PokerStars FPP

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PokerStars FPP's

Many new players at PokerStars have a lot of questions about the difference between PokerStars' VPP and FPP programs and what the points are used for. Well, it is very easy to earn points and they can be used for many different things once earned. The first thing you should know is how you earn points.

By playing in any real money game at PokerStars you earn VIP Player Points, or VPPs. You do not earn any points for playing in play money games. VPPs are basically used to measure the amount of time and money (measured by rake) you spend on PokerStars. The more time and money you spend, the more VPPs you earn. When you earn enough VPPs your VIP level will increase, from Bronze to Silver, Gold, Platinum, Supernova, and finally, to Supernova Elite. VPPs are also used to clear bonuses (they are often referred to as "base FPPs") and are simply a means to measure VIP status and have no value. Here is how you earn VIP Player Points, according to the PokerStars website:

**Updated to reflect changes in PokerStars' VPP system as of January 1st, 2012**
1. Earn VPP's for cash game play

On any cash table with 8 or more seats (it doesn't matter how many players are seated or dealt-in, only how many seats the table has):

PokerStars will award the table 6 VPPs per $1 in rake. VPPs are then awarded by dividing the table's VPPs equally to each player dealt into the hand. If playing on a Euro table, 8 VPPs are awarded per 1 in rake taken from the pot.

For example: On a $2/$4 full-ring No-Limit Hold'em table, all 9 players are dealt in and the total rake reaches $3. PokerStars awards the table 18 VPPs ($3 x 6 VPPs per $1) and then divides the VPPs according to how much each player contributed to the pot. If 4 players folded, 2 players contributed % and the remaining players contributed 30% then they would receive VPPs based on the following forumula. CONTRIBUTION PERCENTAGE * TOTAL VPPs AWARDED. So in this example, Players who contributed 30% would receive 5.4 VPPS (.3 * 18 VPPs)

On any cash table with 7 or fewer seats (again, no matter how many players are dealt-in or seated, only how many seats the table has):

PokerStars awards 5.5 VPPs for each $1 in rake taken from the pot. For Euro tables, they award 7 VPPs per 1 in rake. The total number of VPPs awarded to the table are then divided according to how much a player has contributed to the pot.Take a look at the example above for a detailed breakdown.

2. Earn VPP's for tournament play

Five and a half (5.5) VPP credits are awarded for each $1 in tournament fees paid. 7 VPPs are awarded for each 1.00 in tournament fees paid.

For example, playing in a poker tournament with $20 buy-in and $2 tournament fee, each player will be awarded 11 VPP's. If you are playing a 5 tournament with a .50 fee, you would then earn 4 VPPs.

PokerStars made these changes in an attempt to make the VIP system more fair for all players. In the previous system many of the high volume full-ring players were earning points at a much higher rate than high volume short-handed and tournament players. This makes it a little more even for the short-handed players as well as the tournament and Sit&Go players.

Ok, so now that we know what VPPs are, what are FPPs? Well, FPPs are Frequent Player Points. They are awarded based on the number of VPPs you earn and your VIP status multiplier. For instance, when a BronzeStar player earns 1 VPP, he also earns 1 FPP. However, when a SilverStar player earns 1 VPP, he instead earns 1.5 FPPs. Here are the multiplier rates for the different VIP levels that PokerStars uses:

  • Bronze Stars earn 1x
  • Silver Stars earn 1.5x
  • Gold Stars earn 2x
  • Platinum Stars earn 2.5x
  • Supernovas earn 3.5x
  • Supernova Elites earn 5x

FPPs can be used for many different things at PokerStars. One option you may choose is to buy-in to a tournament directly, using only your FPPs. You may buy a tournament ticket for FPPs in the VIP Store, or just look in the tournament lobby. There are always tons of FPP tournaments running, most of them being satellites into larger tournaments. In fact, many people do use their FPPs to buy-in to satellite tournaments, such as the Sunday Million. Some will use the tournament as a chance to play in a large scale tourny with the potential for a huge payday. Others though, if they are fortunate enough to win a ticket, will often register, then un-register for the tournament. They are then left with tournament money, or T$, which can be used to buy-in to any tournament of their choice. T$ may also be sold and traded for cash through various websites. This is a great way to build a bankroll for those practicing proper bankroll management.

For those that don't want to use their FPPs to add to their bankroll, but instead want to spoil themselves a little, a trip to the VIP store is the way to go. When you visit the VIP Store you will find a number of options to explore, all requiring you only to spend your Frequent Player Points. There is general merchandise, such as t-shirts and hats, poker books, like Sklansky's Theory of Poker, tournament tickets, and best of all, cash bonuses.

Examples of some of the more impressive merchandise available at the VIP Store are: a custom made clay poker chip set, PokerStars leather jacket, Nintendo Wii, Apple MacBook, Pioneer 60" Widescreen Plasma HDTV, and even a Porshe Cayman S (for only 3 million FPPs).

As you move up in VIP status, bonuses become more and more valuable for the amount of FPPs required to purchase them. If you are trying to pad your bankroll, the bonuses are also the only guaranteed money available. You may begin buying bonuses as soon as the Silver Star level, with a $50 bonus. The Gold Star bonus is $285. The Platinum Star level is where it becomes very profitable (on a per FPP basis) to buy the $650 bonus. There is a $1,500 and $4,000 bonus available at the Supernova level and above. There is an excellent post on by spoonitnow on the rakeback equivalents of each of these bonuses with detailed information, available here: PokerStars Rakeback.

However, in the lower VIP levels, the cash bonuses are not the best value for your FPP's. For example, the GoldStar bonus of $285 may be purchased for 25,000 FPP's, which would give you a value of $0.0114 per FPP. However, you can use your FPP's for tournament entries where you can reach a value of $0.016 per FPP. Some of the gifts and gift certificates also provide a good FPP value from $0.015 up to $0.017 per FPP. For the serious tournament player, using your FPP's for tournament buy-in's is ideal. And once you reach the Supernova levels, then the PokerStars Concierge service is probably your best use of FPP's (in addition to tournament buy-ins), followed by the Supernova bonuses (which you must still earn with further play).

In the end, all these gifts, bonuses, and services have a dollar value that are given to the player, where more active users are awarded greater benefits. In effect, PokerStars is providing a great rakeback program to all its members via their PokerStars VIP Club and spending of FPP's. You can learn more about how the VIP Club and its perks actually provide a Pokerstars Rakeback here.

For the record FPPs may not be bought, sold, traded or transferred through PokerStars or through any other site.

Want to know how many VPPs or FPPs you will be earning? Simply check out this calculator below!

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