PokerStars esports hybrid online poker game Power Up is finally seeing a marketing push as the operator launches a new leaderboard promotion called Power Up…

PokerStars esports hybrid online poker game Power Up is finally seeing a marketing push as the operator launches a new leaderboard promotion called Power Up Championship.

The first-ever Power Up Championship kicked off last week on January 28 and will culminate in Finals on February 23. The Semi-Finals and Finals will be live streamed on Twitch, and the winner will take home $3000 as well as the Power Up Champion title. 2nd place and 3rd place runners-up will be awarded $1000 each.

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The operator will also be revealing a new power that will be added to the game on the day of Finals—February 23. Currently, there are ten powers in the game including Deploy which was the first power to be added since the game launched. No details have been revealed on the new power, but according to the leaks revealed by OP-Poker a year ago, the new power could either be called Morph, Mint, or Drain.

How Do I Qualify For the Finals?

Although the promotion kicked off last week, players can still qualify for the leaderboard and a chance to win $3000 top prize.

Before taking part in the promotion, players must opt-in via PokerStars Challenge Window and complete a full set of four qualification challenges. There are two league qualifications being run: Masters (for $1 and $3 buy-ins) and Grand Masters (for $7 and $15 buy-ins). Players can compete in both the leagues.

Each of the challenges in both the leagues task players to win Power Up games within a prescribed set of games. For example Qualifier 1 requires players to win 1 out of their next 3 Power Up games and Qualifier 4 requires 7 wins out of 15 games. Players are awarded an instant cash prize on completing each of the challenges as well as a share of the prize pool (shown below) which will be shared equally amongst all the players that complete each qualification level.

Players will get 5 attempts at each qualification level and they must complete them by February 10.

Power Up Championship Prize Pool Share

Qualifier 1 Qualifier 2 Qualifier 3 Qualifier 4
Masters Challenge $350 $400 $450 $500
Grand Masters Challenge $700 $800 $900 $1,000

Once players complete Step 1 (Qualification league), they then become eligible for Power Up leaderboard leagues which is Step 2 in the process to qualify for the finals. The leaderboard runs from February 11 to February 15 for each of the different buy-in levels—the Masters League ($1 and $3) and the Grand Masters League ($7 and $15). Points are awarded based on the number of wins.

Players who finish in one of the top three positions of the Masters leaderboard or top six positions of the Grand Masters leaderboard qualify for the semi-finals and from there they move to the finals.

Both the Semi-Finals and Finals will be live streamed on Twitch. The winner gets $3000 while the 2nd place and 3rd place receives $1000 each.

For more details, check out PokerStars promotion page.

First-Ever Large Scale Power Up Promotion

This marks the first time that PokerStars has chosen to actively promote the game of Power Up. Since its launch nearly 18 months ago, the operator has remained relatively quiet in terms of promoting the game and in fact, the game is still being marketed as beta. Its “full commercial rollout” was initially slated to happen in early 2018.

PokerStars did run a promotion exclusively in the UK last year and also had a tie-in promotion with Power Up avatars called Collectibles, but that did not directly encourage participation in the games.

It also announced a partnership with OP-Poker, a team of Twitch streamers and poker content creators, as the official ambassadors for Power Up, but the operator did not launch a full-scale promotion for the game until now.

PokerStars’ Most Ambitious Project

Power Up is certainly one of the most ambitious endeavors undertaken by the operator. It is the operator’s attempt to bridge the gap between poker and video games by using the game elements found in esports titles like Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering and mixing it with next-generation fast-paced poker games like Spin & Go.

When it comes to the future in general with Power Up, the only thing I can share at this point is that we’re going to continue to innovate and try new things, and continue to listen to the playersJust like in traditional Hold’em, players are dealt their cards but in this unique variant, they also receive powers, which players may use to gain a tactical advantage in the game. For example, the “X-Ray” power allows a player to see one of their opponents’ hole cards. Similarly, the “Intel” power allows a player to peek at the deck’s top card for the rest of the hand. These powers come at a cost, and so players must carefully spend energy (each player starts with 10 points) strategically. This adds another element of strategy and skill to poker.

With this recent marketing push, we can rest assured that the game has not fallen off the radar of the marketing team at PokerStars and that the game is here to stay for a while at least.

“When it comes to the future in general with Power Up, the only thing I can share at this point is that we’re going to continue to innovate and try new things, and continue to listen to the players,” said Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations at the Stars Group, in an exclusive interview with Poker Industry PRO when asked about the future of this game.