Following a successful debut in Italy last month, PokerStars announced the launch of its new smartphones and tablets mobile gaming app last week, sensibly named PokerStars Mobile. Available for most Android and Apple mobile devices in the UK, as well the iPod touch, Pokerstars said in a press release the game app will “enable players across the Great Britain to play both free and real money games on mobiles device at any time”.
Using the 2011 Netsize Guide from marketing firm Gemalto to estimate the increasing trend towards mobile gaming in recent years, PokerStars found there are 25,338,700 smartphone connections and 780,000 tablet PC connections in the UK. As the market segment grows (expected to surpass 50% this year) the major poker room has realised the rising demand for games that are optimised for these increasingly sophisticated devices too.
Since the announcement last week, PokerStars Director of New Platforms, Jeffrey Haas, has said: “PokerStars Mobile is more than just the migration of the existing PokerStars game product to the mobile platform,” said. “It’s an intentional product designed specifically for the form factors of mobile and tablet devices, and the different ways people play games on them. This is the best authentic poker experience available for mobile devices today.”
The UK launch of PokerStars Mobile in Italy was the ice breaker – a trail run which set the company up for UK debut – as 10% of all PokerStars players on the boot now play on mobile each day, with 7% playing exclusively on mobile devices.
The PokerStars Mobile app offers Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo games for real and play money, and players can choose to participate in multi-table tournaments, sit & go’s and ring games. All mobile players will join the full PokerStars global player pool, with no separation between mobile and desktop players.
Team PokerStars Pro, Liv Boeree, commented: “PokerStars Mobile is going to transform where and when I play poker – I now have access to the biggest tournaments and all my favourite cash games, even when I’m not in front of my computer. I plan to play all the upcoming UKIPT events and will now be able to play some poker when travelling to or from a tournament.”
The app also allows players to join several tables at the same time, with intelligent auto-switch technology and ‘flick navigation’ alongside game lobby filters that allow players to find all of the available games quickly. There’s also a player and tournament search function and once the game are up and running, players can earn VPPs (VIP Player Points) and FPPs (Frequent Player Points) in the same way and at the same rate as desktop players.
Does this mobile specific release signal a initiation of a future for all poker rooms?