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It’s been a busy week for PokerStars with the introduction of a new position, an old payout structure for live events and a new rewards program for online players.
PokerStars started by announcing Garry Gates as the New Senior Consultant of Player Affairs. Gates, a poker industry veteran, promptly posted a blog where he talked about how he hopes to serve as a link between the company and players.
In the blog post Gates also mentioned he’s already hosted a Players Advisory Council meeting, which is a first for PokerStars.
The result of that meeting was PokerStars shifting the payout structure back to the old, more top-heavy, 15% for all its upcoming live events. Many big-name poker pros were highly critical of the company when it switched to 20% back in 2016.
Stars Rewards Emulates Video Game “Chests”
The new PokerStars rewards program should be familiar to anyone who plays video games like Overwatch or Hearthstone.
Simply called Stars Rewards, the new program awards randomized chests to players based how many real-money hands they play. The more you play the bigger the chest.
Each chest represents a chance at winning big. There are a variety of potential rewards that could drop in chests including cash, StarsCoin or seats to live events like the PokerStars Championship.
The rewards will be personalized for each player and a tournament player will be more likely receive MTT tickets in their chests.
The program will also have cross-platform functionality so that if you’re a sports bettor with BetStars you could potentially receive a sports-betting reward from your chests.
Players will also be able to acquire boosts, which will double the speed of acquiring chests.
PokerStars plans to roll out Stars Rewards in Denmark later this month with Italy shortly thereafter. Other markets are planned for late Summer.
SCOOP Outage Leads to $105k Freeroll
Earlier this week PokerStars was down during a particularly busy day of SCOOP and the site is going to run a $105,000 freeroll for players who were hampered by the outage.
The freeroll will run Thursday, May 18, and will award 100 in tickets to a $5m-GTD SCOOP event.
The free tournament is open to anyone who was playing on a scheduled tournament as of 17:00 ET on May 15. That’s one minute before the nearly two-hour outage on PokerStars began.
PokerStars will send an email to all eligible players with an exact time for the freeroll.
Interestingly SCOOP will be extended by one day, next Tuesday, in order to play out the events that were originally scheduled for May 15.