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Poker News | Online Poker | News

PokerStars is Bringing "Double Bubble" Tournaments to 2015 PCA

PokerStars 2015 PCA
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PokerStars announced yesterday that the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure will debut a new feature with two "Double Bubble" tournaments! The distribution of prizes will award 50 percent of the field according to PokerStars when the new events kick off.

"Most of us in the business have come to believe that paying out more of the field is better," said Lee Jones, PokerStars' Head of Poker Communications. "That is, increasing the number of players who get something back is preferable to putting an extra bonus on top of the already staggering size of the prizes at the top."

PokerStars "Double Bubble" tournaments are expected to vastly increase the number of places paid and more players will take home cash than ever before.

"Being the marketing geniuses we are," Jones said jokingly, "we borrowed and adapted the name of a classic American bubble gum and called these tournaments 'Double Bubble.'"

With the new format, once the tournament drops to half of the original starting field, those remaining players automatically receive a refund on the buy-in.

"When we get down to half the field, we're going to return the original buy-in to all remaining players," Jones went on to say. "So suppose it's a $1000+$100 event with 80 runners. When 40 players are left, we walk around and drop $1100 in cash (or chips) in front of each of the remaining 40 players."

After players have received their funds, the tournament restarts to head for the second bubble where the players surviving it will begin to add extra money to their pockets.

"The money that's left is distributed in an eight-percent payout structure," Jones said. "So there are really two bubbles — [one] at 50 percent of the field and [one at] eight percent of the field."

The standard payout model would normally award prizes to about 10 percent of the field.

Jones said that the decision to create the "Double Bubble" events came about due to looking at final table deals and also hoping to increase the number of places paid would also increase the fun at the tournament.

"Look at all the final-table deals," said Jones. "If everybody really wanted that almost unimaginably large first prize, then deals wouldn't happen. But in point of fact, they happen almost all the time. No matter whether it's nervous amateurs afraid of playing for huge sums or seasoned pros trying to reduce the variance, there seems to be a universal appetite for deal making."

Considered in the decision was also the factor that many players simply want to score a cash (whether they admit it or not) and the approach to the bubble is a whole different game. The "Double Bubble" tournaments can smooth out a lot of the 'bubble-approacheth' stress and put some fun back in the action.

"Let's talk about the bubble," Jones said. "For all the people who talked about not wanting to min-cash, look at the wave of 'chip and a chair' behavior as the bubble approaches. Those people are not making ICM-optimal decisions to maximize their chances for a final table; they're doing whatever it will take to get to the money. The very smallest minimum payoff."

The "Double Bubble" tournaments stretch the payout structure to the maximum which could be very good for tournament poker.

"My point is this: whatever people's plans and dreams are at the beginning of a tournament, for most folks there comes a point where locking up some money right now is preferable to the possibility of more money later," said Jones. "Call it the 'bird in the hand' theory."

The first-ever $2,200 "Double Bubble" event will debut at the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on January 5th, the second one kicks off on January 8th with an identical structure and buy-in.

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