PokerStars Increases Daily Big, Bigger, Biggest

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One of PokerStars staple tournament offerings are The Daily Bigs: events with big prizes pools for comparatively tiny buy-ins. Between Monday, October 14 and Sunday, October 20, 2013, PokerStars will be increasing the buy-ins even more, by turning them into Big, Bigger, or Biggest tournaments.

The new promotional Big version of The Daily Bigs will run from Monday, October 14 to Friday, October 18, increasing guaranteed prize pools by 50%.

The Bigger version of The Daily Bigs will run on Saturday, October 19, increasing guaranteed prize pools by double.

The Biggest version of The Daily Bigs will run on Sunday, October 20, increasing guaranteed prize pools by triple. This culminates in Tourney Number 800 Million with a $1 million guaranteed prize pool and $100,000 in added prizes.

In addition, at all of these Big, Bigger, and Biggest events – including Tourney Number 800 Million – bubble prizes will be awarded, in the form of free tickets back into the same event, in essence giving all those players who finished on the bubble in a particular The Daily Bigs event a second chance to play in that event again at no cost to them. The number of bubble prizes awarded at each event varies, depending on the event and whether or not it is currently Big, Bigger, or Biggest.

The Daily Bigs run all day each day, from The Big $3.30 at 01:00 ET through to The Big $2.20 at 20:30 ET.

The increased Daily Bigs are being offered as part of PokerStars larger 800 Million Celebration, being held in honor of the site’s 800 millionth tournament held.

PokerStars Holds $500K Giveaway

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PokerStars is holding a $500,000 giveaway promotion for all its sit and go tournament players called $500K Golden Sit & Gos – one small part of the site’s upcoming 800 Million Celebration.

Running from Sunday, October 13 to Saturday, October 19, 2013, the PokerStars $500K Golden Sit & Gos promotion promises boosted cash back on buy-ins and boosted prize pools. Randomly, PokerStars will declare various real money sit and go tournaments held during this promotional period to be $500K Golden Sit & Go Tournaments, which come in three types: Big, Bigger, or Biggest.

Big events award all participants twice their buy-in back plus boosts the guaranteed prize pool of the event by double.
Bigger events award all participants three times their buy-in back plus boosts the guaranteed prize pool of the event by triple.
Biggest events award all participants five times their buy-in back plus boosts the guaranteed prize pool of the event by five times.

PokerStars estimates that throughout the week-long promotional period, such prizes will be awarded, on average, every 3 minutes.

The $500K Golden Sit & Gos promotion is just one part of PokerStars larger 800 Million Celebration, honoring the holding of its 800 millionth tournament, which will cap off this multi-promotional event on Sunday, October 20, 2013.

Stay tuned here for more details on other events making up PokerStars 800 Million Celebration, including more details on the culminating tournament itself as well as the Big, Bigger, Biggest tournaments temporarily replacing the site’s popular The Daily Big tournament events.

Poker Stars Regional Promotional Rundown

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In addition to its regular promotional offerings for all its players everywhere around the world, PokerStars also hosts a vast assortment of regional promotions exclusively for players living in particular geographic areas. Here is a rundown of just some of the ones running right now at the site:

Icelandic Poker Championship seats worth $550 available through October 6 for players in Iceland wishing to take part in the country’s biggest live poker tourney, taking place in Reykjavic.

WCOOP Ticket Blast awards 118 WCOOP seats valued at more than $19K between now and September 10 for players in Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Romania, Poland, The Netherlands, Montenegro, Luxemburg, Hungary, Herzegovina, Greece, FYROM, Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Albania for as little as $0.22, with five additional tourneys qualifying players for special seat-added freeroll tournaments.

ACOP Platinum Series Mega Giveaway awards seats in the HKD $500,000 main event in Macau, with free and low cost qualifiers running now, awarding seats in one of three weekly finals plus hundreds more in tournament tickets, all for players anywhere in Asia.

Hot August is a multi-phase promotion made up of daily low-stakes tourneys awarding cash prizes and league points, with additional cash awarded to the top 200 players weekly, as well as tickets into the next WCOOP, all for as little as $0.11, but only available to players living in  Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Russia, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Estonia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in regional promotions at PokerStars. Check the site’s promotional page for the full list of special geo-specific offers running now.

Poker Stars August VIP Month Promotional Rundown

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For the entire month of August 2013, PokerStars is hosting a series of special offers grouped together under the banner of VIP Month.

