Did you ever play any of the novelty cash games at PokerStars last year and think to yourself, “Self, I wish I could play this game in a four-hour long tournament.” Well, you are in luck, as three of those novelty games are now available in multi-table tournament format at the world’s largest online poker room.
It was about a couple months ago when a few of the unique games showed up in the filters for multi-table tournaments, but there were not any tourneys actually listed in the lobby. There are now. Last week, PokerStars launched tournaments of three different novelty games: Showtime Hold’em, Fusion, and 6+ Hold’em. The other game in the filters but not available to play yet is Showtime Omaha.
From Cash Games to Tournaments
PokerStars began introducing one novelty cash game at a time last March, replacing it with another every couple months. The last one, 6+ Hold’em, is the only one that has appeared to become a permanent addition to the cash game roster. Some play like a “normal” poker game, but with one small, but important twist, while others really mess with what we are used to.
The games were generally quite popular, but PokerStars likely didn’t want to keep them all, lest the player pool become too spread out across many different types of games. Additionally, from my experience, players often tend to tire of oddball games and drift back to the tried and true, traditional Hold’em and Omaha (mainly).
Bargains To Be Had
Players told PokerStars that they wanted to see more of the novelty games, which is why PokerStars brought them back as multi-table tournaments. Looking at the tournament lobby and filtering for the new games, it looks like there are seventeen of them listed each day this week. They all have very low buy-ins, going only as high as $11. Most are in the $1.10 to $5.50 range. Those are my kinds of stakes. They all also have guaranteed prize pools. The guarantees are small, ranging from $125 to $750, but still it’s nice to see.
The last two completed tournaments (the only completed tournaments displayed in the lobby) had overlays, so there is value to be found, even if the dollar amounts are low. A $3.30 Pot-Limit Fusion game had 78 players and a $300 guarantee, so there was $70.68 worth of overlay ($2.94 of each buy-in went to the prize pool – yes, I, too, assumed that it was $3). A $4.40 Pot-Limit Fusion game garnered a few more entries – 84 – but the guarantee was $400, so there was $70.72 of overlay.
The tournament currently running, $3.30 No-Limit Showtime Hold’em, has 80 entries (late registration has closed), so it came up just short of its $250 guarantee with a $14.80 overlay.
At these stakes, professional poker players are not going to bother except to goof around once in a while, but the cheap buy-ins plus a little overlay could make these a fun way to try out a new game for casual players.
They are all marked as “Trial” or “Test” tournaments, which is probably why the buy-ins are so low. One might guess that if PokerStars likes the results (and with constant overlays, it won’t), that more tournaments and stakes might be added.