The online poker community decided that it would protest against PokerStars move to alter its rake structure and VIP program. Subsequently, online poker players decided to protest in two major ways: first, some of them stopped logging into their PokerStars accounts. Second, although they logged into active cash tables, they refused to play.
PokerStars has faced a few difficulties owing to player mutiny. Over the past weeks, PokerStars had witnessed an increase in traffic volume to its cash games, but this increase was much smaller that the increase witnessed by other online poker rooms. PokerStars witnessed a 5 percent rise in traffic volume on a week-to-week basis, but PartyPoker witnessed a 25 percent rise in traffic and iPoker enjoyed a 12 percent increase.
The effects of player mutiny at PokerStars.fr was more pronounced than ever, mostly because PokerStars.fr is a PokerStars service meant exclusively for French players. PokerStars.fr actually witnessed a 10 percent decrease in traffic volume to its cash games, knocking the online poker room out of the number one position it enjoyed in France. PokerScout says that Winamax.fr is now the top French online poker room.
Moreover, PokerStars.fr players organized a protest at ClubPoker.net, and more than 100 high-stakes PokerStars.fr players participated in this protest. Many of them were Supernova Elite players, occupying the highest rung of its VIP program.
The origin of these protests can be traced to a PokerStars move to alter its VIP Player Points (VPP) system, through which it rewarded its players for loyalty and wagering activities. Till recently, PokerStars rewarded players whenever they were dealt a raked hand, with each player contributing to the pot enjoying an equal share of the rewards. The new system rewards players on the basis of how much they contribute to the rake, a system known as “weighted contribution.”
This move led to a lot of discontentment. High-stakes players usually end up wining, but are known for their tight style of gaming. This means that their contributions to the pot are not high, and according to the recent modifications, they will get lower rewards than players who contribute more to the pot. At the same time, recreational players will get rewarded more because they contribute more to the pot. But depriving high-stakes players of their rewards and transferring them to low-stakes or recreational players will not benefit PokerStars in the long run, say experts.
PokerStars is mulling over discussing the issue with player representatives.