The PokerStars VIP Month promotion includes: $1 Million VIP Giveaway Tournaments, Happy Hours, a VIP Store Sale, VIP Trivia Satellites, and a VIP WCOOP Satellite.

The PokerStars VIP Month $1 Million VIP Giveaway Tournaments are five tournaments offered to players earning SilverStar status or higher with cash prizes and WCOOP tournament ticket prizes totaling $1,000,000 in value. Earn as many FPPs as you can in August to gain entry into as many of these giveaway prize draw tournaments as you can.

The PokerStars VIP Month Happy Hours award 50% more VPPs and FPPs at the real money ring game and tournament tables every day between now and Sunday, August 11, between 3:00 and 4:00 am ET, between 10:00 and 11:00 am ET, and between 7:00 and 8:00 pm ET.

Then between August 9 and 31, PokerStars is holding a VIP Store Sale in honor of VIP Month, awarding discounts of as high as 90% for purchases made with FPPs.

Between August 12 and 18 players can win free entries into the $1 Million VIP Giveaway tournaments through VIP Trivia Satellites in which players must answer a trivia question in order to gain entry into the satellite tournament. In all, the site will be awarding 35,000 seats across the five $1M Giveaway events.

And lastly, on the final day of VIP Month, Poker Stars will hold a VIP Bash Satellite. At the August 31 event, the site will award 100 seats in the 2013 WCOOP Main Event. Players can buy-in directly with FPPs or win their seats through feeder qualifiers and satellite tournaments.

On top of all that, Poker Stars VIP Live: Berlin tournament happens August 24.

Poker Stars Finds New Jersey Casino Partner

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Formerly the undisputed king of its game, Poker Stars has recently suffered some tough times and has of late been bouncing back with some difficulty from the foils of Black Friday, April 15, 2011. Among those troubles was a rapidly closing deadline to file for a permit with the state of New Jersey to offer online poker legally to residents of the state. The holdup was Poker Stars’ inability to land a deal with one of the land-based casinos in the area: not a requirement for entry into the NJ online poker game, but certainly a foot in the door, and one which its biggest competitors had already taken.

The land based casino that has facilitated Poker Stars’ entry into New Jersey’s fledgling online poker industry is Resorts Casino Hotel, according to a statement released by The Rational Group which owns Poker Stars.

Resorts is also partners with Margaritaville and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Founded in 1978 and the first U.S. Casino to set up shop outside of Nevada, the Resorts Hotel and Casino in New Jersey is situated right on the Atlantic City boardwalk. This prime location is sure to be a boon for Poker Stars now as well.

Recently Poker Stars was in talks to strike up a similar deal with the Atlantic Club Casino but that never saw the light of day.

Now that Poker Stars was able to hop on Resorts’ coattails in time to file the necessary partnership details for consideration to go live when online gaming in the state does, its next step is to file, jointly with Resorts, its full application for a permit by the deadline of July 29, 2013.

Pokerstars Re-Entering US via New Jersey

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pokerstars to re-enter new jersey marketResorts Casino Hotel and The Rational Group, operator of PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, have come to an agreement to provide online poker to the residents of New Jersey, the companies announced today. The agreement links the first casino to open in Atlantic City with the biggest online poker company in the world. “This is another blue chip partner for Resorts to complete a wonderful series of brands – Mohegan Sun, Margaritaville and now PokerStars,” said Morris Bailey, Resorts’ Company Chairman.

“Resorts is a fantastic partner for us and we are looking forward to launch PokerStars in the U.S. in association with the other quality brands Resorts has brought to Atlantic City,” said Mark Scheinberg, CEO of The Rational Group. “We are very happy to invest in New Jersey and we are excited about building a successful relationship with Resorts.” The agreement is pending approval by the New Jersey regulatory authorities.

Many online poker players have been hitting the poker forums and expressing their desire to now move to New Jersey. No word yet on whether Full Tilt Poker which is also owned and operated by The Rational Group will also be opening up to NJ poker players.

