PokerStars to Implement Another VIP Program Change
PokerStars will rework its VIP program at some point in 2017, the second such overhaul the world’s largest online poker room will implement in two calendar years. The last change to the program – one surrounded by controversy – came at the very beginning of this year and was supposedly designed to make the site more friendly to recreational players. It looks like the next one will expand on this strategy.
In a blog post, PokerStars explained:
Our new rewards program will reward players for their activity across many of our products and brands where available; whether it’s poker, casino or sportsbook. Although players won’t have to play any specific platform in order to progress, players will receive rewards for many different things, rather than solely being rewarded for playing a lot of poker hands as is the case currently.
PokerStars has yet to make any specifics of the new VIP system known to the public, but the company did say that it will “will make the switch from the current monthly status system to one that is more personalized to your recent gaming activity and player profile.”
The idea is that the traditional system rewards those who grind it out day after day, as VIP progress resets each month. Thus, for casual players, it is very difficult to earn any sorts of rewards. That’s not to say that low stakes, low volume players should be rewarded just as much as the high volume pros, but PokerStars apparently feels that recreational players should have a bit of an easier time making some sort of VIP progress. Whether this is out of the kindness of the executives’ hearts or just a strategy to attract and retain players is different conversation, but it might not really matter.
One of the biggest problems players had with the 2016 changes to the VIP system is that PokerStars did a woeful job in communicating them in a timely manner. The announcement – that of reduced benefits to higher VIP statuses and the elimination of Supernova Elite, specifically – came close to the end of 2015, giving players little warning. PokerStars wasn’t very apologetic about it, essentially saying they gave advance warning of the advance warning the year before, but at least now the poker room is admitting that it perhaps did not go about things the right way:
We have heard the feedback from players who felt that they did not receive enough notice about the implementation of VIP changes for the start of 2016. Consequently, we’re working hard to avoid repeating that situation by sharing this broad vision for the rewards program in 2017, even when we have not yet decided on all the details or launch date. These details will be informed by further careful analysis in coming months, but we will endeavour to share what we can, when we can. This blog and the associated email to players is the first step in that process.
We’ll just hurry up and wait.
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