Online poker giant PokerStars has revealed a major new poker game, Grand Tour, that combines various elements of popular contemporary formats—shorthanded tables, fast paced games, random prizes, progressive bounties—and bundles it into a single cohesive package with a slick cycling theme.
Grand Tour launched on Wednesday for free-play on the dot-NET and dot-com clients. It is expected to launch for real money later on Thursday and come to the EU and UK clients by the end of the week.
In France, the game is called La Course, where it is already live for play and real money, as exclusively reported by pokerfuse earlier this week.
The game is inspired by various formats that have proved popular over the last few years. The tournaments are fast-paced, four-handed games played in progressive knockout (PKO) format. That means that when a player is eliminated, half the “bounty” is awarded as a prize, the other half increases the bounty value of the victor.
Using another fashionable game innovation, the bounty portion of the prize is also randomized. In some situations, this can be up to 6000x its value, meaning the game can have jackpots that exceed $100,000.
But perhaps most interesting in the format is its stages system. The game has six levels, or “sprints,” for players to progress through; when one four-handed game is won, the player moves to the next sprint up the ladder.
As you move through the system, bounties get bigger and the potential top multiplier grows.