Ever since Amaya Gaming took over PokerStars, the company has been making changes to PokerStars operational and marketing strategy. PokerStars is the biggest online poker website in the world and any significant changes made to the existing strategy tends to have a major impact on online poker players across the globe.
Earlier this month, PokerStars announced that it was rolling out new strategy changes including a rake increase that would take place once the promotion for the Battle of the Planets was completed. The promotion finished on the 1st of Nov and PokerStars rolled out the first change in rake increases on the 4th of November and the second change is scheduled for the 1st of Jan 2015.
Eric Hollreiser, the Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars stated that these changes are directed to keep online poker games new, fresh and exciting for existing as well as new PokerStar players. The website released a statement informing players of the rake increase.
The statement said
Hyper-turbo scheduled tournament fees will increase from 2% to approximately half of the fees charged for other scheduled tournaments at same or similar buy-in levels. The cap for ring-game rake for hands dealt at [pot-limit Omaha or no-limit hold’em] games to exactly two players will increase to $2 for stakes $25/$50 and higher and $1 for all other stakes. The cap for ring game rake for [pot-limit Omaha or no-limit hold’em] games at $25/$50 and higher stakes with 5+ players dealt in will increase from $3 to $5.
PokerStars also introduced a new currency exchange rate that players will be subjected to along with the new rake increases. While the website is yet to issue an official list of countries that will be affected by these changes, the following websites will be subjected to the new changes PokerStars.uk, PokerStars.bg, PokerStars.be, PokerStars.dk. PokerStars Germany will also make the list due to VAT charges.
These new changes did not go down well with many international poker players who took to the forums to object. Members at the popular News, Views and Gossip forum decided to organize a sit-out on the 5th of November to let PokerStars know that they were unhappy with the new changes. However, the sit-out was not organized properly and the turnout was poor.
PokerStars will not be fazed by these demonstrations as the company faced a “sit-out” protest in 2012 and handled it well. The management at PokerStars believes that these changes will take a bit of time to be accepted but in the end it will enhance the overall customer experience.