PokerStars

The new PokerStars LIVE deck at the London Hippodrome casino is now open for business.

The new venture opened earlier this week to coincide with Day 1 of the UKIPT.

It debuted with a media charity bounty tournament attended by PokerStars Pro’s Liv Boeree, Jake Cody, and Victoria Coren.

In keeping with the London theme, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels stars Dexter Fletcher and Jason “It’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s the sale of the fucking century!” Flemyng joined in the tournament.

The PokerStars LIVE in London is the second of at least three live poker rooms that Rational Group will open this year.

Casino Gran Madrid, which quietly opened for business just last month, will be followed by a new Macau venture in April.

The UKIPT started with events split between the Grosvenor Victoria Casino and the Hippodrome. This year the Main Event will be held at the Victoria, but the side events have been split roughly equally between the two venues.

Cash games have also been spread for the first time in the PokerStars deck. Four games are available as standard: NLHE £1/£2, £1/£3, £2/£5 and PLO £1/£2 although higher stakes are said to be available on request.

The poker room in Madrid, which only began advertising regular cash games in the last week, promises a a wider spread, with eleven game/stake levels to choose from. Stars will no doubt be testing the water for a while until the new venues adjust to the needs of the different markets in both locations.

The move into B&M casinos is a major strategic shift for PokerStars which also has relationships with casinos in Belgium and New Jersey.