888poker to Revamp Loyalty System, Target Recreational Players
And so another online poker room goes full recreational player-friendly. This week, 888poker, the second largest poker room on the internet, announced that it will launch a new player loyalty program on March 28th, completely doing away with its current rewards system. This is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on one’s point of view, but there is no arguing that this is most definitely a thing, and a thing that is happening more and more in online poker.
888poker’s current system is a traditional-style rewards program in which players earn status points for contributing to the rake in real money cash games and for paying real money tournament fees. The more status points a player earns, the higher he can advance up the status ladder. Players earn rewards points for every status point, which can then be converted to cash. The higher one goes, the more rewards that can be earned, with rakeback equal to 27 percent at the highest, VIP Diamond, level.
Well, that is soon to be out the window entirely. On March 28th, 888poker will move to an achievement-based system. There are unlimited levels, each of which can be cleared by completing specific challenges. For each level completed, players earn gold tokens which can be used to purchase prizes. Some of the challenges may have to do with rake, but that is not the focus of the system. A challenge could be something like playing a scheduled tournament or competing in five Sit-and-Go’s.
In a message on Two Plus Two, an 888poker rep wrote:
“The new 888poker Club will reward players based on different criteria to that of our current rake-based program. The vast majority of our players will benefit much more from the new program, which will be much easier to understand and will give significant weight to long term loyalty with 888poker.
Once the change is implemented, our current rewards program and statuses will no longer be applicable. Players will be awarded according to the new 888poker Club system.”
He admitted that high volume grinders will probably not like the program, saying, “Grinders who play only poker are likely to receive less in this new program. Recreational players, on the other hand, are expected to earn much more.”
When PokerStars overhauled its VIP system late last year to make a sharp move away from high stakes pros and towards casual players, it angered customers by doing such things as reducing or even eliminating rewards for high level VIP players and decreasing the value of FPPs when they were converted to StarsCoin. It appears that 888poker is not going to make that same mistake. Said the 888poker rep:
“We’d like to assure you that despite these major changes, 888poker will fully honour its cashback commitment to all players, including its VIPs, who are currently entitled to yearly cashback in the existing rewards plan. Moreover, any reward points players accumulated in the current rewards program will be automatically transferred to Gold Tokens, with equal value, in the new 888poker Club and will continue to be redeemable any time.
The cashback available in our current rewards program will likely not correspond to that offered in the new 888poker Club. Therefore, in the event that the cashback earned by a VIP player within the 888poker Club structure is lower than that which the player would expect from our current program, we’ll make sure to grant a monthly compensation of any difference in these amounts up until each player’s VIP status expires. We’ve emailed each VIP player the expiration date of his VIP status.”
According to PokerScout.com, 888poker is the second largest online poker room, with a seven-day average of 2,400 cash game players. PokerStars is by far the biggest, with 17,000 cash game players.
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