PokerStars announced a long list of changes earlier this month which also included revamping its player loyalty program. The changes announced in the VIP program has not pleased online poker community as it cuts down the player’s benefits. Although these changes will come into effect in the New Year, a section of this community has launched protests against the changes. Two websites – Bye Bye Stars and They Kill Poker has been launched to spread the protest and unite a larger pool of players against these chnages.
The website TheyKillPoker encourages online grinders around the world to withdraw their money from PokerStars starting 1st January 2016 and do not resume playing until these changes are withdrawn.
TheyKillPoker states: Under the veil of changes to the VIP-program, PokerStars starting from January 1, 2016 implicitly raises the rake for all kinds and formats of poker. Hiding behind the concerns about the future of this game, the PokerStars owners want to cash in on players and increase their multimillion profits even more.
The other website ByeByeStars shows the data of players joining this protest and the cumulative amount which will be withdrawn from PokerStars as well as the resultant rake loss.
The newly named StarsCoin will be worth only $0.01 and will serve as the base of the entire loyalty program of PokerStars. Under the new policies, the rewards for PlatinumStar players will decrease 10% on average, up to 27% for Supernova and up to 60% for Supernova Elite. The rewards for the highest VIP levels will be capped to a limit and no VPPs could be earned at various high stakes games starting at $5-$10.
PokerStars is likely to justify its VIP program changes if this protest gets big enough to damage its reputation as its traffic has decreased since this announcement was made. In the remaining 6 weeks of 2015, the poker world may see huge promotions of StarsCoin and its benefits but the bottom line will remain the same – are players drifting away?