PokerStars Finalizes Deal to buy Full Tilt Poker

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PokerstarsReliable sources have informed Holdem Poker Chat that PokerStars has finalized a deal with The Department of Justice to take over the assets of Full Tilt Poker.  Details  remain elusive but the happy news for poker players is that any deal with the DoJ always had to include the return of funds stuck on the defunct Full Tilt Poker.

The waiting game has begun, but we have never been this close to players getting paid, and at long last there is real hope. To quote Sir Winston Churchill:  “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

UPDATE: It’s now official

More On PokerStars Road to 100 Billion: Milestone Hands

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Now that we’ve brought you up to speed on the 80 Billionth Hand promotion at Poker Stars, we thought we’d take a moment to help you maximize your possible winnings in this promotion.

As we mentioned in our previous post on the subject, prize winnings are based on the VPPs a player is holding when seated in a milestone hand. To be seated in a milestone hand, simply play as often as you can, and at as many tables at once as you can manage. To earn the maximum prize you can for that stellar timing, read on…

Can’t Play on Pokerstars? Check out our list of top US Poker Sites

All players dealt into a milestone hand earn a prize equal to their VPP total over the last 50 hands cumulatively multiplied by $60, with an additional $20 tacked on to that total. The hand’s winner gets twice that amount.

There are 300 regular milestone hands in this leg of the Road to 100 Billion Hands, and then there’s the Mega Milestone 80 Billionth Hand. If you’re dealt into that hand, you get $10,000 plus $1,000 for each VPP you earned over the last 50 hands, while the hand’s winner gets double that.

After this leg of the Road to 100 Billion Hands is over, the next leg will come around 3 billion hands before the 85 billionth hand.

VIP Points are one of two rewards points currencies offered at Poker Stars, the other being FPPs. Ordinarily, VPPs determine players’ status level in the Poker Stars rewards club while FPPs are redeemed for rewards.

Get Back On The Poker Stars Road to 100 Billion

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You remember the Poker Stars Road to 100 Billion promotion, don’t you? It’s been a periodic staple at Poker Stars for a while now, as the site slowly (or maybe not so slowly) progresses toward its target of 100 billion hands dealt in its history, at various increments offering players a cash bonus for happening to participate in a 1 millionth hand milestone as the next 5 billion hand milestone nears. Last time that big 5 billionth hand milestone was the 75 billionth hand dealt. Now that next big milestone, the 80 billionth hand dealt at Poker Stars, is about to happen, and you can win a share of up to a $1 million prize pool for being there as it happens.

To win yourself a share of that million dollar prize pool, simply be playing in any millionth hand between 79,700,000,000 and 80,000,000,000, based on the hand history counter built into the Poker Stars software. So, for example, if you’re playing in hand number 79,703,000,000,000, you’ll win a prize.

And the best part is, you win cash for simply being dealt cards in that hand, no matter how you fare in the actual hand. The winner of the hand, however, receives the lion’s share of the prize pool for that hand.

Already at the time of this writing, on Friday morning, 11:41 am ET, Poker Stars is up to the 79,527,155,345th hand dealt. So you’d better hurry. There’s no time to waste before the 80 billionth hand is dealt and the biggest prize of all, $20,000 for that hand’s winner.

And the New Full Tilt Poker Owner Will Be….Poker Stars???

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Yes, you read right. It appears the the Bernard Tapie Group’s efforts to buy beleaguered poker site Full Tilt Poker fell through leaving FTP without a potential buyer. That is, until Poker Stars stepped up to the plate.

According a story in Reuters, and pretty much every major media under the sun, and based on information acquired from an unidentified source, Poker Stars is currently in talks to purchase Full Tilt Poker where the Groupe Bernard Tapie had failed.

The deal under discussion is for PokerStars to buy up its former rival’s assets, according to the person. It would constitute a portion of a larger settlement of the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil case against Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker.

Part of the deal would formulate a method for paying back the some $300 million of player funds held up in the seizure, about $150 million of which belongs to players in the U.S.

In investigating the possible acquisition, Poker Stars has sent some of its people to FullTilt’s Dublin, Ireland headquarters to conduct due diligence.

