In response to player feedback, PokerStars has introduced heads up PL Omaha and NL Hold’em Zoom Poker cash games.
Zoom Poker is PokerStars’ variant of high-speed online poker. Players who play heads-up Zoom Poker will be assigned a fresh table and a fresh opponent as soon as they fold. Since tables and seats are randomly assigned, players could end up with any type of opponent—a formidable shark or a gullible fish. Since players have no control over who they play with, Zoom Poker becomes one of the fairest online poker variants in the industry.
Zoom Poker games are available in cap as well as regular formats for PL Omaha and NL Hold’em, featuring stake limits of up to $5/$10 and $0.25/$0.50 to $25/$50, respectively. As the stake limits get higher, the player pool gets thinner. For instance, a No Limit Hold’em game with stake limits of $0.25 to $0.50 always has more than 100 players, but an NLHE game with stake limits of $1/$2 and more hardly has a dozen players.
Since the buy-ins for all limits are in the range of 50 to 200 blinds, players will not find a lot of short-stacked play. Simultaneously, this does not mean that short-stacked play is completely eliminated because of the absence of mandatory re-buys. The system increases players’ chances of getting opponents with 100 or more big blinds.
Usually, PokerStars is the first online poker room to launch innovative poker variants, but this time it happened to be the third to introduce high-speed heads-up poker variants. Party Poker and Ongame had introduced the same long before PokerStars did. The fast fold heads-up poker games at Ongame have betting limits ranging from $0.05/$0.10 to $1/$2, but good player pools are created only at stakes such as $0.25/9.50 and $0.05/$0.10. Party Poker’s heads up FastFoward games are available only at stake limits of $0.25/$0.50. PokerStars’ heads-up Zoom Poker games, on the other hand, are not only available in capped formats, but also at more stake limits.
Winning at heads-up Zoom Poker games at PokerStars is tougher because of the larger player pools. Players will be able to put themselves at a greater advantage over their opponents if they make use of a HUD. Owing to the large player pools and the lack of proper game flow, the HUD will be of great use as it provides valuable stats on opponents’ gaming style and helps players make good decisions.