Around 2,000 Players Join PokerStars 3-Day BoycottDecember 1, 2015 4:46 pm
PokerStars’ recent changes designed to switch its business model over to a more recreational friendly version has not sat at all well with the site’s high stakes players and grinders. Concerned that less VIP Rewards will make it unprofitable to pursue their careers as poker professionals, this group of players has been expressing their dissatisfaction for several weeks, and has now organized a boycott of PokerStars for 72 hours from December 1st to 3rd.
The move was first proposed by a group of Russian poker players on the Russian Gipsy team forums, before the cause was subsequently taken up by Dani “Ansky” Stern on the Two Plus Two forum. At last count, almost 2,000 players have agreed to strike, seeing Amaya Gaming’s decision to discontinue VPP’s for high stakes cash games (1/1/2016) and Supernova Elite (1/1/2017) as simply a money grab, rather than an attempt to return the “long-term poker economy .. to one that rewards skill via winning at the tables rather than playing primarily for volume.”
The main aim of the strike is to show PokerStars that the site’s poker pros are able to “rally behind a fair grievance” and act in a unified way with “volume and force”.
In the meantime, PokerStars’ most high profile sponsored pro, Daniel Negreanu, has weighed in on the issue, and yesterday took part in a interview with Joey Ingram on a Poker Life Podcast, that was also later joined by Dani “ansky” Stern. While questioning the way in which PokerStars communicated the changes to players, Negreanu still maintains that such innovations are necessary in order to improve long-term prospects of the online poker industry. When asked whether the 3-day strike might persuade PokerStars to reassess its relationship with its professional online players Negreanu appeared skeptical, stating:
“I wouldn’t say [I’m] all that optimistic right now.”