The news relating to the PokerStars poker platform may have been slightly negative in more recent times with the loss of various pros and the movement away from Twitch streaming. However, more recently, news has surfaced of some positive changes and introductions to the brand, including the celebration of its 13th anniversary of the Sunday Million tournament.
However, it was reported back in December that PokerStars had signed itself into a deal with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), becoming the first-ever poker partner of the sport. Now, it looks like PokerStars will utilise the UFC brand name to highly promote its set of games – more specifically, its Sit & Go options. To accompany this, expectations are high for the platform to bring forth an update to its loyalty program, known as Stars Rewards.
Word has also been going around of a new poker variant being introduced too, known as Split Omaha. This is possibly still in the works at the moment, although could be launched at PokerStars in the near future.
What to Expect from UFC Sit & Go
While nothing has been disclosed by the PokerStars platform yet with regard to the UFC Sit & Go options, it’s most likely that the poker table design will feature the sports brand’s logo and, potentially, players could be seated at an octagon-shaped table in reference to the UFC ring. In this respect, games could be played in 4-handed variations.
Of course, UFC is all about beating your opponent, potentially by knockout, which may see UFC Sit & Go games introduce a KO format of their own to accompany basic gameplay.
This wouldn’t be the first instance of such features in poker though, as in 2016 the PartyPoker brand released its own version of such in the Sit & Go Hero option. This saw the brand tweak the format slightly, introducing the four-hand version of the game and include a bounty on the head of a single random entrant. Yet, this version of the game did not gain much traction at the site, forcing PartyPoker to remove it from the site.
That being said, it’s possible that the UFC-themed game will be acting as more of a promotion, rather than a new type of Spin & Go game. Remember when PokerStars introduced its football-themed version of such during the FIFA World Cup and entitled it Spin & Goal? Well, during that promotional period, these games offered random prizes of up to $1.2 million from buy-ins that stood at just $5.
As far as the Stars Rewards are concerned, the Director of Poker Innovations and Operations for The Stars Group, Severin Rasset made an announcement on major changes coming to such in recent times. Some of the key changes to the rewards program include increasing the value of chests, making the program itself easier to understand and removing its “boost” feature as well. This is something that PokerStars has already started working on, with the potential for tiered chests to come into effect.