PokerStars is pulling out all the stops to make their 2017 World Championship of Online Poker a warm and fuzzy place for recreational players, and the social games department relaunch PokerStars Play.
The recent announcement of the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) arrived without fanfare. We knew there were 81 events spread across Sep 3 – 26, and the $5,200 buy-in Main Event would come armed with a $10m guarantee.
We also knew that PokerStars was making changes to help the recreational players feel comfortable in WCOOP, with the addition of a low-tier selection of events, and $700,000 in giveaways hidden in Stars Rewards Chests.
And now it’s time for the fanfare.
PokerStars has promised to hand out $60m in guarantees throughout the series, almost double the $35m partypoker is promising for their upcoming Powerfest festival, scheduled for the same period.
The pros will love it, but PokerStars need a pat on the back for the hard work in making WCOOP feel like a festival that players at all levels can compete. When I was playing on the site, WCOOP meant nothing to me, because as a recreational player, I couldn’t afford to play in the events, and the satellites were long and laborious.
The addition of the low-stakes tier means all players can compete for the right to be called a champion. But it’s the work they have done outside of the WCOOP schedule that is special.
PokerStars is giving away more than a million bucks in added value, giveaways, and promotions.
And they have done their research.
One of the things that always irked me about online poker rooms is they didn’t care when you lost, and I would lose more than I would win. I believe there is a lot of value in connecting with your customers after they have lost money. PokerStars aim to do this during WCOOP by offering anyone who bubbles an event a free ticket into a special Bubble Freeroll where players will compete for one of three $5,200 Main Event seats.
Another well thought out idea is the Stars Reward Chests giveaway, with Main Event seats randomly awarded as part of $700,000 in added prize money.
And PokerStars is also rewarding stickability with anyone who made a final table during the 2016 WCOOP Main Event given a free ticket into the daily $55 Seat Added Satellite, with the opportunity to win a $5,200 Main Event seat in a promotion estimated to be worth $175,000 in added value to players.
Fans of the Spin & Go format can also make their way into the WCOOP Main Event competing in the $27 or $109 buy-in levels.
Click here for further details and the full schedule of events.
PokerStars Relaunch PokerStars Play
One way of attracting more recreational players to your site is to create top quality free-to-play options, and PokerStars is attempting to do that after announcing plans to relaunch PokerStars Play this week.
PokerStars launched the free-to-play social casino and poker app in 2013 but replaced it two years later with Jackpot Poker. Lloyd Melnick, PokerStars director of social gaming, believes the time is right to give PokerStars Play another shot.
The app, which includes Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Spin & Go, and casino games, is only available for download in Australia & the USA, two places where real money online poker is dead or in short supply. There are plans for a phased rollout into other regions over the next 12-months.
The app is available for iOS and Android devices.