Isaac Haxton Quits PokerStars Over Rewards Program ChangesJanuary 4, 2016 1:23 pm
At the end of 2015, British pro Alex ‘Kanu7’ Millar left Team PokerStars in protest over the intended changes to the site’s VIP rewards program starting January 1, 2016. Apparently, the online grinder had tried, but ultimately failed, to convince his sponsored site of the damage it risked doing to its legion of loyal professional players. The same month, Dani Stern also organized a three-day boycott of PokerStars which managed to garner around 3,000 protesters.
One week into 2016, and Isaac Haxton, a PokerStars Team Online member since October, 2012, has now also cut his ties with PokerStars over what he says is “dishonest and unfair” changes to the site’s Supernova and Supernova Elite rewards programs. The 30 year-old US pro made his announcement just before he was about to board an airplane to the Philippines to compete in the $200,000 buy-in Triton Super High Roller Cali Cup, explaining that he had no intention to renew his contract that had now expired with PokerStars.
Later elaborating further on his decision, Isaac Haxton wrote a post on TwoPlusTwo in which he questioned the unprincipled behavior of PokerStars, stating: “I believe PokerStars is behaving unethically.. I cannot in good conscience continue to endorse a poker site that treats its players this way.”
In the meantime, a protest website has been launched called wearepokerplayers.com in which disgruntled pros have been outlining the multi-step strategy they now intend to pursue in order to bring PokerStars to the negotiation table. One of the aims of the site is to get 5,000 players to stage a month-long boycott of PokerStars that would result in a 15% or more decline in the site’s overall rake. While Amaya has already explained that its main focus was now on recreational players, it would appear that its online grinders are determined to demonstrate to the site that their custom should still be viewed as important.