While all the focus is on the ongoing PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) in the Bahamas, PokerStars has quietly removed its latest cash game novelty, Fusion, from its online poker client without notifying its players in advance.
Fusion—an innovative variant that blended the two most popular games, Texas Hold’em and Omaha, into a single variant was withdrawn from PokerStars cash game lobby on Wednesday.
“We have indeed removed PokerStars Fusion from our game offering on January 9th, as this game was planned to be offered for a limited period of time only,” wrote PokerStars support in response to a player’s query who was disappointed to learn that the game has been removed.
“It may come back in the future, but we cannot provide a definite timeline at this point. That being said, you can expect more surprises and even more excitement for cash games players this year, so keep an eye on the lobby and our website for further updates!”
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The game was played 6-handed in Pot Limit format with each player receiving two hole cards, followed by the usual Hold’em rounds of betting. However, once the Flop was dealt, this is where the twist came to play as all the remaining players in the hand received an additional hole card followed by another one on the Turn and eventually transitioning the game into Omaha. Players at showdown had to make the best five card hand using two of their hole cards and three of the community cards just like in Omaha.
Fusion made its debut two months ago in November, and the game was well received by the players. However, much like the previous novelties, PokerStars in its press release had billed Fusion as a “temporary offering” so the move to take down this game is not surprising.
PokerStars affinity for Six Plus Hold’em was exclusively revealed by pokerfuse back in late August after we discovered new graphic files with the logo of 6+, hinting that PokerStars may be planning to add this exciting variant to its game offerings.
The launch was further attested by PokerStars Team Pro Jason Somerville who accidentally spoke about the launch date of 6+ during the live stream of the PSPC event. Somerville was seated at the feature table along with other players including Sam Greenwood.
“Oh yeah, it’s already caught on pretty well in the high stakes community,” Somerville replied when asked about the popularity of Short Deck.
“I think it’s launching on PokerStars in January too… I think January 16th, they made an announcement. If I’m wrong, we’re spoiling it. Sorry!”
Six Plus Hold’em is played with a shortened deck of 36 cards. Deuces to Fives are removed; Aces play both as low and high, making both a low-end straight A6789 and the high JQKTA. Flushes are ranked higher than Full Houses and in most of the variants, Three of a Kind beats a Straight. The game is already spread online at iPoker, PokerDom, and WPN.
Looking at how the game has seen a flurry of interest over the past year, it is not surprising, the world’s leading online poker site, PokerStars, is looking to launch this exciting variant of Hold’em.
6+ would be the operator’s fifth new cash game novelty since 2018. Split Hold’em was the first among the string of innovations from PokerStars. It launched in March and after running for six weeks, it was soon replaced with Showtime Hold’em. In this variant, players had to reveal their hole cards every time they mucked.
In August, PokerStars launched another unique twist called Unfold Hold’em—a variant that allowed players to unfold their mucked hole cards. The game also ran for six weeks before getting replaced with Fusion.
PokerStars Cash Game Novelties Timeline 2018-19
|Variant||Format Type||Launch Date||Withdrawn Date||Total Days it Ran|
|Split Hold’em||6-Max No Limit||March 28||May 14||55 days|
|Showtime Hold’em||6-Max No Limit||May 23||July 23||62 days|
|Unfold Hold’em||8-Max No Limit||August 2||September 27||57 days|
|Fusion||6-Max Pot Limit||November 7||January 9||64 days|
Six Plus Hold’em is expected to make its debut on PokerStars on January 16.