PokerStars Raises The Price of Poker, Increases RakeMarch 23, 2016 12:14 pm
While PokerStars fans in New Jersey were celebrating the site’s return to the US after an absence of almost five years, the poker room’s customers around the globe had significantly less to be happy about. In a classic example of finding a good day to bury bad news, Amaya took the opportunity to announce a surprise rake increase expected to be introduced on March 28th.
Overall, the roughly 4% to 5% rake increase will affect a specific selection of products, namely Spin & Gos, multi-table tournaments, MTT hyper-turbo, and some ring games, especially heads-up. To help assuage concerns about its decision, PokerStars even provided a graphic demonstrating that its prices continued to be lower than the site’s nearest three rivals. As PokerStars subsequently explained, its latest rake hike still meant its prices were 7% cheaper than PartyPoker, 16% cheaper than 888poker, and 19% cheaper than iPoker.
Nevertheless, a number of PokerStars players expressed their disappointment over the news, and the cynical timing of the site’s announcement. The site’s chief sponsored pro, Daniel Negreanu, also received a deluge of discontent from disgruntled players, after he tried to defend PokerStars’ actions as that of a business trying to survive a challenging market.
Despite his arguments, pros such as Ryan Laplante and David Vamplew drew attention to the fact that following the PokerStars/players dispute related to its 2015 VIP reward changes, Negreanu had hinted at positive changes in 2016.
“He promised amazing things for 2016. He was right. Amazing rake increases!!!! #amaze,” tweeted Laplante. Meanwhile, David Vamplew wrote:
“the hypocrisy+gall of @pokerstars to claim to act in best interest of game +of recreational plyrs is just incredible https://www.pokerstars.com/en/blog/corporate_blog/2016/pokerstars-announces-revised-pricing-161006.shtml”
Naturally, PokerStars professional players are beginning to lose faith in the site after yet another rake increase, and Negreanu is seen as a convenient target for some of that backlash.