PokerStars, the world’s most popular online poker site that boasts more than 49 million registered members, announced that beginning January 1st, 2014 all $50/$100 no limit Hold’em and pot limit Omaha ring game tables will be removed and replaced with Zoom poker player pools. There are two major benefits to zoom poker: security and speed of play.
Zoom poker is a fast-paced format where your opponents change every hand. This is because you play against a pool of players, instead of fixed opponents on one table. The primary difference between Zoom poker and any other cash game is that as soon as you fold, you are instantly reseated at a new table with different players from the same pool.
PokerStars is testing changing high stakes NLHE and PLO to Zoom games in response to players who have voiced their concern about table selection software. "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 Nick Williamson, Ring Game Manager for PokerStars.
Lee Jones, PokerStars' Head of Poker Communication, stressed that the games need to become less about table selection and more about the poker itself. Jones said it isn't healthy for these games to have a "predatory environment."
"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" Williams stated. Zoom began by being beta tested on PokerStars in March and during the course of the beta phase, more than 300 million hands of Zoom were dealt. PokerStars ended beta testing and formally launched Zoom poker on the site in May. Williams did not comment on the length of this high stakes Zoom test and PokerStars has not decided whether this change will be permanent or temporary. After the high-stakes Zoom games have been implemented, PokerStars will conduct a review based on player feedback and make further decisions regarding the high-stakes game.
Canadian and Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu endorses the Zoom concept and offers an online video introduction to Zoom. According to Negreanu “Zoom Poker offers people a different way to play poker. Recreational players, who want more constant action, will be able to fold instantly and wait for better hands, while pro grinders will be able to get in hundreds of more hands an hour and win more.”
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