PokerStars’ new variant on the game of poker, Power Up, is back up and running in the PokerStars lobby giving players a whole new set of strategies to employ in order to take the game of Hold’em to the next level.
The new game format takes the basics of No Limit Hold’em and tosses in game-changing power cards that allow players to impact the hand in ways never before possible. In a recent Q&A with a number of Team PokerStars Online Pros, Felix ‘xflixx’ Schneiders, Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew and Kevin Martin talked about their hopes for the game as well as their favorite powers and strategies to become a beast at the three-handed Power Up Sit & Gos.
“I love the way X-Ray messes with everyone’s head,” Team Pro Schneiders said in reference to the card that allows a player to expose one hole card from each opponent. “Once the cards are exposed you can start to really step up and level the game to new dimensions.”
X-ray is one of nine powers that in play. At the start of each Sit & Go players are gifted randomly with three power cards to try and help them navigate the hands. At the beginning of each hand as the tournament progresses, cards are replenished as they are used.
Schneider continues regarding the X-ray card, “It will be fun to run elaborate bluffs or going for value with that extra piece of information while knowing that your opponent things that you think that…”
Another one of the powers is Disintegrate, the ability to literally erase a card on the board changing the entire board texture and, if used properly, diminish the strength of your opponent’s hand.
“Disintegrate is going to be the most creative and interesting card in PowerUp,” online mainstay Randy ’nanonoko’ Lew said. “I can’t wait to destroy people’s flush draws and top pairs and ruin their strategy.”
Fellow Online Pro and Twitch streamer, Kevin Martin agrees with Lew. “My favorite power is Disintegrate. You can take cards that are great for your opponent’s range and get them off the table.” The power can be used on any street to eliminate either a card on the flop, turn or river and can actually be used twice per hand. “It’s a savage card and can be used in a lot of fun spots! ‘Oh hey, that King helped you, didn’t it? Well, it’s NOT there anymore!”
An added level of strategy comes with the execution of the cards. In order to utilize them, you need enough Energy to do so. Each Power consumes a certain amount of Energy, which means that players will need to keep tabs on how much Energy they have as the Sit & Go advances.
The various moving parts of the game is an attempt to merge the worlds of poker and strategy gaming. From the futuristic look and feel of the graphics to the new expansion of ways to play any given hand, PokerStars hopes players will get excited about traditional Hold’em poker with as yet undiscovered new depths.
“I’m really excited to see more people get into it. It’s a new way to think about and enjoy poker. It’s also great for streaming, adding a little bit extra onto the game. It will be interesting to see what kind of strategies get developed.” said Martin, who knows a little bit about shifting strategies after winning Big Brother Canada Season 5.
Schneider sums up his hopes for the future of the game. “I’m convinced that Power Up will open up huge unexplored strategic dimensions which the game of poker has not seen before.”
After a brief hiccup, Power Up on PokerStars is now available for players to try for themselves for real money play in select markets.