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PokerStars Gets Rid of Player Rewards by 55% in MTT’s: Call for Boycott

Written by:
Ace King
Published on:
Feb/18/2019

PokerStars, the world's largest real money online poker room, is no stranger to pissing off long time high stakes customers through an effort to gain more traction in the recreational ecosystem, but their latest move even had their own news partner flabergasted.


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From PokerTube.com:

PokerStars announced that as of Friday 15th February they would be cutting player rewards by a massive 55% in MTT’s – a massive slash in what players can expect to earn – with Severin Rasset, The Stars Group Director of Poker Operation and Innovation claiming that ‘player feedback’ was partly responsible for the huge change.

It’s rare for PokerNews to question the Stars Group flagship poker site, the Canadian conglomerate among the main shareholders of the news portal’s own parent company iBus Media.

PokerNews.com’s  Mo Nuwarrah didn’t exactly mince words either. ’Satisfaction with the PokerStars system may be at an all-time low at this point’, despite the poker site still being the industry leaders.

And it appears that the poker playing community has had enough as well.

Posting on the TwoPlusTwo.com forum, Mexican poker pro Joshua Hoesel posted this:

The time to make a stand was probably a long time ago and while similar actions have been previously taken by cashgame and sit n go players we, the MTT community, believe to have a bit more leverage because we can make or break the guarantees and divert action from one site to a competitor, if need be, more effectively.
We will stand together and make a change for the better.

The nonstop rake increases and unbeatable formats they have been pushing on all of us, with the latest one pushing me over the edge, made me reach out to some of the highstakes regs to try and convince them to skip the 5k psko turbo as a protest.
The positive feedback was overwhelming and it didn't take long for a group to naturally form.

Pokerstars has a had a huge positive impact on so many of our lives, some professionals would likely have very different lives had it not been for them - myself included. The opportunity they provide to be able to make a living from a computer, playing a game, from almost anywhere in the world is amazing! However, with recent changes, this poker dream is turning more and more into an impossible dream.

We want to get a dialogue going, both with Pokerstars and the other sites, in order to give proper feedback as to what we believe needs to be changed.

Our main issues are;

1. Rake is constantly increasing and rakeback decreasing.
2. Rake is not clearly visible and instead hidden all the way down in the lobby, this feels like a scam.
3. Structures of certain MTT’s are designed to lower ROI’s and raise the effective rake.( Psko’s, Turbos, late reg allowed with 10bb, rebuys)
4. Communication is lacking.
5. Transparent Rakeback, it should be easily calculable, regardless of the form in which it gets delivered (points/chests, etc)

What we want:

A direct and open communication with the company.
Rake clearly visible, not hidden.
Rake max 10%, this applies to lowstakes and the .eu pool so no more $9.8+$1.2; $11 mtts.
Reassessment of the rake, across all stakes and in formats where the edges are naturally lower, such as Psko, Rebuys, Turbo, Hypers and combinations of these.
Reduction on the length of Late Registration and number of re-entries.
Debate on future rake increases.

Looking forward to hearing from you and if that’s not the case: future actions will be considered.

And this one could sting a little for Stars.

"Cash Game Boycotts are pointless," one member of the forum suggested. "But there's a relatively limited pool of people who can play online $5ks. Even if it's very +EV, regging into these will be a lot of variance and a bankroll hit to people who wouldn't dream of playing this sort of game."

- Ace King, Gambling911.com

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