Pokerstars’ new ZOOM poker, Phil Ivey’s return & a $35 mil prize pool

PokerStars zoom pokerIn this issue of ON POKER we mainly look at a new launch at Pokerstars, which might ring a bell to players that have been playing for a bit. We also look at which Full Tilt Poker player/owner/shareholder/face is playing in the USA again and we might look at a few other things as well if we have some space left over. On to the “big” news first.

PokerStars will soon be launching ZOOM Poker. Right now you can test the format out on the PokerStars test website.  ZOOM poker is the new toy with which PokerStars wants to corner the market even more and it seems they will have no problem getting a lot of new players with the new ZOOM Poker. We already know this for a fact, because there was a poker site in existence that used ZOOM poker with huge success, and the demise of that site was mainly mourned because of the loss of their version of ZOOM Poker.

We are of course talking about the end of Full Tilt Poker and their version of ZOOM poker called RUSH Poker. Everyone who has ever played RUSH poker will quickly become familiar with ZOOM, as it is virtually the same thing with a new name. Those that are not familiar with RUSH poker need not worry as we explain everything in about 4 words time.

ZOOM poker is a variant of poker whereby players are all thrown into a “pool” of players, out of which tables are formed. As soon as a player gets his/her cards the player can make their decision on action. If the action is “fold” the player will be immediately thrown back in the pool and used to make a different table.  For players that play tight and aggressive, this can easily mean playing 200 hands per hour at a poker table. If you compare that to the normal online total of around 70/80 and the live total of around 20/30 it is a huge increase in hand volume.

Right now there are test versions of the game in No Limit Hold'em only, but it looks like limit games and Omaha games will also be added at live launch date. It seems there will only be cash games in this format, and it looks like a matter of weeks (if not days), before the first RUSH – oops, I mean ZOOM – poker tournaments will be held at PokerStars.

Now, on to the live poker scene: Phil Ivey is back playing poker in the USA. This weekend the main event of the LA Poker Classic started and to many players’ surprise Phil Ivey joined the tournament.

As you might be aware, Phil Ivey was involved with Full Tilt Poker and no one really knows how deeply involved he was. Since early 2011, Ivey has not played tournaments in the United States – we need to go back to 2010 to find the last of his cashes in an American game. No need to feel sorry for Ivey in any way, though, as he has lately been playing a lot in Macau and Australia.  He did very well, especially in the Aussie Millions $250,000 Super High Roller, in which he won the event for a few million bucks.

Now that we are talking about a (few) million bucks, do you remember our blog post in which we told you about the BIG ONE FOR A BIG DROP tournament that will be held at the WSOP with a buy-in of $1,000,000?? We just had word from a former WSOP main event champion that the expectations are that more than 40 (forty) players will come up with $1 million to play in a poker tournament. This would mean an insane prize pool of $35 million and a donation to the charity of $5 million.

So in case you are reading this, Bill (Gates) or Donald (Trump), I am still free on the date the tournament is held so if you want to donate to a good charity and give me a poker experience to remember, contact me!

If however, you non-millionaires want to share some news with us, or if you want to email us a hand or situation you want us to comment about, you are also free to email us at:, but please don’t make the subject line read something like “staking for $1million event,” so I don’t get my hopes up.

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