More Bad News Bears For Players
Pokerstars announced a few days ago that more rake rises are going to come in a week. It continues to destroy its old reputation of listening to customers and being "the people's" online poker site. Clearly, after the constant battering of its customers, then kicking them whilst their down, and then going in for another round of beatings at the hospital, it still wasn't enough!
As is of most corporations these days, they employ a non negotiable policy which is really more in align with dictatorships rather then democracy these days. They are right, you are not. Even strikes/boycotts hardly ever deliver change. It is more important to not back down and show weakness to their investors. It seems so rare these days to find companies go back on things because of their customers, which is so sad to see.
- Spin and Go's $1 to $30 stake will see rake increase of 1%
- MTTs see rake added to rebuys and add ons
- MTT hyper turbos rake increase to 5%
- Cap and percentage of rake will be increased in NL and PL games, mostly heads up.
- Overall impact is about 4% increase in rake
Rake is super important for figuring out winrates in each game. The higher the rake becomes, the harder the games become to beat because there is less prize money to go round. So on top of the decreasing of their bonus schemes, they have decided to make the games harder in an already regged filled community.
What surprises me is the fact that they are still going after Spin and Go's which are literally their only saving grace when it comes to SNGs. Every other SNG game is losing traffic, and popularity and they are not worried about jeopardising their only game that brings in recreationals.
Pokerstars laughably tried to justify their changes by comparing themselves to their "competitors" to justify this move. You cannot compare Pokerstars that has weekly average traffic of 150k players a week to 888poker (2k average), iPoker (1300 average) and PartyPoker (1150 average) according to PokerScout.
|Pokerstars hilarious comparison chart. If you have data comparing multi-million supermarkets to your local cornershop does it have any relevance at all?|
Here, Walmart (or Tescos in UK) is comparing itself to the cornershop and upping all their prices to match those. It is a ridiculous stance. Prices are obviously higher in a cornershop because they have less manoeuvrability to pay for their bills in a family run business, compared to huge shops buy in mass bulk, have huge buildings, have tons of employees, etc etc
In fact it would not be unfair to even say that they are not competitors at all, simply because anything they do doesn't even scratch Pokerstars traffic or player base at all. Pokerstars is clearly a monopoly, and they would not make these moves if they had a more even competitor. This is why these changes are unfair. Because they are happening whether you like it or not, and since they're the only ones in the market place so you either accept it or don't play online poker.
Pokerstars is like Internet Explorer coming on every windows installed PC. Remember those days?
Even for some people who are still big Pokerstars fans it is too much. In this article, Robbie Strazynski talks about how increases in rake actually doesn't need to happen with this much urgency.
A look at page 28 of Amaya’s 2015 annual information form reveals that “The Corporation may prioritize customer growth and engagement and the customer experience over short-term financial results.”It is clear that Amaya is ignoring this and going for the short term. Even with this in their handbook it amazes the poker community at how much more kickings they can take when they are down. Which is crazy, it means they actually don't have to do this and are choosing to!
Days of Economists over Specialists
There is quite a shocking move in Western societies where the higher ups are listening to economists more then people of specialities in certain fields. Looking at numbers, trends, and data only to use that to form decisions is a shocking choice when there are specialists in their fields that have spent years understanding it. Data summarises everything and unpersonalises everything into one nice easy pill. For the greater good!
This is what Amaya is doing. In January, Daniel Dvoress, Isaac Haxton and Dani Stern were invited by Daniel Negraenu to go to Ilse of Man Pokerstars headquarters to talk. For what seemed like a negotiation, quickly turned into a pointless media promotion for Amaya. Dani Stern posts about his experience here.
One of the interesting things was when they were talking about the removal of all FPP/VPPs in high stakes, and how Amaya presented them with statistics to suggest that it was worth doing. What was shown, was the statistics of a bunch of top winning players at those stakes, clearly not showing the majority of average players and recreationals that would benefit from the rakeback system.
It is clear that Amaya has a bunch of statisticians who have run simulations to suggest that this is good for the ecosystem. Regs are bad and recreationals are where the money is at. Maybe they are adding in the benefits of casuals going to poker, and then using the Casino and Sports Betting. They are going with this advice, instead of asking the community or current specialists in this field who have years of experience. It is the data that is skewed towards what they want to see. Most pre Amaya Pokerstars staff has left, it worries me at how many people are left that actually know what they're doing.
Sufficed to say, after this meeting nothing changed, despite Negreanu saying everyone was happy.
Political Timing Tells
Jo Moore worked in the press office for the government in the UK, and promptly resigned from her post after an email was leaked from her saying "Today is a good day to get out anything we want to bury". The day she sent out that email was the day 9/11 happened.
What she did happens all the time, but is something that is never said. It is the political strategy of releasing bad news that needs to be told, when there is a distraction happening. And it is no mistake that this announcement of rake changes happened on the day that New Jersey Pokerstars opened its doors.
Who really knows when good news is gonna turn up from Pokerstars for once. Negreanu has constantly been going on about some great promotion that will turn up that will counter balance the VIP changes from last year that he was unable to announce. It amazes me how that guy still defends Pokerstars. It honestly has to be some crazy amazing fucking promotion for it to counter all the shit this community has taken over the past year...