PokerStars launched its version of lottery-style sit-and-go tournaments named Spin & Gos earlier in the month, and the games have proven to be quite popular.
Spin & Go tournaments are three-max, hyper-turbo tournaments with a twist. Instead of playing for a fixed prize pool, the prizes are determined by a random generator right before the action begins that can range anywhere from 2X to 1,200X the buy-in with a top prize for the winner set at 1,000X the buy-in.
According to the PokerStars Blog, 7.3 million Spin and Go tournaments were played on PokerStars within the first 10 days of the launch.
During that time period, 787 players we able to strike it big with a 5-digit score with 20 of those players hitting the grand jackpot of $30,000 which can only be hit by winning a $30 Spin & Go tournament with a 1,000X multiplier. Hitting the 1,000 isn't easy considering only 377 of the 7.3 million games played have been for the maximum prize pool for that buy-in.
Are Spin & Go's Changing the PokerStars Ecology?
In the short time Spin & Gos have launched on PokerStars, we have already seen an impact on the site's ecology. PocketFives reported that many cash game players have been playing Spin & Gos instead.
It is a safe assumption it is mostly recreational players changing games since this is the demographic that these types of games typically attract. If this trend continues, it may turn out that cash games become more difficult in nature.
PokerScout reported that cash game traffic on PokerStars decreased 9.2 percent during the first week Spin and Gos were introduced when compared to the previous week. PokerScout estimates that the true decrease in cash game traffic may actually be anywhere from 12 to 16 percent since last year during this same time period cash game traffic increased by 2.5 percent.
Whether this heavy shift in traffic is because of the short-term excitement of the new game or to be permanent is up for speculation. However, we should notice a longer-term shift in traffic, even if it's less significant, based on how these games have shifted traffic on other sites.
Some professional players are happy that now all the proverbial fish are in one barrel. However, others feel that even though you can be profitable in these games in the long run, luck will play a huge factor due to how many times the larger prize pools randomly appear.
"The fact that you can theoretically win a thousand buy-ins in a span of minutes makes the format extremely exciting and addictive for recreational players," said Tiltbook's "masuronike". "That looks like a great thing at first glance and should make the game potentially very profitable for regulars and skilled players.
"The reality is that the actual profit of even the best and most skillful players will be affected by sheer luck ... Most of your winnings will be determined by how lucky you'll be in hitting and, of course, winning the games with 100+ buy-ins."
The Spin & Go tournament are exclusively available at PokerStars. To learn more about the poker room and how to get up to $50 in free Spin & Go tickets, $20 free to use as you wish and a seat in the PokerNews-exclusive $10,000 monthly freerolls, have a look at our in-depth review of the poker room or head straight to PokerStars.