Despite its sullied reputation after the events of Black Friday a little over a year ago now, Full Tilt Poker is still considered a leader in online poker, with an enormous database of poker player and poker software that ranks among the industry’s best.

Isle of Man based Poker Stars had its U.S. operations shut down in the same DOJ raids that shut Full Tilt’s U.S. operations, but unlike Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker was unable to continue its operations outside the U.S. when, in June of last year, it was learned that the site would not be able to pay back players the money held up in their accounts.

Poker Stars SCOOP 2012 Reload Bonus Offers 50% Up to $250

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Players at Poker Stars can now enjoy a 50% reload bonus up to a $250 max bonus. It’s in celebration of upcoming SCOOP 2012. That’s the latest installment of the famed PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker.

Between now and May 3rd just enter in the bonus code MAX250 when making your deposit. Then use the bonus money to get in on the 40 events worth of action at the 2012 SCOOP.

Deposit minimum for this offer is $10 but if you deposit $500 then you can get the full $250 bonus.

In order to redeem any of this bonus, once you’ve made your eligible deposit, you need to earn a certain amount of VPPs, or VIP Player Points. Bonus cash is released in $/£/€10 increments, with the exact amount of VPPs required to clear each increment differing depending on the player’s chosen currency. Euros are released in 260 VPP increments; pounds are released in 320 VPP increments; and U.S. dollars and Canadian dollars are released in 200 VPP increments. Bonus cash can only be redeemed in the same currenc in which the qualifying deposit was made. Players have 30 days after making the qualifying deposits to clear as much of their bonus as they can, after which any remaining uncleared portion of the bonus is forfeited. Each PokerStars player may redeem this bonus only once.

Stay tuned here to learn more about the Poker Stars 2012 Spring Championship of Online Poker and all its 40 events as the time approaches.

Pokerstars Offers Home Games

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In case you were unaware, you can set up your own private Poker Club online at Poker Stars using its Home Games feature. Poker Stars Home Games are exactly what they sound like: private games in which you invite the players you want seated at the table. The only difference of course is that, in this case, the Home Game poker table is online.

Poker Stars offers 3 ways to learn how to set up your own Poker Club: through a handy “Home Game for Dummies” style video (with subtitles!), an animated step-by-step tutorial or described in simple verbal instructions.

In either case, you just download (or launch if already installed) the Poker Stars client. Then go to Home Games in the main game lobby. From there you’ll see two green buttons: one to Create to a Poker Club and one to accept someone else’s invitation to join their club.

If you’re setting up a new poker club you’re asked to give it a name and then you’re given an invitation code to send out to your prospective club members.

Once your club has been added to your lobby (which can take 4-5 days) you’ll see a Club Lobby button in your PokerStars poker client. In that tab you’ll see buttons to Manage Club, for accepting and rejecting membership applications, and Manage Games, to create tournaments and cash ring game tables in your desired stakes and gaming styles, including No Limit, Fixed Limit and Pot Limit, including Hold’em, Omaha and Stud.

The PokerStars Home Games feature also includes club leaderboards and member stats. LAPT Chile & ANZPT Sydney Winners

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Two big PokerStars poker tours just wrapped up major main events, which means there are two new names to add to the rosters of 2012 tournament champions. This time those names are Aliro Diaz and Gordon Huntly, for winning, respectively, the Latin American Poker Tour Chile Main Event and the Australian New Zealand Poker Tour Sydney Main Event.

First to the LAPT Chile and winner, native son, Aliro Diaz. This event was the first main event of Season 5 of’s Latin American Poker Tour and it attracted 651 players to Enjoy Casino and Resort in Vina del Mar. Diaz claimed $76,560 for his win. A fellow Chilean going by the singular name Leonardo took second and $66,000. Both players would have taken more had they not participated in a deal between the top 6 players at the final table to split up the prize pool based on the standings at the time. That gave 4th through 6th place larger prizes than they would otherwise have received. The next Latin American Poker Tour event is LAPT Uruguay, May 23 – 27.

Next we hop across the waters to Australia for the ANZPT Sydney, where Scotsman Gordon Huntly took the title and top prize of $226,812. The player field this time was 461. Liam O’Rourke took second place for $144,754. This is Season 4 of the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour, with the next event being ANZPT Perth, May 2 – 6. is the free, play money version of the Poker Stars online poker site. It offers the same games but for play money (except in the case of satellites) and with no real money gambling taking place. Therefore, players from the U.S. are allowed to play at, where satellites for the next events on these and other regional poker tours are now taking place.

Provisional Poker Stars 2012 Spring Championship of Online Poker Schedule Released

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Poker Stars has released what it’s calling the provisional schedule for the upcoming 2012 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP), running May 6th through 20th. They’re calling it provisional because they’re still leaving it open for player input. Players with suggestions about making changes to the schedule can contact PokerStars at scoop @ pokerstars . com to submit theirs.

Until and unless any unforseen schedule changes occur, however, the series is set to feature 38 tournaments, each with a low, mid, and high stakes range for players to compete in, giving all levels of players equal opportunity to win big in this series. That makes for a total of 114 tournaments scheduled in the 2012 PokerStars SCOOP.

Every day on the schedule, even if it changes slightly between now and then, will feature 2-3 events, starting on May 6th with No Limit Holdem, 6-max, for a $27, $215, and $2,100 buy-in, respectively. The other event that day is straight NL Holdem with the same buy-in levels. The main event on May 20th has an $82, $700 and $7,500 direct buy-in, respectively.

Of course, PokerStars will shortly start running a Step satellite tournament series offering daily qualifiers into the various events making up the 2012 Spring Championship of Online Poker.

No guaranteed prize pools have been announced yet, but if last year’s series is any indication, the bounty should be big, to say the least. At the 2011 SCOOP, $40 million was given away, including $505k given to the winner of the 2011 SCOOP main event, and that’s after a deal at the final table ended the game early with a 5-way split.

Frederik Jensen Wins PokerStars EPT Madrid

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The Poker Stars European Poker Tour Madrid 2012 finished up last week and the big winner was Frederik Jensen of Denmark. Topping a field of 477 players participating in the EPT Madrid main event, Jensen outlasted a final table that covered the gamut of poker players: from pro, to online amateur qualifier, to recreational. At the end of it, he found himself €495,000 richer for the effort.

This is not Jensen’s first moment in the poker spotlight, although it is certainly his brightest to date. He also came in second in a running of the Aussie Millions and made it to the EPT Vilamoura final table just last season. This EPT Madrid 2012 win, however, marks Jensen’s first major title.

The final table took 9 hours to complete, 6 of which alone constituted heads-up play between the Jensen and top contender MacIntyre.

Following on Jensen’s heels was Fraser MacIntyre, who claimed the €290k runners-up prize. Third, and its prize of €330k, went to Andrei Stoenescu. The €140k fourth prize went to Bruno Lopes, and Ricardo Ibanez took fifth and its €115k prize.

Rounding out the final table (in order of finish, best to worst), were: Ilan Boujenah, Nicolas Levi and Jason Duval.

The poker press is calling Jensen’s triumph a Dane Double, being that Jensen’s compatriot Mickey Peterson claimed victory in the EPT Copenhagen main event that just took place last week.

Next up on the season 8 schedule of Poker Stars European Poker Tour is EPT Campione, taking place March 26 – 31 in Campione, Italy.

Pokerstars Releases Zoom Poker Beta – Fastest Poker Format Yet

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Pokerstars has just come out with the fastest format for playing online poker cash games yet. They’re calling it, appropriately, Zoom Poker, and right now at the site, player’s can test out this new advent in a Beta version.

As mentioned already, Zoom Poker is a cash game format. One of the features that makes Zoom Poker is most distinctive is that your opponents change each hand. Instead of playing against the same players at your table each hand, you’ll be playing against a pool of players and switched up among tables. How does this make game play faster?

Because you get switched to a newly dealing active hand the instant you fold out of any hand. That way, you’re not sitting around waiting for the hand to play out before you get your turn to jump in the game again. Instead you just jump, right away, from one to the other.

They even have a button called “Fast Fold” that allows to Fold whenever your ready, without having to wait for your turn to come around again.

Players can now find a special Zoom tab mixed in with the other game types in their PokerStars lobby. Usually you’ll be started out in the Big Blind when you first sit in to play Zoom Poker. Seating is random from that point onward. Which players are on the Blinds is determined based on which player at each newly formed table has been on the respective Blinds the least.