If it's true that a good beginning makes a good ending, 2016 is going to be yet another remarkable year for Tonybet Poker, the poker room brought to the community by poker "bad boy" and Lithuania's representative in the European Parliament, Antanas "Tony G" Guoga.
Launched in December 2013 with a goal of becoming the go-to poker site for open-face Chinese poker, the young and vibrant poker room is now determined to fight its way through the industry and become a reference point for all those looking for fun, value, and great live events.
"There is a lot of talks these days that poker has become dull and that there's no spark, and, as founder Tony G would say, 'it lacks big heart,'" said Tonybet spokesman Warren Lush. "We're on a mission to change that — it's not just about giving away loads of money through promotions and scrapping rake, it is about the experience that we offer."
An All-New "No Balls, No Glory" Strategy
After introducing rake-free six-handed Texas hold'em and pot-limit Omaha cash games in November 2015, the poker room is now widening its offer to complete the transition from being an open-face Chinese poker-only room, to becoming a full-fledged online poker site.
"We are introducing straddles to our cash games that you won't see anywhere else," Lush explained. "It is popular in the live environment so why shouldn't it be the same online?"
We are in a unique position as an up-and-coming operator to try new things.
"Six-max is now full-ring at Tonybet — fewer opponents means faster gameplay and less waiting around in tournaments," he added. "We've learned something from open-face Chinese poker in this regard as in OFC, you play every single hand."
This, however, is not the only new addition to Tonybet's offer, as the room's mission to offer a fast, engaging, and exciting online poker action passes through the inclusion of even more new variants and additional changes in the structure of the tournaments on the platform.
As Lush explained, "players can also find four-max and heads-up tables in the Tonybet poker client. These are all forms of the game that promote action. Another simple thing we have done to try and reinvigorate the online poker experience is to make the majority of our tournaments have 10,000 starting chips. We hope big stacks with larger blinds appeal to those sick of small stacks and flipping preflop.
"As they say at Tonybet, and like players do with an all-in, it's 'no balls, no glory.' If we don't try and liven things up and take steps to pump up the action, then we don't know. We are in a unique position as an up-and-coming operator to try such things."
Tonybet Announces €500,000 Guaranteed Tonybet Winter Poker Festival in Montreal
The changes in the room's online offer go hand-in-hand with a new, bolder plan aimed at bringing the brand closer to the community through new live poker events.
We are on a brave new adventure by sponsoring a no-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha series for the first time.
After the success of the first two Tonybet OFC World Championship festivals held in Prague in 2014 and 2015, the poker room has decided to challenge its competitors by launching the Tonybet Winter Poker Festival, a 13-day poker festival set to run at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal, Canada, from Jan. 29-Feb. 10.
Built around an action-packed 13-event schedule, the Winter Poker Festival is the room's first event to keep OFC off the program. With a good number of hold'em and pot-limit Omaha events with buy-ins starting from CAD$160, the festival is highlighted by a promising CAD$1,100 Main Event running from Feb. 5-10 that features a premium CAD$500,000 guaranteed prize pool.
"The previous Tonybet ventures into live poker have been very much OFC based so, as unusual, we are on a brave new adventure by sponsoring a no-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha series for the first time," Lush shared.
Here's a full look at the 2016 Tonybet Poker Winter Festival official schedule:
|Jan. 29||11:00||#1||All-Stars for Starlight Day 1a||$135 + $25||$100,000|
|Jan. 29||19:00||#1||All-Stars for Starlight Day 1b||$135 + $25||$100,000|
|Jan. 30||11:00||#1||All-Stars for Starlight Day 1c||$135 + $25||$100,000|
|Jan. 30||19:00||#1||All-Stars for Starlight Day 1d||$135 + $25||$100,000|
|Jan. 31||12:00||#1||All-Stars for Starlight Day 2||$100,000|
|Jan. 31||18:00||#2||NL Hold'em Shootout||$150 + $15|
|Feb. 1||19:00||#1||All-Stars for Starlight Day 3||$100,000|
|Feb. 1||19:30||#3||NL Hold'em $25 Bounty||$135 + $15 + $25|
|Feb. 2||12:00||#4||NL Hold'em Single Rebuy||$100 + $10|
|Feb. 2||19:30||#5||NL Hold'em 8-Max||$150 + $15|
|Feb. 3||11:00||#6||NL Hold'em Deepstack||$300 + $30|
|Feb. 3||19:30||#7||NL Hold'em Survivor||$200 + $20|
|Feb. 4||Satellite Day||40 Seats Guaranteed|
|Feb. 5||11:00||#8||TonyBet Winter Festival Main Event Day 1a||$1,000 + $100||$500,000|
|Feb. 6||11:00||#8||TonyBet Winter Festival Main Event Day 1b||$1,000 + $100||$500,000|
|Feb. 7||11:00||#8||TonyBet Winter Festival Main Event Day 1c||$1,000 + $100||$500,000|
|Feb. 7||20:00||#9||NL Hold'em Deepstack Turbo||$200 + $20|
|Feb. 8||12:00||#8||TonyBet Winter Festival Main Event Day 2||$500,000|
|Feb. 8||19:00||#10||NL Hold'em Freeze Day 1||$500 + $50|
|Feb. 9||12:00||#8||TonyBet Winter Festival Main Event Day 3||$500,000|
|Feb. 9||19:00||#10||NL Hold'em Freeze Day 2|
|Feb. 9||19:30||#11||NL Hold'em Win the Button||$100 + $10|
|Feb. 1||20:00||#12||Pot-Limit Omaha Single Rebuy||$300 + $30|
|Feb. 10||12:00||#8||TonyBet Winter Festival Main Event Day 4||$500,000|
|Feb. 10||19:00||#13||NL Hold'em $100 50/50 Bounty||$100 + $20 + $100|
To sweeten the deal, the poker room has made available more than 100 seats to the Winter Festival on its online platform. From Jan. 9, the players who reside in countries where Tonybet Poker legally operates, can qualify to the festival through the following satellite tournaments:
Saturdays and Sundays
|Time(EST)||Buy-in||Guarantee (seats)||Guarantee ($CAD)|
|Time(EST)||Buy-in||Guarantee (seats)||Guarantee ($CAD)|
If you don't have an account at Tonybet Poker yet, be sure to open a free one through PokerNews using the bonus code STARTER to receive up to a €2,000 bonus as a welcome gift. Next to that you will also be rewarded with a free €10 entrance to a €5,000 guaranteed monthly tournament.
Win a €3,000 Vegas Package at Tonybet
Last, but not least, the new aggressive strategy adopted by Tonybet Poker in 2016 includes also a new marketing strategy composed by a whole range of promotions giving away money prizes, hi-tech gadgets, and packages to play in Las Vegas - for free.
On Tuesday, Jan. 5, the poker room announced the launch of new campaigns including:
- €10.000 guaranteed in freerolls every day
- An exclusive iPhone 6S giveaway and special €3,000 packages to play in LAs Vegas this summer
- One free ticket worth €10 to a €5,000 guaranteed monthly event to every new sign up
- €15,000 in cash game, sit-and-gos and multi-table tournament races. In a different approach to most of the industry, the cash game and multi-table tournaments leaderboard races will be based on a number of hands rather than rake allowing the lower stakes players to compete.
- A new no-limit hold0em and pot-limit Omaha online series to be held in February with €100,000 already earmarked in guarantees