POKER

PokerStars fast-moving ring game Zoom Poker in public beta; ISPT eyes Monaco

TAGs: International Stadiums Poker Tour, Laurent Tapie, Mobile, PokerStars, Rush Poker, Zoom Poker

pokerstars-zoom-poker-isptPokerStars’ director of new platforms Jeffrey Haas has declared 2012 “the year for mobile poker.” Haas admits that he’s been awarding that honor every year since 2006, but this year he swears he means it, dammit. Having just launched the company’s real-money poker app in the UK, Haas told Poker Strategy he expects 25% of Stars players to be using mobile by the end of the year; 50% by the end of 2013.

If there ever was a product made for poker on the go, it was Full Tilt Poker’s much-beloved Rush Poker. But with FTP out of action following Black Friday, Rush fans had nowhere to get their fix. Until now. Announced in September, Stars’ Rush clone, er, ‘fast moving ring game product’ Zoom Poker made its public beta debut this weekend. (Check the video at the bottom of the page, but trust us, mute before playing.) Stars players or anyone willing to become one can get the necessary software at testpokerstars.com. There’s no mobile Zoom just yet, but given that this is the year for mobile poker, the wait should be a short one. If not, we’re never believing Jeffrey Haas ever again.

Rush Poker’s explosive debut caught most of the industry off guard, but Stars has used the nearly year-long absence of its former chief rival to its advantage. Fearless prediction: if Zoom’s a hit, the demise of Rush’s exclusivity will be cited as yet another factor jeopardizing Groupe Bernard Tapie’s deal to acquire and relaunch FTP. Details on the GBT/DoJ/FTP discussions remain as opaque as ever, but thankfully we have fresh news on the Tapie family’s other pet poker project, the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) aka the high-concept (as in, conceived while high) 30k-players-utilizing-mobile-tablets-in-an-open-air-stadium live poker tourney.

Laurent Tapie recently told eGaming Review that the second ISPT date will go down in either Monaco or France. Tapie says he’s “already booked” London’s Wembley Stadium for the ISPT’s debut, although he hasn’t yet decided between Sept. 2012 and April 2013 and he still doesn’t have the necessary licenses. And Tapie had previously stated that France wasn’t in the running for an ISPT stop, so who the fuck knows? Let’s just go ahead and say Event #3 will be on the surface of the moon, on 5k picnic tables set up in the Sea of Tranquility, with players shuttled to the venue by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic service. First prize is a kajillion-billion-million dollars, and second prize is a solid gold flugelhorn. Everybody else will have their return tickets cancelled and die a slow and painful death from lack of oxygen. But hey, what’s life without a little risk?

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