PokerStars Boycott Reps Invited To Amaya HQ

PokerStars is the biggest poker site in the world, and in the past was considered the number one destination for professional players who would flock there to take advantage of its huge traffic, as well as generous reward programs. Players exhibiting great talent might even have been offered a lucrative sponsorship deal, but as times have changed so has the site’s attitude towards this skilled group of players.
Recreational players are now considered of prime importance to the site’s future growth, and as a result sponsorship deals have been slashed, as has funding towards its VIP Reward program that once favored professional players. Having felt betrayed, the site’s high-stakes and high-volume players have so far organized two boycotts to protest their treatment, including a three-day boycott at the start of December 2015, and a second seven-day boycott at the start of January 2016.
Both boycotts were subsequently dismissed as having a minimal impact by PokerStars, which at one point hailed the “healthy” improvement to its poker ecosystem. Now, however, there are signs that the Amaya owned site may finally be taking the views of its professional players more seriously, and this week players at the forefront of the protests, Dani Stern, Daniel Dvoress (photo), and Ike Haxton, were invited by Amaya to their headquarters in Montreal to discuss their differences.
Also attending the meeting was PokerStars’ main sponsored pro, Daniel Negreanu, who has been attempting to bridge the gap between the players and management. Unfortunately, not many details are known about what took place, as the players signed a non-disclosure agreement, but they did say that they would release some information once their thoughts had been collected.
In the meantime, Negreanu emphasized that the meeting was mostly designed to allow the players to air their views, and that it did not constitute a negotiation. As he later commented:
“We covered a broad range of topics. All things online poker, and the current and future state of the ecosystem. Overall, I think it was very productive. The players raised some interesting points of view and the presentation from PokerStars was very informative. It’s debatable whether Stars made the right changes, but I don’t think there is any question that anyone who saw the numbers would have disagreed that some kind of changes were absolutely necessary.”


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