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While the recent Thanksgiving holiday reminded Americans to be grateful and thankful for their many blessings, the feeling of gratitude is not shared by a number of PokerStars players who plan to boycott the poker room for three days next week.

A thread on 2 + 2 entitled “Strike/Boycott of PokerStars December 1st-3rd” was launched Nov. 27 by poker pro Dani Stern, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the VIP program changes announced by PokerStars at the beginning of this month. Those changes won’t take effect until January 1, 2016, but that hasn’t stopped high stakes, high volume grinders at PokerStars from complaining about the cuts over the past four weeks.

Player Complaints

Stern summed up his gripe and that of PokerStars players who have rallied behind him by posting the following:

“They [PokerStars] have deceived SNE [Supernova Elite] players about benefits they would receive, are discontinuing the SNE program, and they have completely removed all rewards for high stakes (5/10+) cash games. While PokerStars claims the changes are to provide relief to recreational players, there is no such change happening. They are telling their players outright lies, and we will not stand for it. Beyond that, it follows an ongoing trend that PokerStars/Amaya has been taking in recent years. A site that was once clearly for the players, has completely lost sight of that.”

The thread has been gaining momentum with over 100 posts thus far. But the idea of a boycott first took shape a few days after the announced changes by PokerStars on Nov. 1. The ball apparently got rolling on a Russian poker forum before moving to a separate thread at 2 + 2 where players intending to join the strike have been listing their screen names, stake levels, and games they typically play.

Over 1,000 players have apparently signed on to the three-day boycott thus far. That’s a mere fraction of the seven-day average of 14,500 cash game players as is currently reported by PokerScout.com.

The debate over whether PokerStars’ announced loyalty program revamp is fair to grinders continues. To get a good idea on the point of view of pros, click here and read Stern’s in-depth take on the changes.

Another Viewpoint

There is another side to the coin, and that is coming from the camp of those who feel that pro players at PokerStars are not entitled to anything. In fact, the grinders who seemingly feel that they are owed a living by PokerStars for being loyal customers over the past 14 years is downright offensive to some.

That point of view was stated on the same thread on which Stern gave notice about the boycott. A German player with the screen name of ‘KJoff’ tossed in his opinion regarding a player strike and the players who are complaining by posting the following:

1) This misconception that Pokerstars owes anything to you.

2) High-Stakes-players behave like little kids.

3) The site has treated you with the upmost respect for a decade, giving you numerous priviliges, and you thanked them by bumhunting and taking advantage of every loophole there is to do what’s best for you.

4) If the removal of SNE is such a big deal to you, don’t play on Pokerstars any more, period. Where is the problem? But that’s not really an option, is it?

5) A three day strike is just a joke, a bluff that Pokerstars will gladly call.

6) Pokerstars doesn’t need you, and the sooner you realize that the better.

7) You guys should stop for a second and think about all the things Pokerstars has done for you voluntary in the past decade before crying foul when one thing doesn’t go in the right direction for you to benefit.

8) You just come off as spoiled brats that don’t know real work and think the whole world should naturally revolve around their best interests.

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.

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