Amaya's PokerStars has begun a closed test of Power Up poker, a totally new product which aims to give poker fans a new way to play the game.
A number of players have been invited to participate in the closed Alpha test of PokerStars Power Up, which combines No Limit Hold’Em games with additional powers to let players influence how hands play out. It also lets users influence gameplay with boards, cards and chips.
Director of poker innovation and operations Severin Rasset said that this early release of the new game format follows six months of testing with high-volume experienced players and gamers.
The game has yet to be scheduled for real-money general release, but Rasset says the reaction from these early players suggests that the operator has a hit on its hands.
"Fun is one of the hardest things to measure and you can never be sure if the game will hit the right spot for players. However, having seen poker pros and focus group members asking to play again, and smiling and laughing as they're playing, I feel confident that we really have something that our players will enjoy as much as we do."
The closed Alpha testing phase means the Power Up game is likely to undergo a number of adjustments, with the player pool set to be expanded in line with the addition of new features to help assess the impact of tweaks and additions.
"I am extremely proud of the teams that have worked so hard to deliver this game to Alpha and now our players will decide if they like Power Up as much as we do," Rasset added.
PokerStars, which was last week named Gaming Intelligence's Poker Operator of the Year, is also set to expand into its latest regulated market tomorrow (February 16th) with its launch in the Czech Republic. Parent company Amaya was granted a licence by the Czech State Supervision of Gambling and Lotteries Department in late January, allowing it to roll out the dot.cz offering.