PokerStars Horseracing Tournament Mash-Up is a Sign of the Times

March 1st, 2018 | by Kaycee James

PokerStars and BetStars are set to join forces for a crossover tournament that will see poker players compete for free bets in a horseracing-themed showdown.

PokerStars The Big Race.

PokerStars has created a poker tournament that will see players win when horses win. (Image: PokerStars)

Set to take place on March 4 at 17:00 GMT, The Big Race as it’s been called will offer players the chance to buy in for $2 and win a $3,000 poker holiday to Marbella, Spain.

In the first instance, the No Limit Hold’em event will run like any other accept that the prizes will be supplemented with $2,000 in free sports bets.

Sports Bets and Poker Prizes

As well as cash payouts determined by the number of entrants, The Big Race will give BetStars tokens worth between $5 and $50 to the top 110 finishers. To further cement the connection between betting and poker, players that make it deep will be randomly assigned a horse in the forthcoming Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The number of allocations will be based on the size of the field in the Gold Cup, which takes place at 15:30 GMT on March 16. At the conclusion of the race, the three players whose horses finish in first, second and third will an extra prize:

1st place: A $3,000 PokerStars Festival Marbella package

2nd place: $500 worth of free BetStars bets

3rd place: $250 worth of free BetStars bets

Included in the winner’s satellite package to PokerStars Festival Marbella will be six nights’ accommodation, $600 spending money and entry to the €1,100 ($1,340) main event.

The Changing Face of PokerStars

PokerStars’ PR team has described The Big Race as an “affordable” and “fun” tournament, which is indicative of the operator’s new priorities. Since launching casino and sports betting products, PokerStars ha gradually transitioned away from being a poker-only platform.

The issue has since become a point of debate among regular players and pros over the last 12 months. On February 24, high stakes pro Phil Galfond gave his take on the matters as well as the potential future of the poker industry as a whole.

Addressing PokerStars’ rake increases and a move towards “high variance, low edge” games, Galfond believes the site will soon become a “poker-themed casino.” In his view, that won’t be a bad thing for poker players as long as other sites can offer a viable alternative.

Although the latest tournament innovation from PokerStars will follow a traditional No Limit Texas Hold’em format, the theme is angled towards casual players. As PokerStars continues to evolve, crossover promotions such as this are likely to become more common.

For some players, this may be another reason to find an alternative place to play. For others, however, it could open up a new range of games and tournaments with potentially lucrative twists.

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