PokerStars Home Games vs FTP’s Multi-Entry Tourneys

Last year, poker rooms scrambled to be the first to introduce the newest and best features in an increasingly player-oriented market. While some rooms endeavored to make stats more accessible by integrating the popular SharkScope software into every player account, other rooms went in the other direction, using anonymous tables to restore the balance. Security also continued to be a hot topic with many rooms adopting the new two-point login tokens. Now, that same contest has resumed again less than two weeks into the new year with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker simultaneously announcing two important new features this week.

Over at PokerStars, the mega-site is rolling out an expansive Home Games section that will allow players to create their own private networks of ring games and/or tournaments comprised exclusively of friends and selected opponents and complete with scheduled competitions and leaderboards. Team PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu has been one of the new feature’s biggest proponents, explaining how he himself used home games to get his start and how it will make online poker that much more comfortable and accessible for amateurs that are not yet ready for major competition.

New PokerStars players don’t even have to mess with the regular poker room’s lobby. Once they download the software and register their player account, they can create or join their own Poker Club and completely bypass the main portion of the PokerStars room and lobby. Existing PokerStars players can continue to compete in the regular poker room, but they can also download and simultaneously run the Home Games add-on.

In the other corner, we’ve got PokerStars’ biggest competitor, Full Tilt Poker, announcing a new multi-entry tournament feature. FTP has already earned industry approval for its innovative Rush Poker games. Whereas PokerStars is clearly catering to an amateur audience, FTP’s new player feature is aimed at more ambitious players. As you might have already guessed, multi-entry tournaments will allow a single player to occupy as many as four separate seats.

Multi-entry tournaments offer players two unique benefits. First, if more than one of your entries makes it to the final table, then you’ll have the opportunity to combine both stacks to make yourself a more formidable opponent. Second, if you have no luck at all and bust out of a tournament early, multi-entry tournaments will allow you to buy in again up to four times during the late registration period. What multi-entry tournaments won’t give you is the ability to collude with yourself; to ensure this, your seats will always be located at separate tables. For more on FTP’s incoming features, check the new features section of their site.

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