Innovative Business Ideas: PokerStars and the Double Bubble

TAGs: Bahamas, Bayern Munich, Double Bubble, Hollywood Poker, Lee Davy, Lee Jones, live tournament poker, Manchester United, PokerStars, simon deadman

PokerStars reveal their intention to launch a new tournament structure, at the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, called Double Bubble, and we get the players opinion on the innovative idea.

Innovative Business Ideas: PokerStars and the Double BubbleWould you like to partake in a poker tournament that pays out 50% of the field?

I’m not joking.

This is the brainchild of PokerStars, and the new format is going to be rolled out at the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, in the Bahamas, come January.

Head of Poker Communications, Lee Jones, explained on the PokerStars blog that the new format would see 50% of the field having their buy-in returned, and the remaining money would then be distributed to the final 8% of the field.

This interesting concept would create two money bubbles and that’s given birth to the imaginatively titled ‘Double Bubble’ format.

Jones believes it will be a success because of two important factors that he has seen become more prevalent in modern day live tournament poker. The first is the growing popularity of the ‘chip and a chair’ thought process that is seeing more and more people fold their way into a min-cash position.

“Look at the wave of ‘chip and a chair’ behavior as the bubble approaches. Those people are not making ICM-optimal decisions to maximize their chances for a final table.” Jones wrote on the PokerStars blog.

The second reason Jones believe the idea will be popular is the growing trend of deal making once the play gets down to the final three of four spots.

“Look at all the final-table deals, “ Jones stated. “If everybody really wanted that almost unimaginably large first prize, then deals wouldn’t happen. By point of fact, they happen all of the time.”

So Jones believes he is creating a tournament format that the players want. He also believes it will be exciting and fun.

So what do the players think of the new format?

As a recreational player I think the idea is great. Money is important to me, and it’s always a goal of mine to cash in the event. Widening the scope to 50% would suit me down to the ground. Does it matter that the money is taken from the top? Not at all. The money at the top is always going to taste sweet irrespective of the icing that has been removed.

So that’s my opinion, now what about proper poker players?

“I think anything that pays more of the field in large buy-in satellite fed events is a good thing. Casual players get super stoked to cash and it brings them back to the game. If that is just a random 1k event, or something, it loses that mystique of telling friends that you cashed. So I would like it a lot less. Plus you lose the large 1st place prize. Perhaps if it was 50% of the field gets buy-in back and then winner take all, it would be pretty sweet.” Said RunItOnce Coach Dylan Linde.

“I’m a fan of pretty much every new NLHE-format as I don’t play many mixed games lately, and standard NLHE tournaments can become a bit boring after a while. This one sounds a lot of fun since there are way more things to consider than in a standard 50/50 SNG online. When I’m at PCA I will definitely give it a shot.” Said Manig Loeser.

Sam Trickett is also a big fan.

“I love it. The pay jumps are so minor until the final table anyway. It encourages people to play more aggressively and play for the final table, which encourages higher variance plays, which I think it more enjoyable. It will also help poker become exciting again.”

One person who doesn’t like the idea is the recent Hollywood Poker Open winner Simon Deadman.

“I don’t think I like it. No one really wants to just get their money back. They want to win big amounts and see juicy first prizes.”

So that’s the opinion of the pros, now what’s your opinion?

Is Double Bubble going to be a Bayern Munich or a Manchester United?


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