can sign up on the Table Starter through the lobby by clicking “Join Table Starter”. Once enough players have signed up, a new table is created with the players on the Table Starter list.

Here is how a table will specifically be started: Buy-in amount will be asked at the time of joining the table starter. At this point funds are not reserved, but players pre-approve to be bought in for that amount once the table starts. Once enough players join the Table Starter who have the pre-approved funds available, the new table will open and players will be bought in for the amounts they previously specified. Blinds will then be posted but the dealing of cards will not actually start for a few seconds to allow all players to notice the new table starting. Once this short wait elapses, dealing will begin, and from then on everything will behave like a normal table. There will also be a “Play Now” button that if clicked by everyone who is seated will start the dealing immediately.

Every player can choose how many players they want to start a table with. Once a match is found a table will start. You can customize your own settings for when a table should start by going to ‘Options’ > ‘Table Starter Preferences...’ So if four players have specified they are OK for the table to start four-handed join the Table Starter, a new table will be formed and those players will be able to play while the remaining seats stay open for other players.

Various features in PokerStars will automatically sign up players for Table Starters if they cannot be seated immediately. For example, when using “Easy Seat” or clicking “Play Now” in group mode, the system will first try to seat you at an existing table as requested, and if unavailable you will be added to the Table Starters list.

To avoid abuse, there will be a timer that will block players from using Table Starters should they be seated at a new table and then leave soon after the start of dealing. We also have automatic monitoring for abusive behaviours and reserve the right to sanction players who attempt to use Table Starters for purposes other than to play at the newly created tables. More specifically, trying to avoid paying your fair share of blinds, or using Table Starters to find favorable opponents, is not allowed.

We will be rolling Table Starters out slowly at first, but if all works as expected they may be utilized as the only way to start new tables of certain types

* System to Unregister from Sit & Go’s when Disconnected - We will slowly introduce a system that will protect players who are registered in Sit & Go tournaments should they become disconnected before the Sit & Go starts. In essence, the system will unregister players from specific Sit & Go’s if the players are disconnected for longer than a specified amount of time. The time you will need to be disconnected will depend on the specific Sit & Go and will be configured per tournament. The purpose of this feature is to help prevent players who register but then get disconnected from being blinded out of an event which starts when they are no longer able to connect and play.

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October 2012

* Run It Twice (Beta) - We have been working on Run It Twice, and are now ready to deploy it as a Beta feature in the main clients. To recap for players who might not yet be familiar with the feature, Run It Twice allows players to have the remaining board cards dealt twice once everyone is all in. The pot is split in two and awarded for each ‘board’ separately. Players must ‘opt in’ to always use Run It Twice when the opportunity arises.

You can configure Run It Twice settings from ‘Options’ > ‘Run It Twice (Beta)’, and select the following choices:

  • Never (default)
  • Always
  • By Table (default On)
  • By Table (default Off)

Everyone remaining in a hand when action is completed needs to have elected to Run It Twice in order for it to actually happen. If any of the participants in the hand have not turned on this feature in advance, the board will run out normally, one time, for all players.

We will not charge extra rake for Run It Twice hands.

* New Deck - We are releasing the new Quasar deck to the main clients. We have both new front cards and new back cards which are independent of each other, so you can mix them with current fronts and backs.

Quasar deck

* System to Unregister from Sit & Go’s when Disconnected (Beta) - We will slowly roll out a system that will protect players who are registered in Sit & Go tournaments should they become disconnected before the Sit & Go starts. In essence, the system will unregister players from specific Sit & Go’s if the players are disconnected for longer than a specified amount of time. The time you will need to be disconnected will depend on the specific Sit & Go and will be configured per tournament. The purpose of this feature is to help prevent players who register but then get disconnected from being blinded out of an event which starts when they are no longer able to connect and play.

There is an option to opt out of this protection via ‘Options’ > ‘Advanced Multi-Table Options’ > ‘No Automated Unregistering for Sit & Go tournaments’.

