PokerStars Expecting Third Boycott In February
PokerStars is expecting the third large scale player Boycott during February. PokerStars have already experienced two previous boycotts in recent months, the first taking place during December 1st – 3rd, and the second having last between January 1st – 7th.
The next big boycott is expected to last between February 2nd – 11th. With the period of the boycotts clearly on the increase and higher numbers signing up to boycott with each protest, should PokerStars be starting to worry?
The Reason For The Protests
The boycotts against PokerStars are based primarily in the recent changes made to their VIP program, known as PlatinumStar. The changes made include players receiving up to a 10% reduction in overall rewards, as well as a cap on rewards for Supernova Elite players, with the cap set at 45%.
There are plenty of other changes, but the overall moral of the story is that PokerStars have reduced the amount of rewards that their VIP players receive. This has unsurprisingly caused annoyance to the High Stakes community that use the service and caused a feeling of disdain aimed at them from PokerStars.
The Effect of The Boycotts
The number of players involved in the boycotts has remained mostly the same since they began in December. Over 2,500 poker players were involved with the first boycott against PokerStars. A few days ago, the number of poker players who had signed up for future boycotts totaled 2313 players across Tiltbook and wearepokerplayers.com.
These numbers may very well increase running up to the February boycott, but we can expect them to stay much the same across all the boycotts. What has changed drastically is the period of time that the boycotts are lasting, with the first in December lasting for 2 days and the February boycott expecting to last at least 9 days.
This is set to cause increased damage to PokerStar’s performance. The first boycott unfortunately took place during a Christmas tournament, which skewed the potential impact, while the January boycott started to have some noticeable effect.
Organisers of the the boycott expect the next round in February to hit PokerStars much harder. The expectation is a large drop in the total number of games active, with an expected 30% reduction in PokerStar’s rake.
One thing is for sure, the protests show little sign of slowing. With continued support and regular boycotts occurring each month, lasting increased durations, it seems the ongoing protests should start to see some effect. The organisers of the protests certainly feel that way given their predictions.
Dani ansky451 Stern, a co-founder of Tiltbook, posted recently that “Taking away rewards specifically for [high-stakes] cash is an unfair attack on a specific subset of the poker community. It seems especially unbalanced and goes way beyond what would be a fair redistribution of rewards.”
As long as the memory of the rewards the high stakes players used to receive remains with the boycotters, then we should expect to see these protests continuing well into the future.
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