New Jersey Deadline Poses Problem For PokerStars

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New Jersey is one of the few states where online poker is legal and Poker Stars, like many of its competitors, is trying to plant roots in the Garden State just as it is in every other legal online poker state in the U.S.. The only problem is, new rules set out by the New Jersey Gaming Enforcement Commission are going to make it hard for PokerStars to follow through on that wish, while many of those competitors have already had their wishes granted. To explain:

Any land-based casino already operating in Atlantic City, NJ has until June 30th, 2013 to apply for a license to operate an intrastate online casino. Right now all the land-based casinos in Atlantic City are owned by three parent companies: Boyd Gaming, Caesar’s Entertainment, and Borgata. The June 30th deadline also applies to any online gaming partners of those casinos, which includes 888 Holdings and Bwin.Party. It notably does not include Poker Stars, which has been struggling to purchase the Atlantic Club in Atlantic City in the hopes that that will give it a foot in the door, so to speak, and the advantage of the June 30th deadline. Without such a scheme, Poker Stars is beholden to the deadline set for offshore enterprises and out of state enterprises (including would-be online casino partners with no partnerships, a la PokerStars) of June 29th. This gives PokerStars a double disadvantage in the struggle to stake a claim in the New Jersey online gambling game as it has to have its act together a whole day sooner and it has no land-based partner to walk in on the heels of.

Kansas Online Poker Ban Fails to Pass Senate

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The effort to legalize online poker intrastate in Kansas has won another small victory as a recent gambling expansion bill that included a stipulation banning online poker and other online gambling bill within the state has official died in a final state Senate vote of 24 – 15.

The victory was small, and a close call, however, as in a previous vote on just amendment demanding the online gambling ban itself passed with a more than 2 to 1 vote of 26 – 11. That means it’s not very likely that the online ban played a role in the overall bill failing to get a passing vote, rather that the primary focus of the bill, to attract an additional land-based casino to the state to set up shop in an unoccupied zone in the SE corner of the state where in-person gambling is permitted, was unpopular. Interestingly, that corner of the state is the only one of the four authorized gambling zones within the state not to have attracted a new land-based casino to set up shop there yet, no doubt in part because the area is so sparsely populated.

If the bill had passed, the amendment with the online gambling ban would have prevented all electronic video games and slots from the state’s brick and mortar gambling facilities before 2032. And it would have made online poker and other forms of online gambling a Class B, non-person misdemeanor, the penalty for which could be up to a $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail.

Poker Stars Looking To Purchase Atlantic City, NJ Casino

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It looks as though online poker giant Poker Stars is looking to branch out into land-based poker as well, with the revelation made in The Wall Street Journal last Thursday, December 6, 2012 that the site recently lauded for buying out beleagured former rival Full Tilt Poker and bailing out its debt with players worldwide is now about to make another big purchase in the form of a brick and mortar casino in none other than Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The state of New Jersey has been in the headlines a great deal, of late, with its nearly successful attempts at landmark passage of legal intrastate online poker. It’s widely viewed now that the success of one of these attempts is imminent.

So which Atlantic City casino is Poker Stars in the process of negotiating a deal to buy? How about the Atlantic City Hilton, aka The Atlantic Club Hotel-Casino, formerly known as the Golden Nugget. The estimated cost? Only $50 million. The sellers? Colony Capital.

In its deal with the DOJ, Poker Stars has agreed to pay $731 million to the U.S. government to settle a 9-count federal indictment. New Jersey’s gaming licensing regulations are notoriously strict. So it remains unclear whether Poker Stars’ recent settlement with the United States Department of Justice regarding the Black Friday seizures of April 2011 would affect the company’s ability to secure a gaming license from the state of New Jersey to operate that casino.

Full Tilt Poker Launch Well Received

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This month, on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, while the U.S. reelected a president, the rest of the world got one of their favorite poker sites back. On that date, after 495 days off the scene, Full Tilt Poker returned. The formerly beleagured top poker site saved from oblivion by Poker Stars reopened its doors, accepting new players from (almost) everywhere (except France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Belgium and–most notably–the United States) and welcoming back players who still had an active Full Tilt Poker account (except from the United States) when Full Tilt Poker closed over a year ago.

The relaunch of Full Tilt Poker was greeted by the return of 400,000 of its previous players, with an average of 8,500 cash games taking place daily now at the site, at stakes of up to $400/$800. This also means former players at the site can log into their accounts to withdraw any funds they had locked up in that account as well. The site says it has $186 million to be returned to non-US players.

Aiming at the casual, recreational player more than the hard core professional (or amateur) trying to make a living (or a killing) online, the new Full Tilt Poker offers lower VIP rewards through its new Edge program than, say, Poker Stars’ VIP scheme, although FTP’s is currently offering a restricted 10-25% rakeback deal. PokerStars, incidentally, also doesn’t accept players from U.S.. Returning former Full Tilt Poker players may find that they haven’t been placed in the lowest, starter tier in the Edge program but rather, based on their play and certain promotions from prior to June 2011, they have been placed automatically into a higher VIP tier.