Those of you who are fans of PokerStars’ two-year old novelty game Power Up had better get your fill now, because the game’s days are numbered.
According to PokerFuse, PokerStars is preparing to pull the plug on the poker/deck-building love child. No end date has been provided.
“PokerStars has made the decision to remove [Power Up] from the poker client,” a PokerStars representative told PokerFuse’s Poker Industry PRO. “Designed to bridge the gap between poker and video games, Power Up had a strong and loyal following.”
No specific reason was given for the decision. Though PokerStars says the game had a “strong and loyal following,” Power Up almost certainly didn’t make a lot of money for the site, compared to other games. If it did, it wouldn’t be saying goodbye.
Power Up is an oddball game
Power Up is a three-handed Sit-and-Go game in which players are dealt special Power cards in addition to their hole cards. The Powers can be used to change the game dramatically.
For example, the Disintegrate card can be used to erase a card from the current street. Intel lets the player who uses it see the top card on the deck for the rest of the hand. And Upgrade lets a player draw a third hole card and then discard one.
Each Power comes with an energy cost. Players begin with 10 energy and regain 2 energy after every hand up to a maximum of 15 energy.
Here is a list of all of the Powers:
Clone: receive a copy of the last power played this hand (2 energy)
Deploy: an additional card is added to the board, usable by every player (3 energy)
Disintegrate: destroy a selected card on the current street (4 energy)
EMP: prevent the use of any more powers on this street (3 energy)
Engineer: choose the deck’s next card from three options (5 energy)
Intel: view the deck’s top card for the remainder of the hand (3 energy)
Reload: re-draw one or both hole cards (5 energy)
Scanner: view the top two cards in the deck and choose to keep or discard them (4 energy)
Upgrade: draw a third hole card and then discard one (5 energy)
X-Ray: all opponents must reveal one randomly selected card (2 energy)
The winner of the hand is still the one with the best five-card hand or the lone person who doesn’t fold, just like in any other Hold’em game. It is entirely possible to play a regular Hold’em hand in Power Up without using Power cards, but that wouldn’t be fun, would it?
Capitalized on eSports surge
PokerStars launched Power Up for real money play in October 2017 after working on it for several years. The company actually built an entirely new game engine for it.
The idea behind Power Up was to try to blend poker with the quickly-growing eSports industry. The concept of using the Power cards takes a page from deck-building games like Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering. Aside from the poker factor, one primary difference between Power Up and games like Hearthstone and MTG is that players do not build their own Power card deck in Power Up, whereas they typically do in traditional deck-building games.