* Round To Nearest Blind - Players who use the bet slider shortcuts or hotkeys to ‘bet % of pot’ will have their bet rounded to the nearest small or big blind. Whether the rounding is to the small or to the big blind will depend on the bet slider increment you have chosen in ‘Options’ > ‘Bet Slider Options’ (default is Big blind).

We have also added the ability for players to opt out and use the old logic by selecting ‘Set/Bet % of pot: Don’t round to nearest blind’ in ‘Options’ > ‘Advanced Multi-Table Options’.

* Preserved Chat on Zoom Tables - Zoom tables will now preserve the chat from the last few hands. This will hopefully make it more social in smaller Zoom pools, where it is likely that you will have similar opponents on the next hand, and will also allow Zoom players to BOOM! their hands more easily.

* 3 New Emoticons - We have added three new emoticons – fish, donkey, and shark.

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August 2012

* Main Lobby Filters Placement Changes - We are improving the visibility of the elements currently below the list of games - i.e. filters and the ‘Show registering/upcoming’ button - by moving them to above the list of games. For the ‘Tourney’ tab, we are also moving the text search to be outside the filters, as a separate search field.

Main Lobby Filters Placement Changes

* Chat Emoticons - We have added chat emoticons to the chat area to improve your chatting experience.

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July 2012

* BOOM! - We have recently enabled BOOM! on the .com client. As some of you have already seen, BOOM! allows you to share your poker hands in the format of a video, and view and discuss hands shared by other players and Pros. You can share hands either directly to Twitter or VKontakte from the client or to http://www.boomplayer.com, where you can watch, upload, or discuss hands. Visit the BOOM! page for more info.

* Unregister from all Tournaments - We have enhanced the ‘Registered in Tournaments’ dialog to allow you to unregister from multiple (or all) tournaments at the same time, and to also give you a better overview on the tourneys that you are currently registered for. You can access this from ‘Requests’ > ‘Registered in Tournaments’ in the main lobby or via the Ctrl+R shortcut from the main lobby.

* Hotkeys: Tweaks and Improvements - We have made some small tweaks to Hotkeys. The biggest change is that we have added a new hotkey to bring the table requiring most urgent action to the front. You can set up the Hotkey by selecting ‘Go to ‘First Action’ Table' from the Hotkeys box.

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June 2012

* Prize Pool Column in Alternative Tourney Layout - We are adding a prize pool column in the alternative tourney tab layout. This will update in real time, showing the prize pool of the tournament. If you have not enabled this view you can do so from ‘Options’ > ‘Lobby Display Options’ > ‘Enable Alternative Tournament List Layout (Beta)’. You will then see the prize pool column.

* Showing List of Players in Main Lobby for Sit & Go’s up to 45 Players - We are adding the ability to see registered players in up to 45-player Sit & Go’s, directly from the main lobby.

* Custom Time Zones - We are adding a ‘Custom’ entry in the time zones dialog that allows you to specify a custom UTC offset in case your time zone or the Daylight Saving Time specific to your region is not currently supported.

* Display of VPPs Earned Per Hand (Ring Games) - The number of VPPs earned for each ring game hand will show as an additional column in the ‘Instant Hand History’ window.

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May 2012

* Table Themes Customization (Beta) - We are adding improvements to the ability to customize the look of the tables. We are bringing all customization options into one dialog, that is directly accessible from the table:

Table Theme Customization

This dialog replaces the previous ‘Table Themes’ dialog. Changes:

  • All themes now support multiple felt color and background options.
  • Custom felt color. Don’t like the colors we have pre-selected? No problem, pick your own!
  • More visibility on changing the front deck and back deck.
  • The back deck is not tied to the front deck anymore, so you can now mix and match.
  • The dialog has a preview area on the table for quick feedback on the changes.
  • We have added two new profiles: ‘All Sit & Go Tables’ and ‘All Zoom Tables’. So now you can have a different felt color, background or theme based on the type of game. Just select a different profile from the ‘Apply To’ drop-down and apply your changes to that profile.
  • An option to apply the changes via the right-click table menu to the current table only. This is accessed from the lobby via ‘View’ > ‘Right-Click: Apply Changes to This Table Only’.

* Tournament Color Options (Beta) - We are adding a new menu to the ‘Options’ drop-down called ‘Tournament Color Options...’.

