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Following the lead of other major online poker networks, 888 has announced it will completely overhaul its VIP scheme. In a bid to attract more recreational players, March 28th will be the day when high-volume players will see their loyalty benefits slashed. So if you frequent 888, the second largest online poker network out there, you will now have to complete challenges, leveling up and accumulate Golden Tokens.
888 isn’t the first poker network to offer challenge based rewards instead of the more traditional poker rakeback loyalty benefits, but it sure comes as a surprise. Keeping in mind the huge uproar that the VIP changes of PokerStars caused among high rollers, we would have guessed that 888 would stick to their more rewarding system to perhaps attract the dismayed . Yet, 888 has established the need to appeal to the elusive recreational player even more and hope that the new VIP system will appeal to them more.
What’s Wrong With The Rakeback System
The entire online gambling industry is becoming more gamified and the trend of making gambling more like video games is ever-reaching. This precise trend will ignite fear among the high-rolling players, as the new VIP system at 888 will strongly favour the recreational online poker players.
So forget the lucrative rakeback system, under which players players could get back up to 70% (and sometimes even more) of the total rake as an incentive to play more poker. As one can imagine, such generous bonuses were enough to keep players happy: even if they were losing, they could break even or lose only small amounts of money while making six figure annual profits!
Sure, it doesn’t take a genius to realise that the sums of money that must be wagered in order for the above described scenario to work must be huge, which doesn’t sit well with the casual Joe, who logs in to play some online poker for a few hours every weekend. He’d feel hugely undervalued, as the loyalty benefits would be negligent or unappealing to him.
That’s why the online poker networks have started to shake things up. With the total number of online poker players dwindling, networks are trying to find ways to attract and keep the recreational players loyal to their network. A major part of this seismic shift has been the overhaul of the VIP rewards. World’s largest network PokerStars have done it last year and now the second largest poker network 888 are doing it too.
New Loyalty Benefits At 888
Under the new system, all of the games at 888 will be affected, including poker, casino games and sports betting. Players will have to complete all sorts of missions and collect points. After a specific number of points, new level will be reached and the player will be awarded Golden Tokens to be redeemed for money and prizes too.
In addition to that, 888 will add free daily tourneys that will accumulate to guarantee $100,000 in monthly prizes. Lastly, players will get scratch cards every five levels they unlock, yet the details as to what rewards these can bring are unclear. Current players with rakeback amounts pending shouldn’t worry as an 888 representative has said it will fully honour their commitments, plus “any reward points players accumulated in the current rewards program will be automatically transferred to Gold Tokens, with equal value, in the new 888poker Club and will continue to be redeemable any time.”
Despite the promises to fulfill the current rakeback commitments, it is certain that high-volume players will get rewarded much less under the new system, but there is nothing they can do. After all, when high-rollers boycotted PokerStars proposed changes, their voices weren’t heard, so 888 players shouldn’t waste their time. In the end, poker networks will do whatever is the most profitable to them and changing the VIP programmes is just one step to achieve that.
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