PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world also has a strong presence in Live poker tournaments across the world. The Stars Group which is the parent company of PokerStars has continued to make numerous changes to both online poker and live poker offerings during the last couple of years and some of those changes have not worked out very well for the company or for the players.
PokerStars Dropped Regional Tours In 2017
PokerStars surprised a lot of poker players around the world when the company announced during the 2016 European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona that it planned to drop regional poker tours such as the EPT, Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) and Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT).
These regional tours were widely popular with local players and they were deeply disappointed to know that the company had decided to scrap these regional tours without getting their feedback. Smaller tours such as the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANPT) and Eureka were also dropped.
PokerStars decided that it was time for them to go global and decided to introduce PokerStars Festivals and PokerStars Championships. The company decided to roll all of the regional tours under these two banners and classified them based on their buy-ins. Main Events which had buy-ins under $1000 came under the PokerStars Festival banner while Main Events in excess of $5,000 came under the PokerStars Championship banner.
Players Not Happy With The Changes
PokerStars has made changes to both its online and live poke offerings in the last couple of years and most of these changes have not gone down well with players. The company has been rather stubborn when it came down to the changes made to its online poker offerings, stating that players will take time to get used to the changes and that all the changes would ultimately end up benefiting poker players from all backgrounds.
However, PokerStars has been a lot more open to receiving feedback and making changes to its live poker offerings. Players had complained earlier that they were unhappy with the 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas and wanted the popular PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) to return. The PCA takes place in the Bahamas in January each year. PokerStars yielded to those requests and brought back the PCA for 2018.
EPT, LAPT And APPT Back In 2018
PokerStars has decided to go back to its regional tours in 2018 and drop the idea of running numerous PokerStars Festivals and Championships. The company asked its Team Pro ambassador Daniel Negreanu to make the announcement during the PokerStars Championship Prague. Negreanu who is considered by many to be one of the greatest poker players of this generation spoke about the number of changes and plans PokerStars was expected to roll out in 2018 and 2019.
In a statement, Negreanu said “It was clear to me when we changed the name that there were a lot of disappointed people because the EPT had such a long history. One way we can show in 2018 and beyond, that PokerStars is committed to giving the players what they want is to give them back the EPT, give them back the LAPT, and the APPTs. So this really was an easy decision, as far as I was concerned. It just took a little bit of logistical work to get it done.”
Poker players were very happy to learn that PokerStars had decided to bring back its popular regional tours. While Negreanu confirmed that the LAPT, APPT and EPT will make a comeback in 2018, there is no confirmation if smaller regional tours like the ANPT and Eureka will also be re-introduced.
PokerStars Looking To Give Players More Value
PokerStars is expected to announce more changes as the New Year progresses. The company is looking to give players more value when they play both online and live poker events. PokerStars will be doing this by launching a new tournament called PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship in 2019 and will running a promotion for the tournament throughout 2018. This event is expected to be a game changer in the industry and will have a $25,000 buy-in.
The online poker giant will be investing $9 million into the tournament and $8 million will be given away in the form of Platinum Passes to 300 PokerStars players.

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