Tournament Color Options

From this dialog you can configure what color tournaments use in the main lobby, and choose to disable certain colors. You can also disable all colouring of the lobby and just have a black and white lobby.

* Easy Seat Advanced Options - We are adding the ‘Filter’ advanced options to ‘Easy Seat’ that will allow you to specify additional criteria for the tables Easy Seat considers. For example, Min. Average Pot, Min. Average Stack, etc.

* Beta Options Menu - We have added a lot of new functionality over the past few updates and decided to add a new ‘Beta Options’ menu that will allow players to easily see what the latest Beta features are. To access it simply go to ‘Options’ > ‘Beta options’.

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April 2012

* Right Click Table Customization – We are adding the ability to choose a different background, and to change the felt color for each theme. After the update, you can right-click on the respective area of the table and you will see a drop-down menu with a selection of background or felt choices. For example, you can play with the Nova theme with a light-coloured background, or play with the Black theme and have a red felt on a red carpet background.

Table Customization (Beta)

* Zoom Improvements – We have made a lot of improvements to Zoom this month, based on player feedback. Some of the new changes in this client release are:

  • 'Fold and Watch' button inside the Fold button, making it easier to fold and watch a hand with just a single click of the mouse. This is optional, and turned off by default. To enable this feature, go to 'Options' > 'Zoom Options' > 'Display Fold and Watch' from the lobby.

    Fold and Watch

  • After choosing to fold and watch, there will now be a 'New Hand' button, so that you can jump straight back into action without having to wait for the hand to actually finish.

* Auto-Refreshing of Stats & Info Tabs – The 'Stats' and 'Info' tabs on the tables will now automatically refresh after each hand. This has freed up some space, so we are adding 'X places paid' for tournaments. Please let us know what you would find most useful in this tab, for both ring games and tournaments.

* Hotkeys Improvements – We are introducing some further improvements to Hotkeys, including:

  • Activate Next/Previous Table. The behaviour here is changing to closer match the feedback we have received from players.
  • Zoom Fold and Watch hotkey is also being introduced.

* Auto-Buy-In and Rathole Restriction - We have added an option in the ‘Auto-Buy-In’ dialog to allow players to auto-buy-in for the rathole restriction amount when applicable, and not be prompted with the buy-in dialog. To activate this setting, simply check ‘Automatically return to table with same amount if required’ in the Auto-Buy-In dialog (‘Options’ > ‘Auto-Buy-In (Ring Games)’).

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March 2012

* Zoom Poker - Zoom is our fast-paced ring game format that allows you to play many more hands per hour, by constantly assigning players to new tables, with new opponents, as soon as they fold.

Zoom is a very customizable product, as players can pick three different animation styles, choose to ‘Sit Out Next Big Blind’, and even decide to fold a hand but still remain on the table and observe it, by clicking Ctrl+Fold Button.

* New MTT Lobby - We have released an alternative layout for the main ‘Tourney’ lobby in the client. The aim is to re-group the information and make it more user-friendly to navigate through the tournament listings.

This alternative layout is turned off by default for now, but you can try it out by going to ‘Options’ > ‘Lobby Display Options’ > ‘Enable Alternative Tournament List Layout (Beta)’.

* Bigger Fonts on Small Tables - We have released as Beta the option to use alternative, bigger fonts for tables at smaller sizes. To try the alternative fonts, enable them from ‘Options’ > ‘Table Display Options’ > ‘Larger Fonts on Small Tables (Beta)’.

* Pre-Action Checkboxes Redesign - This is a small improvement to the design of the pre-action check boxes, to make them stand out more.

Pre-Action Checkboxes Redesign

* Omaha Tab Redesign - The main Omaha games tab will get a slight redesign to allow players to find the games they want more easily. Play Money games will be split with their own tab, and there will also be Real Money sub-tabs for stake levels (All, High, Medium, Low, Micro).

* Events Tab Changes - We have re-organized the ‘Events’ tab slightly to allow some regional tours to be presented better to players.

