The world’s leading online poker site PokerStars announced earlier this month that the rewards system for its players would be revamped once again in 2017.
While no details had accompanied that announcement, a recent statement from Eric Hollreiser, who is the Vice President of Corporate Communications for Amaya Inc. and PokerStars has given players a glimpse of the changes in store.
Hollreiser said that under the new plan the site would reward players across all verticals including poker, sportsbooks and casino games.
He also said that the annual rewards present in the current system would be removed. The ‘Supernova‘ status will be retained but the goal will be annual and not monthly as it is currently.
Players who reach the ‘Supernova’ status in 2016 will be allowed to retain their status till the new structure comes into force. Players at this level have been already informed by PokerStars of the proposed changes via email.
Although no information has been released on the targets for VIP levels or the new rewards, Hollreiser has indicated that these might now differ by player. The most significant change is that the points goals will no longer be monthly but annual, which is expected to benefit recreational players the most.
In a statement, Hollreiser said,
A key challenge with the current rewards system is that player progress resets each month. While that's great for those that play the most, the vast majority of our players only play intermittently and casually; resetting VIP progress each month can make it a tough rewards system for those players to engage with
Citing this as a reason, Hollreiser said that a switch would be made from the current monthly status format to one that is more personalized to the players’ gaming activity and profile.
Hollreiser acknowledged that the previous round of changes which were announced in November 2015 and rolled out in January 2016 had received a lot of criticism from players who said that the announcement should have been made much earlier.
This time around the poker site has sought to avoid controversy by announcing the changes in advance, even if all details and schedules are yet to be finalized. Hollreiser said that the changes will be decided in the coming months after careful analysis and will be communicated when possible.
Reaction to the changes from poker players as seen on popular poker forum Two Plus Two was mixed. While some welcomed that play in other verticals would be rewarded now, others felt that the new system would increase the cost of playing poker online.