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Amaya Inc.’s business strategy is moving at a fast rate. If supply chain partners don’t keep up, they will be forgotten. PokerStars affiliates are starting to become a memory. They need to switch gears desperately.

In the past few days, PokerStars have sent e-mail to all of their affiliates describing changes to their existing agreements. Like a child staring down at a broccoli and Brussels sprout pie, they are not going to like the contents.

On June 1, 2015, PokerStars will only pay revenue shares to affiliates during the first two years of activity on their site. That’s a knife wound. That hurts. But that isn’t even the real shotgun blast.

Changes Retroactive

“This will affect all referrals by affiliates, including retrospectively affecting those players referred prior to June 1, 2015.”

We all get stuck in a rut. Life gets comfortable and there is no reason to get out of the armchair. It seems the same has happened in the affiliate world. Historically, entities have lured players onto the site, and have then sat back and lived off the rake that those players generate.

This way of being doesn’t help PokerStars grow. This moves seeks to reward affiliates who are always at the cutting edge of recruitment. Instead, of living off the cream of their big fat cats, their existence is heavily dependent on their ability to continually find a new generation of players. It’s smart business, but if this touches you, you will really feel the pain.

PokerStars Believes Changes are Positive for Poker

The PokerStars address tries to sell a happier picture. The wording indicates that they believe it’s a fantastic opportunity for affiliates, and not a death sentence. They believe the new changes help them achieve three primary goals for growth.

  1. Entering new markets
  2. Creating consumer demand and excitement through innovative marketing and promotions that can reach mainstream audiences
  3. Continue to innovate with new and exciting forms of poker that will appeal to wider demographics.

Some will adapt and grow. Others won’t, and will die – that’s business.

It’s the second major change for affiliates since Amaya Inc. acquired PokerStars in that $4.9 billion sale. In Sep 2014, PokerStars created a wall of hate on affiliate forums after severing ties with a series of ‘super affiliates’ they believed were not doing enough to promote the online poker room to new players. This latest change seems to be an extension of that.

PokerStars LIVE Opens in Italy 

PokerStars has opened their latest live card room. The Casino de la Vallee, in the Saint-Vincent Resort & Casino, Northern Italy, is the latest to be fitted out in PokerStars LIVE livery.


“The new PokerStars LIVE room in Saint-Vincent aims to become a must-go place for Italy’s poker lover. We’re excited to bring the best of PokerStars’ live poker experience to Northern Italy, and to give players the opportunity to play in a well-run, trusted and high quality new card room,” said Team PokerStars Pro, Luca Pagano.

The opening of the cardroom in Saint Vincent takes PokerStars’ tally to four: London, Macau, and Manila being the other three.

Lee Davy

Life can be viewed as the sum of the parts or the parts themselves. I believe in the holistic view of life, or the sum. When dealing with individual parts you develop whack-a-mole syndrome; each time you clobber one problem with your hammer another one just pops up.