No Good News For Grinders After PokerStars Meeting

The legion of disgruntled online grinders and high-stakes players at PokerStars had a slight glimmer of hope that their concerns would be addressed recently, after three players representing their interests were invited to the Amaya headquarter in Montreal to speak to the site’s senior management team. Dani Stern, Daniel Dvoress, and Ike Haxton had signed non-disclosure agreements at the time, but did say that they would release some details of their 18th January meeting later on.
Another player in attendance was Daniel Negreanu, who was there representing his sponsored site, and subsequently spoke well of the meeting’s outcome, describing it as “productive”, “informative”, and even going so far as to say that it “seemed like everyone was happy”.
Unfortunately, Negreanu’s assessment seems to have been overly optimistic, and the group of players have now released their thoughts via the TwoPlusTwo forum, and it would seem that they have no positive information at all to report. As they wrote:
“We deeply regret that we are not bringing back any good news for the players. We tried our best to present both practical and ethical arguments against the SN/SNE cuts, but PokerStars is not willing to reconsider any of the changes.”
In other words, PokerStars and its professional players appear to be as far apart as ever, and the 8 hour meeting was most likely an attempt by PokerStars to present a more caring image of itself, without first having to budge from its original position. Apparently, while the players were busy trying to inform PokerStars as to their grievances, the site’s priority was more concerned with highlighting the waning poker market, and the need to do what was in the best interest of the business. This, apparently, does not include addressing the concerns of its high-volume, high-stakes players.
The fallout from the PokerStars VIP changes has been exasperated by the way in which PokerStars pulled the carpet from under the feet of its players near the end of last year, who were promised higher VIP rewards statuses in 2016 on account of their efforts in 2015. As an extract from the TwoPlusTwo forum post explains:
“We presented our view that the VIP program, as advertised on the PokerStars website until November 2015, was an agreement between PokerStars and the impacted players. We emphasized that failing to honor that agreement is not just a “miscommunication,” but an ongoing breach of trust.”