PokerStars to start high-stakes Zoom-only trial
PokerStars today announced that on January 1st, 2014, all $50/$100 NLHE & PLO Ring Game tables and Table Starters will be removed and replaced with Zoom Pools. This change will occur during off-peak hours, and will strictly be a trial to evaluate player reception.
No decision has yet been made as to whether this change will be permanent or temporary.
After the change has been implemented, PokerStars will look at how it affects the games and make further decisions regarding either rolling back or expanding the change at that time.
"PokerStars developed a special High Stakes Zoom product with an eye toward replacing all High Stakes games with Zoom, and it's now time to put it to a test," said Nick Williamson, Ring Game Manager for PokerStars.
"Our players have told us that they want to focus on playing poker, rather than worrying about seating, lobby and software settings to get them the best seat at the table. This is in an effort to allow players to concentrate on actually playing poker while encouraging a healthy, competitive, non-predatory environment in our highest stakes games," said Williamson.
Players will still be able to observe the games: The PokerStars server automatically picks the (likely) most exciting hands played during the last ten minutes and displays them at a special 'Observer' table for people to view.
PokerStars recognises that there are potential issues with moving toward a Zoom-Only offering, but the current state of the games at these stakes makes the risks associated with a major change more worth taking.