Its been over 8 months since my post about Negreanu responding to the VIP changes.
One of the biggest thing to take away from the podcast was that despite the bad, Negreanu had constantly repeating to us that good things were coming in the new year by some sort of promotion that would attract new recreationals to the site. The new promotions thought up for 2016 would help negate for the huge cutbacks to their VIP program, and soften the blow as it would bring in lots of new players into the pool.
It was clear that he knew what the promotion was, but wasn't allowed to say. Now its August, we've had some promotions but they've been so lacklustre in hype we have no idea if any of these were the promotions that Negreanu was talking about...
|Pictures of palm trees! Get excited for a Holiday Spin and Go promotion! LOL Yawn|
"New" Promotions So Far
- Missions - These are promotions based on completing certain tasks for a freeroll ticket to an all in tournament where the winner gets around $50 usually. The "missions" are either cash or sngs, and are things like "Play 5 SNGs" or "Win a hand with JJ" to win your freeroll ticket for the day.
- Spin and Go - It seems that Amaya really love this format, and have been putting it to further use by introducing $2.50 satellites to the Sunday Million, 50 cent win a supercar named Christiano Ronaldo Spin and Go (did anyone win this?), and now just introduced 50 cent win a holiday. All raked at 8%, but do they really make that much money from these stakes?
- KO MTT SNGs - I'm not really sure if this would count as a promotion, but they have pushed for more of this format where 50% of buy in is a bounty. Even a new tab has been introduced on the client, even though it doubles down in the SNG lobby.
- BetStars & Spin and Bet - Not poker related, but adding in Sports betting to the client. I assume the idea is to get the betters in, and then they will play poker. Spin and Bet is their "very original" idea of offering a spin to get your odds on a certain bet.
If I had to choose one of the four, I would say that BetStars was what Negreanu might have referred to as the great promotion in 2016. It does seem quite an innovative idea, and in theory could bring in new customers, but its hard to say whether they would be interested in playing poker. The biggest downside to BetStars is you will get worse odds if you only get the 2x multiplier, and my friend who works at a bookmakers say that customers aren't a fan of knowing your odds when betting.
|Was BetStars what DNegs was talking about?|
I might have missed some, but so far 8 months into 2016 the promotions so far has been less then underwhelming. Every promotion so far has been Missions or Spin and Go related. I'm not sure if I have missed any out, let me know and I'll add it in!
That being said, we do expect Golden SNGs and Milestone hands to turn up at some point. But with 4 months left of the year, 2 promotions seem at pace with what they've done so far so it really looks like that is it.
Did It Work?
The switching of direction from Amaya to try and get more recreationals into the player pool is a bold and risky one. There is no guarantee that recreationals will stick around, whilst they turn its back on the loyal regulars who gives them guaranteed profits each month.
It looks like they had dropped quite a few Pokerstars Pro's, and brought in what we would expect as expensive football stars, like Christiano Ronaldo, and Neymar. I expect these guys are to bring up the BetStars part of client, but did it work?
I can only find the traffic from the last 6 months, but it seems like it is a slow decline so far. Nothing special and nothing groundbreakingly exciting. We probably would have seen the same line if nothing had happened at all.
It would be nice to compare this to last year, as it might be normal that there is a slow decline in the summer time, as in theory we would expect players to spend more time outside then in the winter...
It has to be noted that 2016 has seen a lot of big sporting events that they could have taken advantage of, such as Euro 2016 and currently the Olympics in Rio. Its not like they had a quiet sporting year! I remember back in the day how fun it was to choose a flag for the winner of the World Cup. As simple as that was, it added a bit of value to the brand that little things like that could happen anytime back then!
What seems to be the biggest contradiction is the fact that Pokerstars is now on the stock market through Amaya. Quarterly results matter to their investors and short term gains are huge. Which is why their new ethos of bringing in new players (which is a long term plan) is not gaining money in the short term as they make it harder for regulars to keeping getting that guaranteed rake for them.
This cannot make the investors happy, and last November it wasn't a pretty sight after introducing the VIP changes...
|The guy doing the newsletter to their investors must be doing an amazing job to reassure them that their investments are good!|
The stocks has slowly risen a little bit, even after the whole debarkle of [now ex] CEO David Baazov's who insider trading scandal. It is now announced that he has resigned and that Rafi Ashkenazi will now take over. Will we see changes in direction for the future of Pokerstars?
What do you guys think? Has this "God" promotion happened already? Or maybe its yet to come? Or maybe a third option could be that it was cancelled? Who knows?
On a lighter note... no sorry not really lol. A guy on tiltbook announced that he has reached Supernova and his banner showed this...
Valid until Dec 31st is unusual because normally this says 31st Jan 2000-and-next-year. So is this a hint that Stars is planning to scrap Supernova as well in 2017?