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February 2012

Final Table Themes - We have created special final table versions of all of our themes, giving you a sense of achievement for making the final table, but without being too over-powering or completely changing the look of your chosen theme. The final table background includes a spotlight effect on both the table itself and the surrounding area. For those who are multi-tabling, these need effects also let you know which tables require that little bit of extra attention.

Final Table Themes

We will be slowly rolling out the final table themes in the coming weeks. Eventually, all tournaments will have them, plus all larger Sit & Go’s. If you don’t like the final table themes, they can be turned off under ‘Options’ > ‘Table Display Options’ > ‘Show Final Table Background’.

Dynamically Calculated Pay Tables - The prizes for each position in a scheduled tournament will now be updated dynamically as players register, rather than waiting for registration to close. This means players will have a much better idea what the prizes for a tournament will be, before they register.

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January 2012

* Flighted Tournaments – We are now pleased to offer you Flighted Tournaments, which allows you to play the first levels of a large tournament at different times, and then join together with other players for the later stages. This format is similar to certain large live events, where there are days 1A and 1B, both of which send survivors to Day 2.

* Highlight Active Player – We have released an alternate way of marking the active player, which uses a highlight effect rather than blinking. You can enable this setting via "Options" > "Table Display Options" > "Highlight Active Player".

Highlight Active Player

* Chat Bubble Improvements – We have made the following improvements to chat bubbles based on player feedback:

  • Bubbles will automatically be sized based on text length.
  • You can disable your own chat bubbles via the menu that drops down from your chat bubble.
  • Left-clicking a chat bubble instantly hides that particular chat bubble instance.

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2011

* Hotkeys – This feature allows you to configure keyboard/mouse shortcuts for various game actions. You can configure your PokerStars hotkeys by going to 'Options' > 'Hotkey Settings'.

Hotkey actions include: Fold, Check, Bet / Raise, Set Bet amount to X% / BB / All in (with the option of whether to bet or just set the bet amount), Activate next / previous table and more. You can also control which table uses the hotkey, either the one that is active, or the one that is under the mouse pointer. You can even specify a custom color for a table border that highlights the table that is receiving the hotkey!

* Easy Seat (Beta) – Easy Seat transforms the experience of starting a multi-tabling session. Once you set up your Easy Seat preferences you will be able to launch your sessions with just a single click from the main lobby! Taking your seat has never been this easy!

Once started, Easy Seat will automatically look for free seats at tables that match your criteria. If there aren't enough free seats; Easy Seat will add you to suitable waiting lists. For example, if you specify that you want to play 18 fast tables of $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em, the Easy Seat system will seat you at 18 tables as fast as possible.

Easy Seat

Easy Seat can also help maintain your desired number of tables. If you enable 'Session Mode', when tables close Easy Seat will open new ones to keep you at your desired number.

Easy Seat will initially be in a Beta stage and not shown by default in the main ring game lobby. To test out Easy Seat, go to 'Options' > 'Lobby Display Options' and select 'Show Easy Seat (Beta)'. For best results you should enable Auto-Buy-In to make the process as seamless as possible.

* Time Tournaments – Time tournaments are perfect when you want to play a tournament but only have a limited amount of time. Time tournaments end after a pre-defined period. Once the time limit is reached, surviving players are paid out based wholly or partially on chip counts.

* "Nova" Table Themes – There are four new themes, which include a new table design, and features that many players asked for, such as North/South seating, bigger fonts, more distinguishable cards of opponents etc. To use one of the new themes simply go to 'View' > 'Table Themes' and pick one of the Nova themes.

Nova Table Themes

* Fold and Show/Show One Card – Players will now be given the ability to Fold and Show (rather than just fold) when last to act. Players will also be able to only show some of their cards rather than having to choose between showing all or none. You choose which card(s) you want to show by clicking on them.

Fold and Show does not work in draw games. As before, general preferences for whether to ever show are controlled in the 'Showing / Mucking Hands' section of the Options menu.

* Animation Improvements – We have made improvements to some of the table animations in the client so they are smoother. This is part of a large project that will gradually improve animations in the client even more. To try these improvements, select 'Options' > 'Table Display Options' > 'Animation' > 'Full'. We have renamed the previous animation method to 'Simplified', which will still be the default until further notice.

