PokerStars Could See Three-Day Boycott in December

06 December 2015

Pokerstars boycott

When the Amaya Gaming Group took over PokerStars in mid-2014, players knew that there would be some big changes coming because the acquisition was a part of a nine-figure deal. Changes came very swiftly for PokerStars players, as expected, and they added casino games and eventually brought on the StarsDraft daily fantasy league. They also announced a number of major changes for the rewards program in 2016, and many players have banded together saying that these changes are dishonest.

Source of the Boycott

In response to this, a number of players on the TwoPlusTwo online poker forums have come together to organize a boycott of PokerStars from December 1 through December 3. This boycott involves players not logging in to play, and as of this writing, over 1,500 players had signed on to be a part of this protest.

Players are protesting what amounts to a unilateral drop in rewards value for virtually all players, even the recreational players that the Amaya Gaming Group has suggested these changes will help. It's basically a money grab that will devalue current FPPs, value that's essentially debt for Amaya worth over $100 million right now, by one-fourth of their current value, among other issues like cutting out rewards for high stakes players completely.

Problem With the Boycott

There's a really huge problem with this boycott, and it doesn't look like anyone really sees this issue who's actually involved with it. The problem is that the changes by Amaya are designed to remove certain types of players from the pool by discouraging their play. These are the types of players who would go from being a winning player to a losing player due to the changes, though players who would go from being a clearly winning player to a borderline break-even win-rate are also going to be affected.

By staging a boycott of removing the exact players who they want to push out with this move (for reasons of boosting the long-term effectiveness of their player ecosystem), they're playing right into Amaya's hands. The fact of the matter is that Amaya hasn't exactly shown that they're willing to stick to past agreements (like with how they've handled affiliate commission changes), and now the players are feeling it as well.

Related News

  • 29 October 2016

    No Merger for Amaya and William Hill

    Over the past several months, we have heard everything from rumors to press releases about talks involving a potential merger between the Amaya Gaming Group and William Hill. These two entities combining would result in the largest online gambling company in the world. However, talks have come to a halt after William Hill's shareholders showed little interest.

    Read full article
  • 03 April 2016

    Amaya CEO Baazov Takes Leave of Absence

    In late March, it was announced that the Amaya Gaming Group CEO David Baazov was facing insider trading charges related to events that happened leading up to their purchase of the Rational Group. A number of those around him were also charged. As a result, Baazov has now decided to take a leave of absence from the company, and the timing is about what most people in the industry expected. Nature of the Situation The reason that Baazov is taking his leave of absence is pretty simple.

    Read full article
  • 28 March 2016

    Amaya CEO David Baazov Charged With Insider Trading

    The Amaya Gaming Group's rise to prominence in the online gambling industry has been a pretty big story over the past few years. Starting out as a relatively small company that seemed to specialize in buying up undervalued online gambling software companies like CryptoLogic and turning them around, they really broke out in 2014 when they purchased the Rational Group in mid-2014 for a huge sum of around $5 billion.

    Read full article