GGPoker's poker client update proves that stud is dead

Jon Pill
Posted on: April 03, 2021 02:20 PDT

The upcoming update for the GGPoker software client has brought on a few interesting changes. GGPoker wants the press to focus on two key additions.

The first is that the GGPoker client is getting 5-card Omaha. This seems indicative of the times. GGPoker was unable to put on any non-flop games for the 2020 WSOP, and they show no sign of wanting to fix that. Besides, it looks like the market for stud and draw games was a remnant of the noughties.

The second big addition is the introduction of N-stack tournaments.

N-stack tournaments are more or less lifted wholesale from an old PokerStars format. In N-stack tournaments, players receive a set number of chip stacks for their buy-in. Players then decide at the start of play how many stacks to start with. The other stacks are held in reserve and can be used as rebuys or add-ons depending on how that player's tourney goes.

"Each chip stack can be thought of as a bullet," the GGPoker site declares. "Players can begin the tournament with all available bullets in their starting stack. At least one stack must be used when a player first begins to play.


GGPoker may be prioritizing 5-card Omaha because it is an easier adjustment to their established software than stud and draw games. But with a company as large as the GGNetwork, the cost of writing 7-stud module would be worth it, assuming there's a market for the game out there.

So it seems GGPoker is calling time of death.

With the rise of no-limit Holdem, stud games were already a bit old-fashioned. That was true even before the poker boom began and everyone learned NLH as a default.

But stud games enjoyed a renaissance when Holdem exhaustion set in the late 2010s. Plus at that time the industry was working out how to keep the grinders grinding despite their Black Friday depression. Even in the leanest times for stud specialists, their games were still three-fifths of the HORSE rotation.

For a little while there, it looked like poker was going to embrace the variety of classic mixed games again. However, GGPoker's money is on the new mixed game set up of: NLH, PLO, 6+ Holdem, and Courcheval.

The world of re-targeting recreational players seems to have put stud out of vogue again. That makes a certain amount of sense. The vast majority of stud games are limit. And the strategy for stud involves more arithmetic and more tests of memory than big-bet flop games. It's more of a specialist game, less prone to the exciting swings that make PLO and NLH great entertainment.

Stud fans will have to wait until the wheel of fortune comes round again. In the meantime, there's no point flogging a dead HORSE.

Featured image source: Flickr by Yannig Van de Wouwer