* Home Games Social Features – Home Games clubs will be more social in future.  We have added a wall feature to allow players to post and reply to messages in the club lobby.  We have also added an announcement/whiteboard feature for club administrators so they can share important messages with their members.

* Deal Making Improvements – Over the last month we have added to all our guaranteed Multi-Table Tournaments (MTT's) a feature that allows players to pause a tournament manually when on the final table.  If you want to pause a tournament for deal discussions, simply go to the 'Info' tab on the table and select 'Discuss a deal'.  If all players on the final table select this, then the tournament will auto-pause and a Support representative will be called to the table to facilitate the deal.  We will be expanding this option to include more MTTs in coming weeks.

* Notes Improvements – We have made a number of improvements to how our notes system works:

  • You can now differentiate between a player who just has a colored label and a player who actually has a textual note. The presence of the 'N' icon would indicate that there is text, while the lack of it would indicate that you have just assigned a colored label.
  • Applying a color label is much quicker now. You can do this via the 'Label' right-click menu that has been added, or even quicker by enabling 'Left-click player to assign label' from 'Options' > 'Player Notes'. This will allow you to see the labels menu by just left-clicking a player - very handy for quick note taking!
  • You can now have more than eight labels, and there are also various other small improvements.

* Sit & Go Lobby Revamp – PokerStars has made changes to the Sit & Go lobby to make it easier to navigate and find the games you want. Also added are Hyper-Turbo cash Sit & Go's as part of the non-satellite Sit & Go offering.

Sit & Go Lobby Revamp

* Sit Out Next Big Blind and Close Table – This new functionality lets you sit out the next big blind and close an individual table. 'Options' > 'Advanced Multi-Table Options' > 'Sit out next big blind' checkbox: Close table on big blind' enables this feature.

Activating this checkbox changes the behaviour when manually selecting 'Sit out next big blind' checkbox, closing the table once you are sitting out. Note that Session Options can still be used to sit out next big blind on all tables without closing tables.

* Column Settings – The lobby's 'Column Settings' dialog box allows you to choose which lobby columns are displayed in the list of games. You can now also resize the width of individual columns. The 'Column Settings' dialog is accessible via a small icon to the right of the last column.

Column Settings

This means that if you want to, you can now remove the "H/hr" column or the "ID" tournament column and make your lobby simpler. Another part of this feature is the ability to lock the sort of the columns – so if you mis-click a header, you won't lose your advanced sort as a result.

* Chat Bubbles – Chat Bubbles make it more obvious when players are talking, to tell who is talking. If you don't like this feature, you can turn it off at the table by mousing over a chat bubble and using the drop-down menu that will show in the right of the bubble. Alternatively, you can also disable Chat Bubbles in 'Options' > 'Table Display Options'.

Chat Bubbles

* Show List of Registered Players in Lobby – You will now be able to see the list of players that have already registered for Heads-up and Single Table Tournaments directly from the main lobby.

* Home Games – Home Games is a featured section of the PokerStars game client, unlike anything else in online poker. It's designed to let you create and manage your own private Poker Club, where you play the ring games and tournaments you choose, with just your friends, at the time you want. All you need to do is visit the new 'Home Games' tab in the lobby and open your own club or join a club created by one of your poker buddies. Then you can schedule and play your very own online Home Games.

For more information, see the Home Games web page.

Home Games

* Customizable VIP Club Progress Bar – We have rebranded the VIP Stellar Rewards progress bar as the 'VIP Club Progress Bar'. You can choose between Stellar Rewards and Milestones, VIP level, or monthly or yearly VPP targets. To access the customization menu, go to 'Options' > 'Customize VIP Club Progress Bar'.

Customize VIP Club Progress Bar

* Automatic Seating when you Accept a Seat from Waiting List – When you accept a seat from a waiting list you will now be automatically seated and will immediately see the buy-in dialog. As a result, you won't have to click on a reserved seat anymore. If you have Auto Buy-In enabled, you will be instantly bought in as well, without needing to make any more clicks. We appreciate that some players might not like this, so we've added an option to keep the old behavior. If you still want to click on a specific reserved seat manually, please uncheck 'Options' > 'Advanced Multi-table Options' > 'Auto-Seat Me after accepting reserved seat'.

