Online poker brand PokerStars released a formal statement late in September, announcing that certain changes would be coming to its online poker players. One of these changes was the removal of the operator’s Beat the Clock-style tournaments, which were introduced late in 2016 and have now been removed after being on offer for less than twelve months in total.
However, before PokerStars players despair, the brand that also operates PokerStars Casino has noted that their removal of Beat the Clock poker has not been without good reason. The brand has revealed that the removal will simply be making way for new products that it ‘wishes to feature more prominently’ on its gaming platform. Beat the Clock poker was originally marketed as a rapid-paced alternative to poker tournaments.
The game targeted players who wanted the same action of regular poker – only wrapped up in a game that could take just minutes to complete. These games end after five minutes, and players who still have chips at the end receive payments based on how many chips they are holding.
These features sped up the game play in Beat the Clock considerably, with the games being available at various buy-ins and seating 4 people per table. Players began with 5,000 chips, but the game’s blinds were enough to make stack sizes fairly shallow. This fast-paced nature and imposing blinds put players under pressure to make quick and clever decisions. In turn, this created a tournament style of play, despite the idea not being particularly original. PokerStars has run Timed Tournaments on its sites for many years, each of which ran for between 15 and 45 minutes, and often offered more substantial prizes. This makes it seem as though Beat the Clock may have been somewhat redundant in the face of better and more lucrative options.
It seems now as though PokerStars may also have new poker variations being developed for players, which may replace Beat the Clock, as per the brand’s statement in September. Recent news has revealed that the brand is busy developing ‘Power Up’ poker – a new variation of poker with original rules and fascinating special features reminiscent of eSports. Power Up will give players the option to use 9 powers, with the ability to hold 3 power cards at once. Each power costs a varying amount of ‘energy’, with players rejuvenating after every hand. PokerStars has been developing the game along with video game experts since 2014, and has since been released for alpha testing this year – promising news indeed for PokerStars members.