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PokerStars has announced a revamp of its Stars Rewards program as part of which reward points for MTT players are being reduced. While 100 reward points were awarded earlier for each $/€1 paid towards tournament rake or fees, February 15 onwards players will get only 45 reward points for the same.
WPTDeepStacks meanwhile, has entered a three-year partnership with 888poker and the two brands will be hosting events in Malta and Portugal together later in the year.
Additionally, with the announcement of ‘PlayTime with KittyPlays’ starting its live stream in front of a live audience at the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, the World Poker Tour (WPT) is looking at benefitting from the show’s sizeable gaming audience.
PokerStars Modifies Rewards in Player Loyalty Program
Online poker giant PokerStars has revamped its Stars Rewards program on it`s international client by announcing a number of changes. Topping the list of changes is the reduction of reward points for MTT players that will be implemented this Friday. Under the old program, the MTT players received 100 reward points per $/€1 paid towards tournament rake or fees. From February 15, the same will be worth only 45 reward points.
The move is based on player feedback and evaluation of the program over the past 18 months. Cash game players will still receive 100 reward points for every $/€1 in paid rake.
Expecting criticism coming its way from tournament players, PokerStars has claimed that the VIP program needs to evolve. Director of Poker Innovation and Operations, Severin Rasset said that the rewards points were reduced specifically where they would have “the least impact,” and were designed to allow the company to focus rewards where the impact would be greater.
A simplification of the Star Rewards as a whole and a hike in bounties received when players open a chest are some of the other major changes that will be enforced in the coming months. The latter was evidently receiving poor feedback from players. Players can also expect simpler rules in categorization and transition among the six chest levels. While the Stars Rewards Chests will nearly triple in value, the number of chests that can be opened will be reduced.
Additionally the ‘boost’ feature has been removed from the rewards program, and the value that players gained from it earlier will be shifted to the Chests. Instead, an ‘Exchange’ feature will be rolled out. The feature will allow players to trade in their current progress for claiming a reward instantaneously.
WPTDeepStacks Partners With 888Poker For Events in Malta & Portugal
On February 11, WPTDeepStacks announced that it had formed a partnership with 888poker and added two more events to the 2019 WPTDeepStacks Europe schedule in Malta and Portugal respectively. According to the deal, the two poker brands have agreed to a three-year partnership, in which 888poker will co-sponsor events and run online qualifiers for these two events.
The first of the two stops will be 888poker WPTDeepStacks Malta which will be hosted at the Casino Malta from April 8-14. The WPTDeepStacks Main Event, which has a €1,000 buy-in and carries a guarantee of €200,000, will play out from April 11-14. 888poker is currently hosting online satellites for the event.
The second stop, i.e. the 888poker WPTDeepStacks Portugal, will take place in September at the Casino Solverde Vilamoura from September 2-8. The Main Event is slated to run from September 5-8 and will feature s €1,100 buy-in and a €250,000 guarantee. Players can earn their seat to the event through online satellites on 888poker.com.
WPTDeepStacks took its most recent trip to Portugal last September, where Jimmy Livramento defeated a field of 224 entries to win €50,000.
Commenting on the partnership, WPT VP Europe Hermance Blum said, “WPTDeepStacks Europe looks forward to partnering with 888poker for our events over the next three years starting with WPTDeepStacks Malta and WPTDeepStacks Portugal. WPT has no doubt the addition of 888poker will greatly increase visibility at WPTDeepStacks locations across Europe.”
888 Holdings’ Senior Vice President of B2C Guy Cohen expressed his excitement regarding the venture and stated, “We are very excited to extend our relationship with the World Poker Tour by sponsoring an additional two events in Malta and Portugal. At 888poker, we strive to create a product that offers an engaging experience to all poker players and we are looking forward to launching our poker product in Portugal soon.”
WPT to Benefit From New eSports Gaming Show
World Poker Tour (WPT) may be able to get in boost in its fan following with the help of the new eSports gaming show ‘PlayTime with KittyPlays’.
On February 10, an announcement was made stating that ‘PlayTime with KittyPlays’ will be streamed in front of a live audience at the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas. Allied Esports, the company behind the show, has said it will feature celebrity chats, gameplay and the latest updates in the gaming world at the show.
Though the target audience of the show is primarily gamers, it could still benefit WPT since Allied Esports Entertainment is owned by the poker tour’s parent company Ourgame. Ourgame CEO Frank Ng has said that PlayTime will draw on Kristen Michaela’s aka KittyPlays`s popularity to engage the gaming community. With more than 500,000 social media followers and over 130,000 viewer hours on Twitch, Fortnite player Michaela is a rising eSports star.
“PlayTime is an outstanding kickoff to a year of what we intend to be a much larger, comprehensive content offering to come from Allied Esports, and we’re confident that Kristen’s magnetic personality and skill will carry this concept far beyond our own lofty expectations,” Ng said.
However, this is not WPT’s first venture in the gaming community. Back in October 2018, WPT had entered a deal with FansUnite. According to the partnership agreement with WPT, the deal between the two companies included the integration of the brand in Season XV broadcasts in Europe, “Plays of the Week” showcased on Super Channel in Canada, social media cross-promotion, on-site promotions at WPT events in Europe – Asia and WPT tie-in’s with other FansUnite partnerships.