Friday January 22,2016 : POKERSTARS MEETING WITH PLAYER REPRESENTATIVES: LATEST (Update)
Due to NDAs, a lack of detailed information, but some broad strokes.
The meeting of a high stakes player delegation with Amaya top management this week piqued the interest of many in the industry, but thus far there have been no official statements – joint or otherwise – from either party on the outcome of the discussions.
Explaining that they are bound by non-disclosure agreements due to the sensitivity of information they were given, the players who attended have said only that they are considering the information furnished by Amaya…and Amaya has said nothing at all.
However, a broad brush stokes report on the get together has been provided by poker pro Daniel Negreanu, who is in the unenviable position of middle-man…engaged as an ambassador for Pokerstars, but his own man and a strong advocate for the players.
Negreanu has revealed that the full day meeting was generally professional and courteous, with Amaya CEO David Baazov in and out at different stages and a full squad of senior executives from the company present.
Amaya gave a detailed presentation that included sensitive commercial information, necessitating the requirement for non-disclosure agreements from the players. The presentation explained the need for a shift to a more recreational player focused approach by the company, a move which, among other outcomes, has resulted in the controversial VIP and loyalty program changes that have angered cash game players so much.
The meeting was not confined to this issue, however, and (as Negreanu indicated in a tweet prior to the meeting) the agenda covered a range of poker and business topics. In Negreanu's view, it was a productive get-together with interesting exchanges of opinion and information.
Whilst Negreanu appears to have some personal reservations about the VIP and loyalty changes, or at least on how the initiative was implemented, he has commented that the logic in the numbers presented by Amaya is hard to discount when it comes to the necessity for rebalancing the poker ecology of the group.
Negreanu has also emphasised that the meeting was an exchange of views rather than an exercise in negotiation, and he therefore does not expect to see Amaya reversing its decisions.
However, he has said that Amaya remains committed to listening to Pokerstars and Full Tilt players, and that regular meetings with player representatives will continue to be part of the group's policies.