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For more than a year, PokerStars has been launching new games and making changes aimed at attracting and retaining recreational online poker players. From changes to its VIP program to Spin & Gos, the new focus of the online poker giant is clear.

While PokerStars maintains its wide range of tournament and cash games, along with series like WCOOP and SCOOP, promoted games have turned toward games relying more on chance and luck than skill. Spin & Gos are the prime example, as the lottery-style games offer big prizes but little in the way of an opportunity to use poker skills and experience to win. Its Milestone promotions have always appealed to recreational players, as do marketing-driven games like Card Hunt.

The latest appeal to recreational players is “Beat the Clock.” It is a new tournament-style game featured on PokerStars in the form of timed games that last only five minutes. As many players do not play on a full-time basis and simply like to use PokerStars as a form of entertainment amidst their otherwise busy schedules, the quick and exciting tournaments are ideal.

pokerstars beat the clock cristiano ronaldo

How Does a Player Beat the Clock? 

“Beat the Clock” games take the form of Zoom tournaments, which are fast-paced games in which opponents rotate on a hand-by-hand basis. Players can sign up to play for $1, and the fast-paced action begins when the sit-n-go is full. When five minutes of play has been completed at the four-handed tables, the poker ends and everyone still holding chips is awarded a cash prize. The payouts are calculated based on the amount of money in the prize pool and the number of chips a player possesses.

pokerstars-beat-the-clock-viewFor example, the “Beat the Clock” SNG accepts 48 players, and each are given 5K chips. That puts a total of 240K chips into play and a $43.20 prize pool after fees are removed. If a player ends the game with 12K chips, the 12K is divided by 240K, which equals .05. That number is multiplied times the $43.20 prize pool, and the player wins $2.16.

Players can compete on PokerStars via desktop or mobile versions of the site.

In line with bringing new players to PokerStars, the site is offering a first-time deposit bonus of six days of free “Beat the Clock” games worth $30 when a person deposits at least $20. For existing players, a reload bonus is available. By making a new deposit of at least $15, that player will receive five “Beat the Clock” tournament tickets free, worth $5.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a Fan 

The new television advertisements for “Beat the Clock” feature PokerStars SportsStar team member Cristiano Ronaldo.


Asked about the new game, Ronaldo responded, “Beat the Clock requires you to think and act quickly with a high level of skill, which gives me the same rush of excitement that I experience on the pitch. The timed element of this game makes it fun to play and means I can get that quick adrenaline fix on the move.”

PokerStars Director of Poker Innovation and Operations Severin Rasset hopes more players will log on and discover the same feeling. “It’s the perfect format for those who want to fit in some quick, intense poker action,” he said, “and is ideal for mobile play, where, in just five minutes, players can experience all the emotions and excitement that only poker provides.”

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Jennifer Newell

Jennifer has been a freelance writer in the poker industry for a decade. She left a full-time job with the World Poker Tour to tell the stories of poker. She now lives in St. Louis, writes about poker while pursuing other varied interests, and speaks her mind on Twitter… a lot.