Top Trumps Poker, $multi-million Series and PokerStars Curious Affair in China

October 2, 2020
Andrew Burnett

Football-themed poker games, $multi-million online series match-ups and PokerStars curious affairs in China top the industry news billing this week, but we’ll kick off with the latest re-opening news in Vegas…

Wynn Las Vegas set to re-open despite top 10 Covid listing

Despite claiming a dubious top 10 spot in the most popular spots frequented by Covid-19 infected patrons, the Wynn Las Vegas has decided to re-open it’s poker-room at the end of September.

The Wynn Las Vegas featured 9th in the Southern Nevada Health District report for August, a poll headed by the Cosmopolitan and seeing 8 casino resorts and two jails make up the top ten.

This week’s announcement, however, will see the poker room re-open in the Encore casino on Wednesday 30th September, with 24/7 opening hours.

With plans for 8-player tables, social distancing measures and disinfection procedures in place, Ryan Beauregard, executive director of poker operations at Wynn Las Vegas, stated in a press release: "We are thrilled to welcome guests back to the Poker Room."

He added: "Our team is looking forward to delivering the same exceptional poker experience Wynn has always been known for in a safe and enjoyable environment for all."

iPoker turn to football for fast forward format

The iPoker network has announced Top Trumps Football Stars Poker as the permanent replacement for their fast-fold variant, Speed Poker.

It follows the same principles as most other ‘fast forward’ games, players joining a pool rather than a single table and able to immediately fold and be moved to an open spot at another table for an instant new hand.

The popularity of this less-skilled but action-packed format has grown massively in recent years, and iPoker’s twist will see progressive jackpots to go with the new Top Trumps football theme.

“We are proud that we are the first in the industry delivering another exciting poker game that is connected to massive progressive jackpots,” Jörg Nottebaum, Head of Poker at iPoker, told PokerIndustryPRO this week.

PokerStars rumoured to have pulled the plug on Chinese 6UP skin

PokerStars’ withdrawal from the market in China, Taiwan and Macau has apparently also affected the special skin that many Chinese players relied.

FLUTTER Entertainment, owners of Stars since a big merger earlier this year, had indicated they would be switching off certain markets, China among them.

This move, according to a Pokerfuse article, has now seen PokerStars cut ties with 6UP – the third-party SEA that shared the .com player pool but offered different deposit/withdrawal options.

Exclusive freerolls were first to disappear, followed by ‘regular tables and tournaments’, with a message stating “our platform is no longer available in your region” appearing later.

PokerStars have not commented on the move or its implications for live event sponsorship in the region.

WSOP and WPT Online series’ see record numbers

This summer saw enough online poker action to almost forget that live tournament poker is a thing and the battle between the WSOP and WPT for players produced remarkable numbers.

The traditional WSOP was played across their eponymous client and also the GGPoker network, while the WPT took to partypoker for the World Online Championships.

The WSOP numbers and records for an online series were impressive, some given below…

Most Seven-Figure Prize Pools 45 (out of 54)
Second-Biggest Overall Prize Pool: ~ $147,808,535
Biggest Average Prize Pool: ~ $2,737,195
Biggest Number of Millionaires Made: 13

The WPT’s World Online Championships has only just finished, two $million+ payouts coming in the final SHR tournament won by Michael Addamo.

Though taking a different tack with split level buy-ins, they still produced 24 tournaments boasting prizepools of at least $1 million, three that broke through the $5million barrier, as well as a $10million Main Event.

That’s it for another week, but we’ll be back again next weekend with all the biggest industry stories.

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