PokerStars, the biggest online poker operator in the world recently announced a major rebranding initiative under which their key live tournament tours would be renamed as the PokerStars Championships and PokerStars Festivals.
The change in branding will be effective from 2017 onwards, barring the inaugural PokerStars Festival being held in November 2016 in New Jersey.
The 2016 European Poker Tour Prague will thus be the last with EPT branding.
Under the new arrangement, live events by PokerStars would be split into PokerStars Championship events comprising larger tournament events and PokerStars Festival events which are shorter live events targeting recreational players. The shorter live events will usually last for a period of 6 to 7 days.
PokerStars Championship events will include all large scale events that are held in some of the world’s biggest casinos for 10 to 11 days. These events usually have spread-out schedules with upto 100 events and have a €5,000/$5,000 buy-in Main Event,along with numerous cash games.
The first PokerStars Championship-branded event would be the PokerStars Championship Bahamas which was earlier known as the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA). The tournament is set to be held during Jan. 6-14 in the Bahamas at the Atlantis Resort. So far five stops have been confirmed for the PokerStars Championship. More stops are expected to be announced in coming months.
As a part of the redesign, the Player of the Year competition has also been reworked with a leader board being maintained for every stop. Winners for every stop will win a VIP package offering free accommodation and a PokerStars Championship Main Event buy-in in, as well as an entry to an invite-only tournament having a first prize of $100,000 winner-take- all.
PokerStars Festival events will be short events held for casual players featuring a limited schedule and a Main Event with buy-in between $1,000 and $1,500. Two such Festivals have so far been confirmed.
In a statement, Edgar Stuchly, PokerStars’ Director of Live Events said,
We are always thinking of how to bring the best experience to players, through the variety of tournaments we sponsor, how we communicate to players and media, and the overall experience on and off the felt. The PokerStars Championship and PokerStars Festival events are an enhancement of the existing PokerStars sponsored live tours, helping to take our vision for live poker to a whole new level
Along with the rebranding, the changes include several technological improvements to upgrade operations at live events including developing a platform to help players register online for tournaments, self-serve terminals and a mobile app. Additionally, a separate website for PokerStars tournaments will be created along with a consolidation of its currently fragmented social media channels.