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On Monday, PokerStars removed Showtime Hold’em, a specialty game, from its cash game lobby, a move that was quite disappointing for some but came as no surprise. This change was scheduled as it something that the online poker operator has done a number of times before.

PokerStars introduced Showtime Hold’em in May. At first glance, the game seemed not differ much from any other Hold’em as far as gameplay goes – the play while a person was active in a hand was exactly the same as what we have regular Hold’em games. However, its defining feature was that when a player folded, their hole cards were turned face up for the duration of the hand. As such, each time a player folder, the hand’s remaining player obtained more and more information.

Hold’em is conventionally played without any information and, therefore, this twist was definitely bound to turn heads. Well, everything might be evened out because all the players at the table have the information but it all boils down to how the players utilized that information. In fact, it resulted in some very interesting table dynamics as well as significant fluctuations in playing styles during the sessions.

Showtime Hold’em replaced Split Hold’em, the second PokerStars’ temporary cash games that have been since the beginning of the year. Split Hold’em was a different twist altogether with two sets of community cards being dealt – to win the entire pot, the players were required to form the winning five-card hand with both sets of cards.

What Is Next?

In perhaps the most innovative format in the industry, PokerStars is already making plans for a follow up to Showtime which will be titled ‘Fusion.’ Fusion is, of course, going to be just as good a Hold’em game as the previous temporary cash game offerings but the game that will be coming to the lobby after it is the one that many have their sights set on.

Unfold, the innovative variant of the game that PokerStars is set to release soon is going to be the most interesting format to date. The game will, reportedly, offer a whole new way of playing Hold’em by allowing players who had previously folded back into the hand at a given stage of the game.

“But, as one game steps down, the crew of poker remixologists at PokerStars finish cooking up something new to add to the rotation. No comment for now, but we reserve the right to reverse that statement – or Unfold it, if you will – very soon,” PokerStars said in Monday blog post.

Presumably, there is going to be some additional fee or some sort of downside for the players who choose to unfold during the games. PokerStars is yet to officially unveil the game but it is worth noting that these (or any other kind of) costs are certainly going to be included.