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2010

* Seat Me – When you select a table that has empty seats in the ring game lobby, you will notice a 'Seat Me' button below the 'Go to Table' button. Clicking 'Seat Me' automatically opens the table for you and sits you in one of the empty seats on the table. If you have Auto Buy-In enabled, you will be automatically bought in for the desired amount; if not – the usual buy-in dialog will appear. In this way taking a seat can be a single-click process from the main lobby.

Seat Me

* Find Seat – Building on top of "Seat Me" we are introducing "Find Seat". When you select a full ring game table or a table at which you are already seated, a "Find Seat" button will show where the "Seat Me" button is displayed. The "Find Seat" feature looks for an empty seat at another table of the exact same type as the currently selected one and reserves it for you.

Find Seat

We have also added this feature to the "Session Options" menu:

  • Seat Me at a Similar Table: We have also added this feature to the "Session Options" menu, so with two mouse clicks or by pressing Ctrl+S you can be seated at another identical table without even having to open the main lobby.
  • Register to Similar Tournament: Sit & Go's have a related change – the "Session Options" menu will have a new entry – "Register to Similar Tournament (Ctrl+S)" – this has the same effect as "Register to Any" from the lobby.

* Bet Slider Options – A "Bet Slider Options" menu has been added:

  • The mouse wheel can now be used to move the bet slider without having to select the table first. Simply hover the mouse pointer over the bet slider and any scrolls will affect the bet slider beneath the pointer, regardless of which PokerStars table currently has focus.
  • There are several options that adjust the bet slider behavior. You can choose to increment in small blinds, to invert the mouse wheel behavior, and to jump the slider to the clicked position instead of incrementing by a small or a big blind.
  • Last, and most probably best, we have given you the ability to customize your own bet sizing shortcut buttons. Those are small buttons above the bet slider which have pre-set bet amounts, which you can choose. Those buttons are off by default since not every player wants them, but you can enable them by going to 'Options' > 'Bet Slider Options'. You can configure different buttons for pre- and for post-flop action. Pre-flop you can specify number of Big Blinds and post-flop you can specify % of the pot among other options, including betting the "Pot". You can have anything that will fit your playing style – it's all up to you to customize.

Bet Slider Options

* Detached Chat – Moving this out of Beta, we have improved the design and also added several additional features. There is an option now to automatically detach the window for newly-opened tables. We have also implemented 'Merged' mode (by default) when you are playing at more than one table. In Merged mode there is only one detached chat window shared among all the tables that are currently open. As you switch tables, the visible chat changes too, in that one window.

Detached Chat

* Auto Buy-In – Auto Buy-In allows you to instantly buy in after left-clicking Seat Open without any intermediate steps. Simply set up your buy-in preferences once, and the next time you sit at a table you will automatically buy-in. Auto Buy-In can be set up through 'Options' > 'Auto-Buy-In (Ring Games)...' or by clicking on the link in the traditional buy-in dialog. You can choose the number of "big bets" you want to buy-in on all Fixed Limit tables, and the number of "big blinds" to buy-in for on various types of No Limit, Pot Limit and Mixed Limit tables. Want to buy in as an exception for a different amount? Simply right-click on 'Seat Open' and the traditional buy-in dialog will show up.

Auto Buy-In

* Session Options – With this release we introduce an integrated platform that easily allows you to manage your state during a session. When you are playing, you will see a small additional icon on each of your tables that gives you easy access to the Session Options menu. From there you can Sit Out on all tables, Sit out next big blind on all tables, Resume play on all tables that you are sitting out on, and end your session gracefully – Sit out next big blind on all tables and close them.

Session Options

For immediate feedback about the state of your session, the table icon will change from a green play sign when you are sitting in on all tables, to a yellow play/pause icon when you are sitting in on some and sitting out on other tables, to a red pause icon when you are sitting out on all tables.

Session Options

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If you have any questions about any of PokerStars features, contact support@pokerstars.com.

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