Partypoker Capitalizes on PokerStars Discontent with Alternative KO Event

February 18th, 2019 | by Greg Shaun

Partypoker has seized an opportunity to win over the high stakes community with a last-minute counter to PokerStars’ $5,200 Turbo Series event.

Partypoker MTT

Partypoker takes a shot at PokerStars by hosting a rival tournament with an even bigger prizepool. (Image: Partypoker)

With discontent spreading across the industry following changes to PokerStars’ Stars Rewards, Partypoker announced a surprise addition to the KO Series schedule. Set to run on February 17, the $5,200 KO event featured a $1 million guaranteed prizepool.

As well as boasting a prizepool $250,000 more valuable than its equivalent at PokerStars, Partypoker’s offering was a direct response to a planned protest.

PokerStars Under Attack from Two Sides

Unhappy at the changes taking place at PokerStars, Belgian online pro Giraf Ganger called for his peers to boycott the $5,200 Turbo Series finale.

“We, the MTT community, believe to have a bit more leverage because we can make or break the guarantees and divert action from one site to a competitor,” the Belgian wrote on

The February 16 post didn’t go unnoticed as almost 200 players pledged to join the Giraf Ganger and skip the MTT. Not wanting to waste the opportunity, Partypoker was quick to insert a similarly lucrative tournament into its ongoing KO Series.

Although the official announcement didn’t make reference to any issues over at PokerStars, the operators social media team couldn’t resist taking a shot. Putting out a call to action just minutes before the off, a tweet from Partypoker made reference to Giraf Ganger.

“There are only 45-minutes to wait until the massive $1 million guaranteed #KOSeries Super High Roller shuffles up and deals. Which player do you think is destined for glory? Perhaps @Girafganger7 or maybe a #teampartypoker member,” the poker site tweeted.

Partypoker Seizing Its Opportunities

The irony clearly wasn’t lost on the high stakes community as 206 entries pushed the prizepool $30,000 over its guarantee.

Despite attacks from two sides, PokerStars’ events still managed to breach its $750,000 target. In fact, after making it through 187 entries, Russia’s needdollarz beat China’s huang33 to take the lion’s share of a $935,000 prizepool.

The tit-for-tat between Partypoker and PokerStars is starting to create some genuine value for players. The former has already introduced its own selection of $1 million jackpot SNGs, while the latter has just reduced the price of its marquee MTT, the Sunday Million.

What’s more, the latest showdown resulted in high rollers having two ways to win a share of $1,750,000. As the feud escalates and both operators vie for supremacy, the real winners in this situation will be the players and that can only be a good thing for poker.


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