Players Speaking Out Against PokerStars Changes

January 13, 2012

Since PokerStars made the decision to edit its VIP program and rake structure, the online poker community has not been understanding. Poker players are now protesting the new adjustments in two ways. First of all, they are boycotting the online poker site and choosing not to log into their accounts; secondly, they are logging into active cash games and then not playing.

PokerStars traffic has also been low in comparison to other big online poker sites. For instance, while PokerStars has had a 5% increase in traffic over the past couple weeks, PartyPoker has had a 25% increase and iPoker a 12% rise in online poker traffic.

Other effects of the boycott can be seen in the traffic results. Whereas PokerStars was the top online poker site in France, and it saw a 10% rise in traffic, is now getting more player traffic by French poker players. In addition, more than 100 high-stakes players, many of which were Supernova Elite players (the highest level of VIP), have organized a protest of via This protest is based on the alterations of the VIP Player Points (VPP) system. The new terms reward players on a weighted contribution basis, where they receive rewards based on how much they contribute to rake. Before the changes, anyone dealt into the hand would receive equal parts rewards based on the size of the pot.

Tighter players, who don’t contribute as much to the pot as loose players, are now earning less rewards than players who contribute more money to the pot. Online poker analysts say that in the long run, this change will not be beneficial to PokerStars. Whether or not PokerStars will amend their decision to change things will be seen. After all, in any business model, if the customers (the players) aren’t happy, then the business will suffer.


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