Wanted to provide a quick update about my last post regarding recent changes to the VIP Program at PokerStars. If you’re not familiar with the developing story, you can get caught up here on Puyan’s blog.
Here are some cliffnotes for people who chose not to click on that link:
1) PokerStars poorly handled an announcement of changes to their VIP program
2) Changes are presented as long-term positive for the ecosystem
3) All players see an effective rake increase, top tier players have their rakeback reduced by 40 to 100%
Since PokerStars accidentally leaked the proposed changes on a Russian website, representatives from the site haven’t said much at all. There’s a stray post or two announcing the changes on 2+2, followed by a barrage of posts from hundreds of members of the poker community speaking out about the ramifications these changes will likely have on the poker economy. So far, no one from Stars has responded, but there’s some hope.
Recently, PokerStars’ Daniel Negreanu did an interview with Cardplayer Lifestyle and discussed Amaya’s mishandling of the situation and hinted at having discussions with the company to rectify the situation.
But even if DN did manage to convince the higher-ups to make some concessions, the writing is on the wall; PokerStars is no longer the company I had been loyal to for the past several years. I’m hopeful that perhaps I can get a slightly higher RB % for 2016, but I’m not going to bury my head in the sand and pretend that the proposed changes aren’t inevitable. It’s time for me to re-evaluate the amount of volume I’m putting in on Stars, look to other sites, other formats, other revenue streams, and possibly down the road — other jobs. Yuck.