Details of PokerStars’ India launch
The world’s largest poker company, PokerStars, is launching tomorrow, April 17, on the Indian market. The room will move all Indian players out of global player pool onto the reservation with Rupees. Some of the details of their official launch have been announced recently. However, live PokerStars.IN client has been shown a little already with games and stakes offered and MTT shedule.
About the client
The main lobby will comprise 5 tabs. Besides classic Cash Game, Zoom and Tournaments, the client will also include Spin&Go and Knockout. Cash games will have a blind lobby system. Players wouldn’t have an opportunity to select their own table or seat, so they would choose a stake band and game type and would be taken to a random seat at the available table. This function was under trial in Spain for a whole year and was introduced in France and Portugal not long ago. This so called “Seat Me ” system will be also launched in Italy and is planned to become the norm through the whole dotcom network.
It is important to note things that are not present in Indian client: there is no Sit & Go lobby at all. While it might appear in the official launch, there is a strong tendency of removing it: Indian operators have also annuled this function, for example, Spartan Poker has Sit&Go lobby, but with only heads up shown; Adda52 lists only heads up games; Poker Baazi has no Sit&Go lobby at all. The definite reason for these changes is never told by operators, but we can guess that it is all in liquidity.
The room plans to organize a lot of multi-table tournaments. In the last press release PokerStars representatives have uncovered several details of their plans:
“PokerStars.IN will be available on desktop and mobile to a majority of the age-qualified, adult Indian population and will offer online poker to players in Indian Rupees in a number of skill game formats, including No-Limit Hold’em and Omaha variants. PokerStars.IN will also host localized versions of branded series and events, such as the Sunday Million and World Championship of Online Poker”.
There was a leak of trial weekly shedule with branded tournaments that could be seen in other markets. For example, there were Super Tuesday and Thursday Thrill tournaments and Sunday Storm on Sunday Million. There were also dayli Bigs, Hots & Bounty Builders and Moonlight Express — a tournament run in New Jersey at midnight on Fridays. Although, the shedule was tentative and PokerStars removed it, we can make some projections and expectations from it.
The guarantees for these MTT’s are unknown yet, but Super Tuesday and Thursday Thrill will have, probably, a buy-in of Rs 7500 (around $115) and The Sunday Million — Rs 5500 (around $85). These guarantees are quite high, but Indian giants like Adda52, Spartan poker and PokerBaazi hosted tourneys with 1 Crore (10 mln) prize pool earlier. It will be interesting to know how long it will take PokerStars.IN to run a tournament with such a big prize pool.
The last version of PokerStars client shows only six-max No Limit Holdem games, but cash game filter lists other game variants, so there might be possibility of adding more tables. The stake bands are split into low (under Rs 5000 buy-in, or $75), medium (up to 20,000, approximately $300) and high (over 20,000). In this test client, the table stakes go as low as Rs 0.01/0.02, with a maximum buy-in of Rs 2. There are no rooms in India that offer such low games, however, these tables might be only for a test.
Nevertheless, PokerStars are quite excited about this launch in Indian market and are full of enthusiasm of developing online poekr market in India and providing players with a high quality game.