Thursday, 27 October 2016

Its Time for DNegs to Quit Pokerstars

Its almost been a year ago since the controversial changes to the VIP program by Amaya. Negreanu responded to the community in an interview talking about the changes.

Starts at 4:20 where he talks about Pokerstars. Goes on for 30 minutes.

One of the biggest things he highlighted was an "amazing promotion" in 2016 that would offset some of the negativity from these changes. This was repeated multiple times. Now it is clear that that so called amazing promotion was either cancelled, or basically never intended to happen but said to DNegs to soften the blow. With other companies this wouldn't be a consideration as its a dirty tactic, but as we've seen so far with Amaya things like this don't seem out of their reach considering the fraudulent advertising of SNE continuing.

Apart from the SNE fiasco, the biggest and most insane idea was to effectively kill off the higher stakes by having the rakeback being completely taken away from those games. This move makes no sense whatsoever from a business standpoint, as these higher games should give Pokerstars the most money in rake. Either way, Negreanu objected to this, as did the whole poker community, and they went ahead and did it anyways.

Last year Negreanu had responded by calls to quit. His defence, which seems reasonable, was that he was staying because he believed that he had the ability to influence Amaya. But its been a year now, and quite frankly its been pretty embarrassing on how out of touch he is with the online community.

Not only did this God tier promotion never happen, every change stuck including the effective destruction of high stakes games. Those players moved down stakes since it wasn't worth it anymore, therefore causing a trickle down effect on making lower staked games more reg filled and tougher.

Its clear that he doesn't play a lot of online poker, he play more live and has had success with it more. In fact he probably plays more Hearthstone then online poker these days. His experiences of playing live and Amaya's [bias] "statistics" shown reinforces their belief that online poker needs a weird ecosystem which only consists of recreationals that lose slower, winning regs, and no breakeven regs at all. Add this to the idea that (quote) "Higher rake is good for the game"

Other Pro's have taken a stand. Its clear DNegs has no influence, and therefore he doesn't have the reason to stay anymore if he is meant to represent us. If the money doesn't matter to him which it seems like it doesn't, he should quit.

Hate on Breakeven Regs & Obsession on "EcoSystem"

I just do not understand why Amaya (and Negreanu) for this matter believe that they need to influence this ecosystem so much. It seems like they're complicating it so much. I'm sure any economist looking at this business model would be completely baffled as to why they would take steps towards discouraging (mainly breakeven) regs to play.

Even if they were using the same strategy of a casino, of which Amaya's background is in, where it is player vs the house it makes no sense to me. Clearly, most of the money would be from the super rich VIPs who gamble high, get perks, and keep coming back for more. Planning things out for the year can be easier since they could assume a certain amount of money is coming in, at certain dates whenever that VIP decides to visit the casino. So your target market priority should be catering to those people.

Poker is not player vs the house, it is player vs player and the house takes a cut from the action. The house shouldn't and needn't care what happens in the game itself. All they should care about is the numbers of people playing, the more people the more rake, the more profit. I don't know where this ecosystem statistical analysis shit has come from, to me its all bullshit overcomplicating stuff with no substantial proof that this is what is happening anyway.

Here comes the Plane!

Lets compare their model to an airline business. The biggest money comes from the VIPs. These guys buy first class tickets, enjoy the VIP lounge, and most importantly have a subscription. They guarantee a number of flights a year and are encouraged to fly more by the number of perks they get. These are the regs, breakeven or winning.

The recreationals are the economy guys. They are poorer, don't spend as much, and possibly depending on how they see the service might decide not to come back. They might like it, but since they rarely fly only do so every now and then. These customers are inconsistent  money makers, and don't spend that much.

A VIP Lounge for Virgin Atlantic's most valued VIPs, a thank you to their highest paying, most regular customers! #Appreciation

If this airline decided to adopt this Amaya ecosystem then what would that look like?

  • This airline would really want a lot of economy class or one off first class customers.
  • Existing VIPs would have their perks slashed, almost to the same ones as economy customers.
  • Economy class customers that are trying to upgrade to become a VIP would not be welcome at all, in fact they would be banned and not even be allowed to buy a ticket.
  • Tickets would be sold and denied based on a economy class/VIP class ratio determined using statistical analysis. 
  • With all these changes a hike in prices all round would happen instantly.
This business model is clearly insane. The answer is simple, get more customers, get them to stay and upgrade to a VIP subscription. As much as people hate Spins, this has lured in a lot of new players, and possibly got them coming back. But then slashing all the VIP programs, blaming breakeven regs for a bad ecosystem despite the fact that they give a guaranteed income monthly/annually, and raising the rake is counter intuitive.

The Galfond Hope...

Phil Galfond has announced that he is opening a new poker site in 2017. It is something that he is pursuing to see if something can be done about this monopoly and they way we're being treated in the industry.

Not much has been confirmed about it so far, but it has been stated that it wont be available to USA players, sorry dudes.

Wow, Transparency and Feedback from a Poker Site? Can we dream one day this will happen? xD

Hopefully this can turn into something good? Unlike Negreanu he plays a lot of online, and has a better understanding from that point of view. It seems that we've all been waiting for someone to step up and take a chance. If it fails, well at least someone has tried!