In a series of changes being made to the online poker offerings of PokerStars, the company is removing all Heads-Up tables. 12th February 2016 onwards, you will not be able to play any cash No Limit Hold’em, Fixed Limit Hold’em, and Pot Limit Omaha heads-up games. Zoom Poker pools will substitute the heads-up games on the world’s biggest online poker site. Moreover, the company has also launched a one-on-one, turn-based poker app called Duel which brings No-Limit Hold’em on your mobile devices in heads-up format.
No More Heads-Ups
According to an email sent from PokerStars to players, “Heads-up Zoom is already in place at most stakes and will be added at $50/$100. We will also be adding Zoom No Limit Hold’em Cap games at stakes up to $25/$50.”
“These changes are part of PokerStars’ ongoing strategic plan to improve the poker ecosystem and enhance the player experience,” PokerStars Vice President of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser said. “In this case, we aim to reduce the widespread predatory behavior at heads-up games. We expect these changes to incentivize more players to be focused on playing poker and less focused on selecting opponents. Ultimately, we believe this will raise the competitive bar and help increase a fun and fair playing experience for everyone.”
A large number of regular players of the site were surprised at this announcement as PokerStars sent a very short notice before removing these tables. Some of the high rollers who have played the heads-up games for years on PokerStars were disappointed at this decision.
Dani ansky451 Stern said, “I don’t see how it will improve the issue of predatory behavior of pros like they hope. I also think that players who want to battle for lobbies will never play anymore. I’m not thrilled about it, but I will at least wait to see what the effect is before I declare it a success or failure.”
DUAL By PokerStars
PokerStars introduced a new, innovative way to play heads-up poker with the launch of DUAL, an app for mobile devices. The games in Dual app will run on the fundamentals of No Limit Hold’em on android n iOS smartphones. The app has been released initially in Norway as part of a limited beta test, before rolling out to further countries in the coming months.
The game has been developed by PokerStars eyeing the growing mobile and social game industry. Users in this game can challenge their friends and play one-on-one poker with them. Players will also be able to play against PokerStars sponsored pros like Daniel Negreanu and Chris Moneymaker.
The most interesting feature of the Dual app is you may pause the game anytime for any duration making it easier for poker enthusiast to play while travelling or at work. You will be able to resume the same hand once you’re back and your hand will not folded even irrespective of the time you take even if it’s your turn.
“Duel by PokerStars is a fun way to play poker, in a format that is perfect for mobile phones. Whilst I could put the game down any moment, I don’t want to – it offers all the depth of one-on-one poker, but playable whenever and against whomever I want,” said Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Room Operations for PokerStars.
“I love being able to play it so easily,” said Chris Moneymaker, a former world champion of poker. “It fits easily into my hectic life since I can pick up, and put down, anytime I want! It also manages to represent the depth of poker that I love.”