The short deck Hold’em revolution has taken another step forward thanks to PokerStars and its Spin & Go tournaments.
Following a software update on July 25, the all-action version of Hold’em is now available as a three-handed showdown.
As it’s a PokerStars update, the tables themselves will be known as 6+ Spin & Go tournaments. However, the rules are the same as any short deck Hold’em games available at other online poker sites.
From Macau to PokerStars
Initially devised and played in Macau’s exclusive high stakes games, the short deck format has swept the internet over the last 12 months.
The Winning Poker Network (WPN) got the ball rolling in September 2018 with its own take on the game. PokerStars followed suit in January 2019 before Partypoker launched what it describes as the only variant that stays true to the games in Macau.
While each operator has its own twist on short deck Hold’em, the variant has clearly struck a chord. As well as cash games and tournaments making a mark online, the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOP) hosted it for the first time in 2018.
Although the $28,500 tournament only attracted nine entries, it signaled the start of a new trend. With the Triton Poker Series and other organizations now offering short deck Hold’em as a standard, more players are trying their hand at something new.
For PokerStars, the variant’s popularity is reason enough to launch a new series of Spin & Go tournaments. Available at stakes ranging from $1 to $100, the games are available across the operator’s international and European networks.
At this stage, there’s no indication of whether 6+ Hold’em Spin & Go tournaments will go live in the US. However, the innovation is clearly one PokerStars is investing heavily in.
Short Deck Hold’em Update Bucks Trend
For regulars, the update will be a welcome break from the norm. Over the last three years, PokerStars has gradually be shifting its focus towards casual players.
Thanks to reduced buy-ins, a revamped loyalty scheme and video-game inspired offerings such as Power Up, entertainment has become the order of the day.
6+ Hold’em is by no means boring. However, it originated from the high stakes community and, to this day, it remains a favorite of the game’s elite.
Because the dynamics are designed to generate more action, the impact of any decision is a lot greater. With that being true, it can be argued short deck Hold’em is more suited to skilled players.
Therefore, many will see 6+ Hold’em Spin & Go tournaments as something that will give regulars and not newbies some added value for a change.