PokerStars Shelves ‘Beat The Clock’ Tournaments1 year ago
In a statement released by PokerStars near the end of September, the online poker giant announced the removal of their ‘Beat The Clock’ games. Lasting for less than 12 months on the client, PokerStars provided an explanation for this move below:
"We [PokerStars] will be making some changes to the client which will involve the removal of Beat The Clock. PokerStars has decided to shelve the timed Sit & Go format to make way for new products that we wish to feature more prominently within the client. This decision has also in part been dictated by the need to cater to evolving player tastes, which inevitably change over time’"
What Was Wrong With Them?
A five-minute, Zoom format tournament where players get paid based upon their stack size when the time is up, Beat The Clock games clearly weren’t adopted by the poker community as PokerStars expected. Despite successful trials in the Russian market in 2016, the format proved unpopular with many players.
One of the potential reasons for this could be the lack of big payouts offered by this type of game. Many players are pulled to tournaments over cash games by the hope to win big – something which isn’t really offered in games with timed structures and ICM payouts. The success of Spin & Go’s emphasises this idea, for this format has proved to be extremely popular as a result of its big money offerings.
Another issue with Beat The Clock tournaments is that they didn’t present an entirely innovative format. ‘Time Tourneys’ have been available on PokerStars for a while now, with longer structures available ranging from 15 to 45 minutes. These give players more time to play along with more big blinds to work with.
As PokerStars made clear in their statement, the removal of Beat The Clock games is part of a move to make way for new products in the client. The most anticipated of these is the new Power Up game – a format that combines Hold’em with ability cards. Think of poker meets Hearthstone.
Whatever the next PokerStars unveiling may be, it is reasonable to expect that it will follow their continued trend of gamifying Hold’em as has been the case over the past few years.
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