Partypoker Takes Dead Aim at Pokerstars With Recent Moves

Published on September 3rd, 2017 2:55 pm EST

The 2017 version of the PartyPoker logo.  On white background.Partypoker has set its sights high - they want to reclaim the title of the world's largest online poker room.

At one time, Partypoker was the 800 pound gorilla of the online poker industry and Pokerstars was the fledgling competitor that was trying to catch up. UIGEA was passed into law, Partypoker pulled out of the United States, Pokerstars didn't and the rest is history. Now, Pokerstars is the seemingly untouchable behemoth of the industry, while Partypoker is the world's fourth biggest online poker room.

Since GVC Holdings took over as owners, Partypoker has made a number of positive changes. In addition to improving their MTTs, Partypoker recently resumed the practice of rakeback, with players eligible to receive as much as 40% of their rake back when they play on the site.

This move was done to counter Pokerstars, which angered many medium and high stakes players when they made changes to their VIP rewards programs. Things went from bad to worse this year after Pokerstars introduced their "Chests" reward program, which was seen as a laughable slap to the face of any semi-serious poker player.

At roughly the same time, Partypoker unveiled their restored rakeback program, countering Pokerstars' contention that excessive rakeback was bad for the poker "ecosystem" (translation: they wanted to make more money).

In addition, Partypoker is currently hosting their "Powerfest" event, which is guaranteeing a total prize pool of $35 million. The start date of this series can't be ignored, as it is beginning on the same day as Pokerstars' WCOOP series. It's pretty clear that Partypoker is sending a message that they will be looking to compete with Pokerstars more and more in the future.


Over the past number of months, Partypoker has also made moves to bolster their roster of sponsored players.

Earlier this week, Partypoker added Fedor Holz to the mix, who will join a roster that includes the likes of Sam Trickett, Carl Froch and Boris Becker. Partypoker has compiled a very impressive roster over a very short period of time.

Partypoker recently hosted an invite-only Pot Limit Omaha game that was organized by Sam Trickett and included the likes of Viktor "Isildur1" Blom, Tony G and Leon Tsourkernik. Again, another smart move, as events like these help to build buzz. Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker benefitted greatly from the high stakes games that were held on their sites back in the day, and Partypoker seems to be trying to recapture some of that old magic.

Partypoker is clearly hoping that by attracting players like Blom, Holz and Tony G to their site, casual players will follow and open up accounts on the site.


In the end, Partypoker has a long, long way to go before they catch Pokerstars. The biggest complaint about Partypoker seems to be their software, which is pretty unpopular with players.

They are making moves, however, and they should be commended for this, as they seem to be listening to the poker community.

I'm not pushing any particular room - play wherever you want. Competition, however, is a very good thing, and a serious challenger to Pokerstars' throne would benefit everybody.


Filed Under: Online Poker Rooms

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