Power Up poker's NEW ante structure!
Today real money games see a new structure, designed to address game length and to encourage action. By adding a new faster and smoother structure, PokerStars hopes to at least go some of the way to addressing concerns that a lot of players have about game time. Given feedback from players PokerStars has recognized that the casual player wants Power Up to be faster. Before now the average game lasted for something like 15 minutes, which is too long for a lot of players. According to our regulars on Discord it seems that with these changes the average game time has been brought down to around 12-13 minutes.
So What Exactly Has Changed?
The new structure: starting stack = 1500
|Small blind||Big blind||Ante|
The old structure: starting stack = 2000
|Small blind||Big blind||Ante|
First we can see that stack size in chips has decreased, but the blinds are reduced fairly proportionately. We can also see that the jump between first and second blind level in the new structure is quite a lot bigger than before, but afterwards the blind increase is much smoother than the old system. Nick in particular didn't like the blind jump from 100/200 to 200/400, which seems to have been addressed here.
Another change is a number of hands before blind increase. PokerStars Power up is unique in the PokerStars tournament system in that the blinds only increase after a certain number of hands rather than time in minutes. The old system had blind increase every 5 hands for 3 handed pots and every 6 hands for heads up ones. In the new system 3-handed pots will now go up in blinds every 4 hands, whilst heads up pots will continue to go up after 6 hands. A small change that has been made due to multi way pots taking quite a lot longer than heads up ones.
After a few trial games I can safely say I enjoy the more action heavy environment that ante pots create. 3-handed pots are incredibly complex and it feels like that is where a lot of the edge in this game is found. Adding antes inevitably creates more 3 way pots so this should be a good thing going forward.
Where Does this Leave Power Up Strategy?
Antes obviously change the pre-flop game in quite a big way. This will mean that I will be working hard on new charts for you guys and girls in the coming days. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to be notified when that happens!
For now, all I can say regarding the playing style is this: you will be playing wider. As a quick rule I would suggest adding 10% more hands to each position for now.
If you want to leave any feedback for the PokerStars Power Up developers join our Discord. They are listening and want this game to be enjoyable for everyone so come and make sure you are heard!
I will have to play a few hundred games myself and get back to you all on how I feel this change affects game length, winrates and overall hourlies in the future... You'll be hearing from me soon! Ciao for now!
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We will be testing these changes out on our Twitch stream so make sure to tune in!