PokerStars’ bid to attract more casual poker players took another step forward recently with the launch of Beat the Clock.
In line with innovations such as Spin & Go tournaments and Zoom, Beat the Clock tournaments have been designed to offer high octane, high energy and high entertainment.
As the online poker industry continues to evolve, catering to a less experienced, less skilled demographic has become a necessity.
PokerStars has realized this as much as anyone in the last two years and Beat the Clock appears to be another move in this direction.
In fact, as a testament to this innovation’s place on the “casual” spectrum, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has been drafted in to promote the tournaments.
Ronaldo Reaches the Masses
Pictured screaming the name of the game in front of the Beat the Clock logo, Ronaldo not only gives the new tournaments some credibility, but a reason for the media outside of the poker industry to take notice.
With 48 million Twitter followers and 81 million Instagram fans, a single social media post from Ronaldo has the power to reach a huge mainstream audience.
In fact, a recent Instagram post with the caption “unleashed my inner lion while filming with PokerStars” had been viewed 3.9 million times and commented on by more than 3,800 at the time of writing.
This level of exposure is exactly what PokerStars will have been hoping for when it sponsored Ronaldo and, moreover, the reason why tournaments like Beat the Clock are now an integral part of the site.
A Quicker Way to Play
So what are Beat the Clock tournaments? In simple terms, Beat the Clock tournaments are highly condensed games that last for just five minutes.
Using a Zoom format, the tournaments have a minimum number of required players to start (48) and entrants can currently buy-in for $1, $3 or $5.
After the five-minute time limit expires, all remaining players are given a share of the total prizepool based on the size of their chip stack. The affordable entrance fees, fast-fold structure and five-minute time limit are all designed to suit players that want to play on the go.
Essentially part of a new “bite sized” poker movement, the games are best suited to mobile players who are, mainly, casual players. Regardless of what some believe, it seems to be the case that in order for the online poker industry to grow, more casual players are needed.
PokerStars’ Beat the Clock is just another example of how sites are reacting to this as are other innovations across the industry such as webcam poker at 888poker and HUD-less tables at Unibet.