Reactie PokerStars op staking en vier $1 miljoen freerolls in 2016

Daniel Negreanu 2015 WSOP Main Event Day 7 8

PokerStars heeft gereageerd op de high-stakes sit-out van vorige week en heeft tegelijkertijd aangekondigd dat er in 2016 vier verschillende freerolls worden georganiseerd met elk een prijzenpot van maar liefst $1 miljoen, welke toegankelijk zijn voor alle spelers.

Alhoewel Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu al het één en ander losliet in de podcast met Joe Ingram en Dani Stern, postte hij nu eindelijk de langverwachte blogpost waarin hij dieper in ging op de besluitvorming, de veranderingen met betrekking tot het VIP programma van PokerStars en de nieuwe promotie.

Hij noemde de communicatie met betrekking tot de wijzigingen te vaag. Negreanu verontschuldigde zich voor het feit dat hij niet genoeg heeft gedaan om ervoor te zorgen dat de boodschap over de wijzigingen van het VIP programma duidelijker en beter getimed was:

"What we knew as a company on January 1, 2015 is that there would be cuts to the VIP program in 2016. However, they were still collecting data and weren't sure what exactly the changes would look like until the second half of 2015. It did say in the October 2014 newsletter that the details of the changes would be released in the second half of 2015. Despite that, I'm not at all OK with the way in which this information was relayed to the players."

Hoofd Communicatie van PokerStars, Eric Hollreiser, postte ook nog een bericht waarin hij dieper inging op het besluit om de SuperNova elite status te verwijderen en het plan om meer te gaan focussen op recreatieve spelers.

We are happy to announce plans to hold four $1 million freeroll tournaments in 2016 on PokerStars. These tournaments will surely create buzz and generate excitement among players at all skill and experience levels and the injection of $4 million into the economy will help many players' bankrolls. These tournaments will be on top of an already exciting - though not-yet-announced - series of promotions, events and new products that are planned for 2016.

Hollreiser: We zijn op de hoogte van de staking

Het nieuws komt vlak na de PokerStars staking die werd geleid door Dani “Ansky” Stern en andere bekende hoge volume grinders.

Stern en anderen waren teleurgesteld over de wijzigingen met betrekking tot de SuperNova Elite status en hoe slecht deze waren gecommuniceerd en besloten daarom van 1 tot en met 3 december niet te spelen op PokerStars.

Hollreiser sprak voor de eerste keer over de staking en zei dat het spelersverkeer in deze periode juist piekte als gevolg van een vakantiepromotie:

erichollreiser

The recent three-day boycott by some players that disagree with our announced VIP changes did not have a significant impact on PokerStars, as traffic actually spiked through the period as a result of the start of our long-planned holiday promotion.

Of course that doesn't mean it went unnoticed by us. We care very deeply about what players say and what they expect of us. And we strive to live up to their expectations ...

In hindsight, we could have communicated to players more often that significant changes were coming in 2016. We could have been more explicit that these changes would be significant and would take effect in 2016. And we could have noted this on our VIP web pages that gave details of the program.

There was no intention to deceive and certainly not to profit from this, as an increase in the number of Supernova Elites, who are on average net withdrawing players, does not provide a financial benefit to us. It was simply a function of a long internal process and an honest belief that we had given players sufficient notice.

We sincerely apologise to players who did not expect cuts as significant in 2016 as we announced on November 1st and recognize that some players may have chosen not to participate in the rewards program in 2015 had they known ...

In that spirit of transparency, we can tell you that we did see effects from the recent boycott that give us even greater confidence that our strategy is on the right track to improve the health of the ecosystem. During the three-day boycott we recorded the healthiest consecutive three-day ecosystem results of the year with steady net gaming revenue, even though our net-depositing players lost at a much lower rate than they have all year.

Negreanu: Baazov zorgde dat SuperNova niet al in 2015 verdween

david baazov

In zijn post onthulde Negreanu tevens voor de eerste keer dat de SuperNova Elite status al in 2015 afgeschaft zou gaan worden.

Negreanu zei dat het de CEO van Amaya, David Baazov, was die eigenhandig besloot om de spelers de SuperNova Elite status nog een jaar te laten behouden.

Alhoewel Negreanu nog steeds vertrouwen heeft in PokerStars geeft hij wel aan dat er dit jaar sprake was van een dieptepunt met betrekking tot de communicatie en dat hij hier een rol in heeft gespeeld.

…On that note, I want to take full responsibility for my role in the communications breakdown between PokerStars and the players. I didn't write the messaging, but there was more I could have done to help avoid this that I failed to do. I had the opportunity to ask the right questions in October 2014 about when these changes would take effect, but I failed to do that. Had I been more involved at the time, I could have addressed this issue prior to January 1st, 2015 and make sure that the messaging to the players was crystal clear that cuts to the VIP program were going to be implemented in 2016. I could have also made sure that the website didn't have any language referencing specifics as to what players should expect in 2016 if they reached SNE in 2015.

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