PokerStars has added antes to their NL2 – NL10 Zoom games, targeting micro stakes poker sites players for more rake. Still the biggest of all the real money poker sites, PokerStars has embarked on a path of abusing their position over the last few years.
Unbeatable Games on PokerStars
When PokerStars announced that they were to add antes to the smallest Zoom games, they said it was to make the games more exciting.
They gave an opinion that the bigger starting pots would make the games more exciting for recreational players. This is a huge lie, because the difference in excitement is microscopic.
However, the difference in rake paid because of the average pot size increasing means that a lot more rake is going to be paid out. All straight into the coffers at PokerStars HQ.
Now, you might be thinking that this is so small that it couldn’t possibly affect how much a player could win, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The more rake taken out of the system means fewer players will be able to win money at all.
In truth, for many casual players this change can make the games unbeatable.
An Abuse of PokerStars’ Market Position
This latest money grab by PokerStars is only the latest in a series of unpopular changes.
The new strategy began with the closure of the long-running loyalty scheme that was the best around.
The Supernova Elite top tier was worth in the region of $60,000 per year as a starting point. One of the best poker promotions ever seen.
When PokerStars announced that they were to discontinue the scheme there was an almighty uproar from the poker community. Many players had been grinding an insane number of hands to achieve their goal of Supernova Elite, and now it was for nothing.
Superstar players such as Ike Haxton refused to resign their ambassador contracts because of the poor treatment of PokerStars customers. Later all of their high-profile names would walk away from the company citing differences of opinion on direction.
American pro Melissa Burr took to Twitter earlier this year to remind PokerStars that the poker community has not forgotten about the way they treated their customers.
Its more than that…
They want to end the program? Fine.
The whole reason you played to get SNE was to reap the benefits of the following year. They decided to drop this scam bomb in october and STEAL the 100s of thousands of dollars owed to their biggest volume players
— Melissa Burr (@burrrrrberry) March 7, 2020
Burr had relocated to Mexico to be able to chase Supernova Elite status following Black Friday and felt particularly cheated after grinding from January until October only to find out her efforts had been wasted.
Amidst all of the unpopular changes at PokerStars there is a lot of anger building up at how inefficient the support team is.
In days gone by PokerStars support was thought to be the best in the industry. If you sent an email you could expect a reply within the hour.
Now you can expect a couple of months before your email is even acknowledged, let alone sorting out any problem you might have.
Unibet ambassador David Lappin recently called out PokerStars for not getting his account unlocked in reasonable time.
“I’m up to 16 days now waiting on a reply. When I posted a tweet about it, 10 or so others said they were waiting longer.”
Many players joined in with the Twitter thread and the story was the same for lots of players. Embarrassing PokerStars on social media seems to be the only way to get a prompt response.
One of the coaches at Patrick Leonard’s stable BitB Coaching, Donald d7o1d1s0 Rae, was locked out for the third time this year and unable to play in the SCOOP series.
Alex Foxen had his account closed without any communication two months ago and still is none the wiser.
All in all the company is becoming a joke and has little to no respect throughout the poker community.
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