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Bonus of the Month

PokerStars Stellar Rewards

The already lucrative and rewarding VIP program at PokerStars received a new makeover at the beginning of 2010. These changes came as a result of a long redesign process that took suggestions made by a special VIP player panel. PokerStars has now implemented changes into their VIP Program that makes for a more rewarding online poker experience for all players.

The first change involves the way points are earned. The old VPP system was complicated and difficult to succeed in, but the new PokerStars rewards program is not. Previously, in a ring game, the rake would have to reach 40 before a player would earn 1 VPP at $1/$2-staked games or lower. For $2/$4-staked games and higher, the rake would have to reach $1 for a point to be earned. The rake targets were high and short-handed tables were just as bad. Now though, instead of loyalty points being rewarded when a certain amount of rake is hit, they will be rewarded in direct relation with the rake collected from the pot at a cash game hand. This new system is much less complicated and is now in line with industry standards like the rewards systems of such competitors PartyPoker, Full Tilt, and Cake Poker.

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The new points system at PokerStars awards cash game tables with 8+ players, whether all seats are full or not, 6 VPPs to the table as a whole for every $1 in rake collected. The total number of VPPs will then be divvied up equally among all the players who were dealt into the hand. At cash game tables with fewer than 8 seats, 5.5 VPPs will be given out per $1 in rake taken. Fractional VPPs will also be rewarded.

Tournament points are also being awarded differently. For tournament play, 5.5 VPPs will be rewarded per each dollar that is paid in tournament fees.

Additionally, FPPs (Frequent Player Points) will be rewarded at the rate of 1 FPP per every 1 VPP earned, at the Bronze Level, which is the base tier of the PokerStars VIP status structure.

Also with the new system, VIP status levels have changed. SilverStar VIP status is now much easier to obtain, with a 750-VPP requirement instead of the previous 1,200-VPP requirement. Consequently, Supernova status is also more obtainable, with a required minimum monthly of 7,500 VPPs instead of the previous 10,000. Supernova bonus milestones have also been restructured with the bonuses increased at the 100K, 200K, and 300K VPP marks, instead of the latter that ranged between 400K and 800K. Additionally, a $4,600 milestone bonus has been added at the 700K VPP target.

Entirely new is the PokerStars VIP Stellar Rewards. These are cash bonus rewards, which players will now receive each time they hit one of 19 VPP targets. The first Stellar Reward is awarded at 750 VPPs. This is a $10 bonus. There are four subsequent $10 bonuses. At 5,000 VPPs, the bonus goes up to $50. There are nine total $50 bonuses. At 10,000 VPPs, the bonus jumps to $100; thereafter, there are four additional $100 bonuses. Each player can only receive each bonus once per year, but with all 19 bonuses, there is opportunity for each PokerStars player to earn an additional $1,000 in Stellar Rewards each and every year, which is why you should start earning VPPs at PokerStars as soon as possible if you haven't already.

To obtain these free cash bonuses to play poker with online at PokerStars, or cash out if you prefer, you'll first need to purchase them. Once you reach the required number of VPPs, you can then buy a Stellar Reward for 1 FPP, available at the PokerStars VPP store. Just click on the "Stellar Rewards" tab and make your purchase.

The good news is that there are no strings attached to these bonuses. Once purchased, they are deposited into the player's account instantly as cash with no further required action.


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