GGPoker introduces no-skill Avatar Race step-satellites

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: August 31, 2022 9:52 am EDT

GGPoker has taken another stab at boosting the chance element in some of its poker offerings by introducing Avatar Race, an “express satellite” serving as a step-satellite that awards its winner a seat into higher-priced satellite or tourney offerings.

The twist with Avatar Race is that it’s in essence a skill-free offering. Designed as a three-handed race played by Omaha rules, every entrant picks one of three avatars — a childlike cartoon duck, snail, or turtle — which then plays against the other two avatars as multiple hands of Omaha are dealt to determine the express satellite’s winner.

Each of the three avatars is assigned a pre-determined set of four hole cards that are used to help build Omaha hands. As shown in a promotional video on YouTube, the avatars are assigned these hands:

  • Duck — Ah-Ac-Jd-Ts
  • Turtle — Kh-Kd-Qd-Qc
  • Snail — 2c-3c-4s-5h

Whether or not the pre-set hole cads are rotated through the three cartoon avatars isn’t detailed, but it hardly matters: The hands were picked so that they have virtually even chances of being in the lead at any of three stages of an Omaha hand, after the flop, turn, or river. What happens as an Avatar Race satellite plays out is that after the flop, turn, or river is dealt, whichever avatar is ahead at that moment is moved forward one step on a counting scale.

Whichever avatar is the first to move forward five steps, which means to have been in the lead after the flop, turn, or river in anywhere from two to five Omaha “hands”, is declared the winner and receives the express satellite’s prize, which is a seat to a higher satellite or a more traditional poker tournament. After each three-step “hand” in a given Avatar Race, the deck is reshuffled. Players can buy into an Avatar Race directly or with GGPoker tournament dollars.

Though the Avatar Race is three-handed, it appears from the available information that once a player picks a given avatar, the other two avatars are assigned to the house. Since there’s no actual skill or strategy involved, the distinction matters little. The Avatar Race went live on August 26 in conjunction with GGPoker’s regularly scheduled software updates.

One of the motivations behind the Avatar Race’s launch is to eliminate some of the time-expense involved in playing entry satellites at micro-stakes. “Cut the grind and race to the finish!” GGPoker’s promotional page for Avatar Race proclaims.

Featured image source: GGPoker