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PokerStars has notified its players via email that starting August 1, it will no longer add VIP Player Points (VPPs) to players’ accounts for rake generated in its sponsored live events.

The new policy, which has been independently confirmed by PokerUpdate, could impact the eventual rewards tier (cashback percentage) that some PokerStars players are able to achieve, sparked a thread in the TwoPlusTwo News Views & Gossip forum.

An email sent to TwoPlusTwo veteran poster “OurSurveySays” which was published in the thread informs players of the change, and prompts them to manually send an email to vipclub@pokerstars.com in early 2016 if they believe the lack of live event awards compensation affected their Stellar Rewards or Milestone Cash Credits levels.

Popular poker player Sam “Pudge714 Greenwood expressed his opinion in the TwoPlusTwo thread, stating that the mid-year notification “seems unfair to people going for elite and other bonuses.”

Another PokerStars Policy Change

PokerStars has enacted a number of cost-cutting (or profit-generating, depending on how you look at it) measures since it was acquired by Amaya Group for $4.9 billion in June 2014.

Late last year, PokerStars significantly increased its rake percentages for Cash Games and Sit & Go tournaments. Most of those increases were subsequently “rolled-back” following an enormous push-back from players, and only the lottery-style Spin & Go tournaments were ultimately affected.

Less than three months ago, the company altered its revenue share plan with many longtime affiliates retroactively — limiting lifetime payouts for historic accounts that signed-up via affiliate links to two years.

The change has had a widespread effect on the budgets of many independent PokerStars affiliates that heavily depended on lifetime historical revenue. Many believe the revshare adjustments played a major role in Bluff’s decision to cease operations in upcoming weeks.

For now, players and industry representatives continue to adjust to new policies enacted by the Amaya Group owned online poker site, which retains the lion’s share of worldwide traffic over its competition despite 888 Holdings’ recent acquisition of bwin.party for $1.4 billion.

PokerStars’ anticipated re-entry into the US market via The Garden State of New Jersey could offer stiff competition to 888 Holdings, which currently owns a virtual monopoly over regulated online poker in the United States following its buyout of bwin.party.

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David Huber

David Huber has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade: initially as a professional online poker player and later as an editor, consultant, writer, and forum manager. Known as "dhubermex" online, David's poker-related work has been heavily published across numerous websites since 2004.

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