PokerStars 3-Day Strike Announced Starting December 1st

PokerStars 3-Day Strike Announced Starting December 1st Many professional grinders who play on PokerStars have been upset by recent changes announced by the site designed to favor recreational players at their expense. For PokerStars, reducing rewards for their biggest volume grinders, whilst boosting rewards for recreational players is seen as an vital step towards enhancing the fun and social elements of online poker which made the game so popular with amateur players in the past. Such a move is viewed as essential for attracting fresh blood into the game.
Having their rewards cut down, however, has not sat at all well with the site’s legion of professional grinders, who have now organized a boycott of PokerStars for 72-hours, from December 1st to 3rd, beginning at 12:01 a.m. EST. Talk of staging a strike initially started on the Russian Gipsyteam forums, before gaining extra momentum thanks to the mobilization efforts of Dani “Ansky” Stern. After announcing the strike’s proposed schedule, Stern wrote on the TwoPlusTwo thread:
“We ask everyone who values the game of poker at all, recreational or pro, to show their support. We especially ask those who put in high volume on Stars to do so. Please do not play a hand of poker on PokerStars for those 72 hours. It goes without saying that games are likely to be softer on those days, and we hope that you can resist the urge to play because of that. I truly believe that these changes will bring about devastating effects to the online poker community.”
Already more than 1,000 high-volume players have decided to support the planned boycott, including some of online poker’s biggest names. These include the likes of Ben Tollerene, Dan Smith, JC Alvarado, Phil Galfond, Justin Bonomo, Doug Polk, Mike McDonald, Nick Abou Risk, and Elio Fox.
Although garnering some media attention, it is doubtful whether the strike will force PokerStars to review its approach to its online grinders, though. Instead, it could be argued that on those three days the site is more likely to resemble the softer, fish populated environment PokerStars is so intent on creating. Furthermore, taking action without first negotiating with the other party involved seems self-defeating, with a better approach probably involving professional players forming a union which could then handle their grievances in a more effective and orderly fashion. This could then help the players develop an authentic relationship with PokerStars capable of driving the company forward. In the absence of such a move, Amaya seems unlikely to give the strike the credit it may otherwise have deserved.

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