The much-hyped PokerStars 7 client is finally in an open Alpha test and players are getting a first-hand look at the potential future of online poker.
It’s been a long time coming.
Screenshots of PokerStars 7 initially hit the Internet in 2012, which means the software has been development for over three years now.
It’s not exactly clear why it’s taken so long (there were some initial complaints about the look of the new software in 2012) but the latest version looks very solid.
We got a hold of the new software and thought we’d post a few thoughts from playing it for a few hours below.
It’s worth nothing that PokerStars 7 is not only a good thing for PokerStars players. When it comes to software PokerStars has always been a leader but they got so far ahead that other sites were playing catch up for the last few years.
PokerStars hasn’t changed much over that time because it hasn’t needed to. The new software will likely provide a new benchmark for other sites.
Don’t be surprised if you start to see similar features trickle down to 888poker, Party Poker and iPoker over the next couple years.
In other words: everyone wins.
You can test PokerStars 7 for yourself. Details can be found when you head over to this page. It's currently only available for for real-money players with Windows.
Check below for some notes about the Alpha-version of PokerStars 7:
Dim Inactive Players
- One incredibly useful feature is that players who fold are shaded. It's instantly clear who is in the hand and it makes decisions much easier sometimes.
Everything is Slick
- This is expected but the new software looks tremendously good. It utilizes a lot of graphics from the mobile version, which are simple but very effective. You can still utilize the god-awful old table theme if you’re really prone to nostalgia, though.
Get in Quick
- The new live table preview is quite cool. It visualizes how the table is set up and lets you pick your seat.
Graph Your Chip Count
- One somewhat controversial feature of PokerStars 7 is that during an MTT you can utilize a tool called the Chip Graph to see how a player acquired his or her chips.
Some grinders are worried it will make the game even harder or potentially scare off fish. Others argue that it’s simply levelling the playing field to compete with third party poker HUDs. We're undecided but it's certainly a neat-looking feature.
Front Page News
- You can now view PokerStars-related news in the lobby. Actually kind of useful considering the amount of promos the site runs.
Roll it Back
- You can always go back. It’s easy to revert to PokerStars 6 in the settings tab.
Revamped Tournament Lobby
- Quick seat allows a vastly improved way to register for tournaments. It automatically updates when the next tournament is starting such as “Less Than 1 Minute.” Simple and straightforward.
Poker for Everyone
- It’s very clear that Rational wants PokerStars 7 to run on all computers, even old ones. We tested PokerStars 7 on a five-year old netbook that was running Windows XP and it was surprisingly fast. Very impressive.
We'll have more thoughts about the software in the future and when it ultimately goes into beta.