Wednesday, January 6, 2016 : PLAYERS LAUNCH ANOTHER POKERSTARS BOYCOTT
Organisers protesting loyalty program changes are hoping for more impact this time.
Players angered and disappointed by the changes to the Pokerstars loyalty program launched a second boycott initiative on the first day of the new year with the intention of maintaining the stay away until Friday.
Organised by WeArePokerPlayers.com, Tiltbook, Gypsy Team, and several high-stakes players, the boycott was described on the 2+2 forum as an initiative in which: "We refuse to play on PokerStars for those seven days and are cashing out at least 10 percent of our bankrolls on the first day of the boycott."
The Pocket Fives information website reports that so far the stay away appears to have had only a relatively minor impact, judging by cash game traffic stats which the site provides to back up its finding.
The site notes that a week before the start of the boycott, 1,348 players registered to participate, whilst the 2+2 forum indicates that a total of 1,641 have agreed to take part. The organisers are apparently claiming that if they could muster a boycott of 10,000 players it would have the potential to cut Pokerstars’ rake by as much as 30 percent.
Whether those numbers are achievable and sustainable remains in question, but it seems that a player-Pokerstars dialogue is still an option. One of the more high profile players advocating the boycott, Dani Stern, has revealed that a meeting with Pokerstars may be on the cards, posting:
"I am apparently going to get a meeting soon with some executives and I want to prove to them that the players can help move the game forward and adapt over time. I fully respect PokerStars' right to run their own business, just as I expect them to respect our decisions as a community."
Following the last (December 1 to December 3 2015) boycott, in which 2,600 players reportedly agreed to take part (see previous InfoPowa reports), Pokerstars reiterated its intention to improve the ecology of its poker offering and emphasised that its decision on the loyalty program would stand.
Explaining its position at the time, the company commented: "An increase in the number of Supernova Elite, who are on average net withdrawing players, does not provide a financial benefit to us."
The impact of the earlier boycott was not particularly impressive, and there seems little reason for the poker company to reverse its decisions based on the results of the present attack, but at least a dialogue is still possible.