PokerStrategy.com Column - Should PokerStars Get Rush Poker?

Originally featured on PokerStrategy.com

Rush Poker
Rush Poker
It was revealed this week that PokerStars are working on their own version of a fast moving ring game, like the ground-breaking Rush Poker. With Full Tilt Poker doing anything but rushing to get their players back at the table, the timing would seem to be perfect for Stars to capture the rapid poker market

Some of the initial feedback from many in the poker community has been quite negative, and a lot of the Stars regs are concerned that Rush will kill the cash games. The biggest criticism of Rush Poker in this regard was that it split the cash game traffic on Full Tilt and took a lot action away from the regular games.  The high volume nature of Rush Poker and the fact you no longer had to wait long for a hand also appeared to turn everyone into nitty rakeback players, making the game itself a tough place to make a profit.

Killing the Game?

Both concerns are well founded. Thankfully, prior to Black Friday, Stars had over double the average cash game traffic on Full Tilt and even without US custom still has significantly more, so the likelihood of it killing the non-rush games is much less likely. It will no doubt take a significant portion of the traffic from those games, but there should still be healthy traffic in the standard ring games.

As for the fact it turns players into nits, that is true, because any innovation that allows players to multi table more efficiently and generate more rake is going to appeal to the tight regulars. That is the state of online poker today, and if you do not like it, there are plenty of sites with poor software and less regs (I mean that by the way, that’s not a pro-PokerStars swipe at their competitors, there are plenty of softer sites out there specifically because it’s hard for regs to multitable).

SuperNova Elite More Likely?

Not all the regs will be complaining about implementation of a rush format, one group that presumably already started licking their lips and doing VPP calculations are those players striving to make SuperNova or SuperNova Elite. Black Friday had a negative impact on SuperNova Elite chasers outside the US because it significantly reduced the traffic in a lot of the games these players relied on to hit their volume targets. This could redress the balance a bit, and I could imagine a ton of action in December from players trying a last ditch attempt to hit 1 million VPPs.

The Future is MobileYou can say what you want about Full Tilt (and we all are) but Rush Poker was a genius idea. It was undeniably fun and addictive poker, even for those of us that had gotten sick of the standard No Limit cash game format. And as a business concept, it was even better, as it allowed us to pay rake at a faster rate than ever before, and turn even recreational one-tablers into genuine high volume grinders.

Talent imitates, Genius Steals: I fully expect Stars to take the existing product and do something much better with it. Just before Black Friday, Full Tilt was just starting to expand their mobile version of Rush Poker, and this is where I expect Stars to pick up and improve. The future of online poker, just like just about everything else in life, is mobile, and if there was ever a poker format the lent itself to mobile gaming, it is Rush Poker.

I for one am quite excited to see what PokerStars can do with Rush Poker, I don’t think I will kill the non-rush cash games (Though it will have an impact for sure) and with the biggest poker room in the world behind it, I think it could actually be very attractive to brand new players (Perhaps the only remaining part of the Full Tilt legacy that is).

by Barry Carter


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