Pokerstars' Zoom is putting the boom back in online poker In just under a month of operations, and in fact whilst still in beta mode, Pokerstars' Zoom version of high speed poker has been making headlines with stories of its growing popularity.

At one point over the weekend, numbers showed over 80,000 seats filled at cash tables across all internet poker sites. 7,500 of those seats were occupied at PokerStars Zoom tables – some 9 percent of the total.

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That remarkable percentage is made more impressive by the fact that the average number of hands dealt at a Pokerstars Zoom table is 250 an hour, well in excess of the 75 at conventional tables, even on the Internet.

If a Zoom table is playing hands at a conservative estimate of three times faster, the indications are that 27 percent of all internet poker hands at this data point were being played on Zoom.

The  numbers seem to generally support that, with the last weekly traffic report showing that 25 percent of PokerStars players were at Zoom tables, accounting for nearly 50 percent of hands dealt . These numbers can be expected to increase as Pokerstars gets into its stride and more players are brought to Zoom tables through promos and marketing moves.

Already the starting stakes – deliberately set low – have been ramped up, along with the number of gamestyles. No Limit and Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo and Fixed Limit 5 Card Draw are now all available at stakes up to $2.50/$5.

Zoom spokesmen on the message boards have hinted strongly at a mobile version of Zoom soon, and there is the possibility of Zoom MTTs, and perhaps even making the concept exclusive on the high stakes tables.

We sound a cautionary but relevant note in observing that Zoom rake is collected at up to four times faster than standard tables, resulting in player deposits being depleted at a faster rate as games are concluded and winnings and rake are taken. That implies a need to generate more deposits faster to fuel the action, and that will in turn call for more intense and innovative marketing and promotional efforts by the operator.

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