PokerStars Strike now upon us

by Jeremy Olson on December 1, 2015

It’s now December 1st, meaning some PokerStars players have officially begun their strike against the world’s largest poker site. The strike was proposed not long ago on a Russian forum called Gipsyteam. Then Dani ‘Ansky’ Stern further popularized the strike by presenting it to the TwoPlusTwo forums.

In addition to bringing other players’ attention to the matter, Stern also discussed why exactly he and other high-volume pros are striking. Here’s a look at Stern’s primary gripes about how the PokerStars VIP program has been changed:

“PokerStars/Amaya has announced an aggressive overhaul of the 2016 VIP system. They have deceived SNE players about benefits they would receive, are discontinuing the SNE program, and they have completely removed all rewards for high stakes (5/10+) cash games. While PokerStars claims the changes are to provide relief to recreational players, there is no such change happening. They are telling their players outright lies, and we will not stand for it. Beyond that, it follows an ongoing trend that PokerStars/Amaya has been taking in recent years. A site that was once clearly for the players, has completely lost sight of that.”

The key issue here is that PokerStars’ parent company, Amaya Gaming, decided to change things around with little warning to players. Specifically, they’re getting rid of the Supernova Elite level next year, even though their website previously stated that anybody who attained this status would keep it for the following year (2016 in this case).

As Stern explains, he and fellow strikers have no illusions about bringing Amaya to their knees with a 3-day strike. However, they do want PokerStars to be aware that the pros have a voice and they’re very unhappy with how Amaya has treated them.

You can see in this TwoPlusTwo thread that there have been some very strong reactions to the strike—both for and against the pros. At the time of this writing, there are 16 pages worth of comments, making this a very hot topic.