Poker in the News — Weekly Round-up for September 21, 2018

The Stars Group Reports Back On E.P.T. Barcelona Poker Tournament

Record main event attendance and $44 million in prize money

The Stars Group has hailed the recently completed its 2018 European Poker Tour Barcelona, describing the tournament as one of the most successful yet, and reporting:

  • The largest main event entry list yet at 1,900;
  • Main event prize pool topped Euro 9.4 million;
  • Main event first prize of Euro 1.6 million;
  • Overall entries into the 35 events in the tournament was over 4,500 players from 109 nations;
  • Total prize pool across all events reached $44 million;
  • Ten Platinum Passes worth $30,000 each were awarded.

Pokerstars Previews Virtual Reality Poker For Players

Live and online poker collide in brand new VR experience

Online poker provider PokerStars has begun previewing a virtual reality version of its online poker software in expectation of a commercial release in the future.

In a press statement Thursday, the company said its goal was to create an exciting and innovative experience for new and existing players.

“PokerStars VR is a free-to-play, authentic and immersive social poker game, which will give players the chance to play poker in visually stunning game environments, handle chips and cards just as in the real world, study opponents and pick up tells, chat in real time, and keep the tables fun with a host of interactive props,” the statement adds.

Initially offering the No-Limit Hold’em version of poker, the multiplayer game is currently in a closed beta with around one hundred invitees playing and testing the game using Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Steam.

The product was previewed this week in Birmingham at EuroGamer, the UK’s biggest games event, and was developed with Lucky VR.

It features intuitive controls for easy gameplay, voice command controls, integrated Twitch broadcasting, video streaming and social media integration on Oculus Rift for those who wish to play and stream.

PokerStars VR allows players to come together from all over the world in a virtual card room where avatars not only interact around the game, but can dress to impress, socialise, entertain and chat as if in the same room. They can do this while streaming shows or sport and enjoying a variety of virtual items and activities such as ordering food and drinks, sharing sushi, throwing items at each other, or even owning a pet donkey and smoking a cigar.

Players can earn free chips to use at the tables by spinning a virtual wheel every day. In addition, there are five exotic virtual reality settings for players to experience: Macau 2050, The Macau Suite, The Showdown Saloon, Monte-Carlo Yacht, and The Void.

“PokerStars VR is a chance for us to take this amazing technology and bring something totally unique to poker players,” said Severin Rasset, director of poker innovation and operations at PokerStars.

“Poker is about interaction. It’s been bringing people together for well over a century. We’re really excited to invest in the next generation of the game and to give players the opportunity to meet in a brand new virtual reality dimension.”