PokerStars Debuts Showtime Hold’em, Giving More Variety To Players

PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world is constantly looking at ways of boosting its offerings, expanding its presence and capturing a bigger share of the global online poker market.

PokerStars has decided to drop its Split Hold’Em poker variant from its platform. The game was launched earlier this year as an experiment to test the ways and PokerStars made it clear that its launch was part of a trial run. Split Hold’Em enabled two boards to be dealt simultaneously which meant that two halfs of the pot can be won by two different players.

When PokerStars dropped the game from its list of offerings last week, reports surfaced almost immediately that PokerStars was in the process of rolling out new games in place of Split Hold’em.

Three games were expected to make an appearance on the PokerStars platform: Showtime, PokerStars Fusion and Split & Goal.

Those who bet on Showtime Hold’em will be pleased to know that the first game to be rolled out is Showtime. However, unlike the earlier speculations which claimed that Showtime is about players showing one of their hole cards, the game is very different. Showtime will not be about one or two hole cards but showing all of the hole cards.

Showtime Hold’em

According to early media releases, Showtime will be a six-handed table with a max buy-in of 80 big blinds. In usual hold’em games, cards that are surrendered or thrown away are silently tossed into the muck, never to be shown again. But in Showtime, all of those cards will be displayed for everyone to see.

In a statement, Severin Rasset, PokerStars' director of poker innovation and operations, said

It is a real pleasure to offer this second temporary variant to our players. The possibility to see all folded cards will introduce some fascinating strategic adjustments to the traditional and well-loved no-limit hold’em game.

The first players to try out the game are PokerStars’ own pool of pros. PokerStars Team Online's Ben Spragg, Lex Veldhuis and Fintan Hand all agreed that the simple act of showing the cards in the muck can drastically affect a player’s playing style. In the recent years, blockers have been making a good strategy out of the hidden muck–but they won't be able to do much with Showtime Hold’em.

Just like in traditional games, Showtime Hold’em will use the Seat Me system in placing players into tables. Like Split Hold’em, it is a temporary product which may soon be replaced with the Spin & Goal or PokerStars Fusion.