The latest update to the PokerStars online poker software suggests that a major platform upgrade (possibly linked to Christmas promotions) could soon be making…

The latest update to the PokerStars online poker software suggests that a major platform upgrade (possibly linked to Christmas promotions) could soon be making its way into the PokerStars client in several markets.

The update which was deployed first to PokerStars dot-NET software client (on the company’s play money platform) last night includes dozens of new image files and sound effects, modifications to various table themes, modified chat smileys, new table layouts with richer graphics, a complete overhaul of the “Saloon” theme containing virtual items such as beer and a cigar, never-seen-before Christmas themed tables, and various other changes.

There has been a modification to several PokerStars game types including Spin & Go, Spin & Go Max, Zoom and Knockout games—with each of them getting new image and animation files as well as new sound effects. Also added to each game is a folder with the name “game-feature,” hinting that a promotion reminiscent of Full Tilt’s “Game of the Week” could soon make its way to PokerStars.

There could be the introduction of a new promotion to both Spin & Go and Spin & Go Max games, as the folder includes animations that involve coin spinning and elements like smoke, sparkles, light rays, etc. There could also be new sound effects with animations being played every time a player reaches the money or makes a final table.

PokerStars’ esports hybrid game, Power Up, also shows some updates to its files including an update to one of the game’s power cards, “Mint,” which was discovered earlier this year but has yet to be launched in the game.

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Six Plus Hold’em to Replace Fusion?

It seems PokerStars is readying itself for the launch of Six Plus Hold’em (also called Short Deck Poker), as the latest client update includes changes to the background image of the 6+ Hold’em table. The game also made a short appearance in the game menu on the PokerStars website, hinting that the launch is imminent.

Pokerfuse discovered the Six Plus Hold’em image assets back in late August. The poker variant is a game played similarly to traditional Texas Hold’em but with a stripped-down deck. Deuces through fives are removed to make the total deck just 36 cards instead of the usual 52.

PokerStars Virtual Reality Product to Get Updates Too

PokerStars latest innovation, PokerStars VR (a free-to-play virtual reality product), will also be seeing some new features added to the game ahead of the holiday season. A new “winter wonderland” background will be added to the game and virtual items such as a snowball machine, gingerbread cookies, Santa hats, eggnog and reindeer ears will be added soon.

Chris Moneymaker (in the form of Santa) and other PokerStars ambassadors will be visiting the virtual reality tables to lighten up players’ moods. There will be in-game giveaways and special prizes will be given to players who take down PokerStars ambassadors.

According to the operator, the PokerStars VR launch has been successful, and the game is currently sitting in the top 5 VR titles.