PokerStars tweaks Stars Rewards program for Italian market. American Poker Award nominees panned after announcement. Find these stories and more in the Tuesday Hit and Run.

New Stars Rewards Program is live in Italy

PokerStars has gone live with tweaks to the Stars Rewards Program in Italy. A larger rollout is expected to come out to other markets later this year, according to a report from Pokerfuse.

Most of the changes come from tweaks of the Chests program, notably the removal of Red and Platinum Chests in favor of Black and Diamond chests (the two new highest levels). PokerStars has adjusted the way that players move up in Chest levels. Instead of moving up in levels baded on a single play session, players will be able to move up in tiers by earning 10 chests over a 28-day rolling time period.

According to Pokerfuse calculations, the average value of a chest has tripled with the expected value of all the chests improved by about 216% compared to the previous program. It should be noted that PokerStars has increased the requirements for leveling up, although the poker room has added an “exchange” feature that allows a player to redeem partial progress.

PokerStars has stated that the top online poker room will be rolling out a series of changes to the Stars Rewards program this year. Earlier this year, PokerStars slashed MTT rewards by 55%

Quick hitters

– The Global Poker Award nominations were announced yesterday for thirteen categories for the April 5th ceremony. Since revealing the nominees, many have criticized the awards for being out of touch.

– How did the world’s top online poker rooms do during 2018? Business coninutes to boom at with online poker revenue increasing 42% while PokerStars saw a modest 1.1% increase last year. Despite partypoker’s recent gains, PokerStars still generates 5.5x more revenue than the number two online poker room. Meanwhile, 888poker saw a massive decline during 2018, when revenues declined by 37%.

– Las Vegas police have released surveillance footage of the aftermath of the robbery of the Bellagio that occurred on Friday night. The perpetrator was killed in a shootout with police shortly after the robbery.

– Tournament winners from across the United States: Ryan Eriquezzo takes down the 2019 WSOP Circuit Harrah’s Atlantic City Main Event to win $124,397 after defeating a field of 357 entries. At the 2019 Wynn Classic Main Event, Terry Fleischer won $184,376 after outlasting 982 entries.

– ICYMI: Two Valley Forge area sportsbooks popped up last week. The first one went live on at the Valley Forge Casino while the Parx Casino’s Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook opened later in the week.

March Madness DFS contests are now available at DraftKings and FanDuel.

– Tuesday’s Grinderschool featured poker training video of the day is part 7 of 10 of CFTheNatural’s “What are the Odds” series where he takes a look at difficult spots in Pot Limit Omaha. In this episode, CFTheNatural goes over hands where the opponents are bad and he makes some big folds and big calls.

Best poker videos on the Web

Joey Ingram returns for another day of live streaming the Live at the Bike’s $5/$10/$5 Pot Limit Omaha cash game with an emphasis on strategy:

– Fresh off his trip from the Super High Roller Jeju, Lex Veldhuis has some deep runs at PokerStars: