Poker players are not the only ones to take notice of the 2,500 high-volume and high-stakes players boycotting PokerStars to protest announced changes the world's largest real-money online poker room plans to implement on Jan. 1, 2016.
The world's second largest real-money online poker room, 888poker, also took notice and is taking advantage of the situation.
While ring-games at lower-stakes did not decline on the first day of the PokerStars protest due to a milestone hands promotion where they were awarding $100,000, the drop was noticeable at the higher limits. It is also expected that some of the higher buy-in tournaments on PokerStars will have less attendance than usual this week.
888poker announced on TwoPlusTwo its plans to haul in some of this traffic by making its site more attractive to play on during the boycott period. First off, they significantly reduced rake from five to 2.5 percent on all of its pot-limit Omaha tables at the $1/$2 limits and higher.
The online poker room also added two new daily tournaments with the $55-buy-in $5,000 guaranteed 8-max – Special! taking place at 13:00 GMT and the $30 buy-in $5,000 guaranteed Turbo – Special! running two hours later, at 15:00 GMT.
The last change is possibly the most significant as the site upped its guarantees for the three-day period by $108,000. Yesterday, for example, the guarantee on the $600 buy-in Tuesday Volcano increased from the usual $85,000 to $100,000. Canada's "elmatador333" was able to take advantage of the larger-than-normal guarantee by outlasting a 176-player field to win $21,500.
Here is a look at all the tournaments with boosted guarantees this week during the PokerStars boycott.
|Regular Guarantee||Special Guaranteed||Buy in||Start Time (GMT)|
|The $85,000 Tuesday Volcano||The $100,000 Tuesday Volcano||$600||19:30|
|The $30,000 Thursday Quarterback||The $35,000 Thursday Quarterback||$215||19:30|
|The $25,000 Tuesday Crocodile||The $30,000 Tuesday Crocodile||$160||17:30|
|The $15,000 Crocodile (Midweek)||The $20,000 Crocodile (Midweek)||$160||17:30|
|The $30,000 Tuesday Challenge||The $35,000 Tuesday Challenge||$109||20:35|
|The $7,000 Lightning 6-Max||The $8,000 Lightning 6-Max||$109||14:00|
|The $10,000 Tornado||The $12,000 Tornado||$109||20:15|
|The $6,000 Hurricane||The $8,000 Hurricane||$109||21:45|
|The $10,000 Breeze||The $12,000 Breeze||$55||15:45|
|The $5,000 Twister||The $6,000 Twister||$55||11:00|
|The $7,500 Thunder 6-Max Second Chance||The $8,000 Thunder 6-Max Second Change||$55||19:35|
|The $5,000 Cyclone||The $6,000 Cyclone||$55||02:20|
|The $5,000 Typhoon Second Chance||The $5,000 Typhoon Second Chance||$55||09:00|
|The $7,500 Swordfish||The $8,000 Swordfish||$30||18:00|
|The $5,000 Turbo Swordfish||The $6,000 Turbo Swordfish||$30||22:00|
|The $3,000 Super Turbo Swordfish||The $4,000 Super Turbo Swordfish||$30||00:00|
|The $8,000 Guaranteed Turbo R&A||The $10,000 Guaranteed Turbo R&A||$5||19:00|
|The $1,000 Turbo Blowfish||The $1,500 Turbo Blowfish||$5||18:00|
|The $1,000 Super Turbo Blowfish||The $1,200 Super Turbo Blowfish||$5||23:00|
|The $1,000 Goldfish||The $1,200 Goldfish||$1||20:00|
|The $600 Turbo Goldfish||The $700 Turbo Goldfish||$1||15:00|
|The $300 Super Turbo Goldfish||The $400 Super Turbo Goldfish||$1||02:00|
Many poker players took to Twitter to satisfaction with 888poker.
High-profile poker player Dani Stern, who has been vocally encouraging players to join the PokerStars boycott, was one of the players to applaud 888poker's strategic moves.
Fantastic move, @888poker slashing rake and increasing guarantees this week. #boycottstars $AYAFollow @TheRealAnsky
Three-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner and 888poker Ambassador Dominik Nitsche also chimed in on Twitter about his happiness.