After a sit-out protest was launched over Pokerstars’ planned changes to their rake model, a compromise has finally been settled between the two parties.
As reported earlier on PokerUpdate, “Occupy Pokerstars” was created to protest over Pokerstars’ decision to change their rake attribution system that many felt would short-change the players in the long-run. The stand against this led to Pokerstars inviting some of the players as representatives to a meeting at their headquarters to discuss a compromise.
On the 28th January a thread was posted on TwoPlusTwo showing the “Pokerstars Player Representatives Report”, a detailed review on the entire history of Occupy Pokerstars and the final deal after the meeting was completed.
The key issues for many players were that the changes would increase the difficulty to reach Supernova Elite status and that the rake increases at certain stakes were all made purely to make more profit for Pokerstars. They worried that it would have a further detrimental effect to the poker economy if these policy changes were to be enforced. After the announcement of the meeting, all changes were postponed.
Solutions to the first proposal are that of rake reductions, primarily at the micro-stakes, to improve player activity. Another solution will be a change in the method of reaching Supernova/Supernova Elite which will make it easier to achieve. Criteria to reach VIP levels are now more lenient to compensate for the loss of VPP’s a player can make in the current poker games.
PokerStars will also include the ability for some mass multi-tablers to further increase the number of tables that they can play, or reduce the numbers of tables for those who regularly time out, instead of the usual 24-table cap. This should be a change that encourages more action that both the player and site will benefit from.
This episode has proved a landmark for online poker as it is the first time that changes of a poker site have been announced by the players instead of the company. This could perhaps pave the way for other poker sites to improve their games in the future, act upon customer feedback, and boost the flagging poker economy.
It also shows the importance of poker forums, in particular TwoPlusTwo. The TwoPlusTwo community are at the forefront of fighting for the rights of poker players around the world. The same forum members have also helped to uncover recent scandals that have plagued the online poker world, such as the UB/AP superuser scandal, the StoxPoker scandal and scams by poker players such as Jose “Girah” Macedo and Chino Rheem to name just two.
A network of like-minded players and enthusiasts are helping to regulate the online poker world through the comforts of their own home. Now that they can force the largest poker room in the world to working with them in providing a better service, it appears that the forum’s influence will continue to grow in this new era of online poker.