The three day strike organized by online poker players against PokerStars in late December 2015 may not have had any impact on the biggest online poker website in the world but it is certainly managed to taint the company’s reputation.
Players have been protesting for over a month against the company’s new policies that govern bonuses for Supernova and Supernova Elite players. PokerStars decided to make a number of changes to its policies effective 1st Jan 2016 in an effort to enhance the overall online poker experience of its players but the new policies have not gone down well with the players and they have been using online poker forums to protest.
Now poker pro Isaac Haxton who is a member of team PokerStars has thrown his support behind his fellow players by deciding not to renew his lucrative sponsorship contract with PokerStars. Haxton decided to no longer be affiliate with the company as he was unhappy with the unethical policies that the company had recently rolled out and felt that it exploited online poker players.
I have resigned from PokerStars in protest of the changes to the Supernova and Supernova Elite programs: https://t.co/I7c49fB00D
— Isaac Haxton (@ikepoker) January 1, 2016
In a statement, Haxton said
As a four time SNE, I know what it takes to rake 1M VPP in a year. It’s a tough grind. For most of the players who do it, it is an all-consuming commitment more intense than most full-time jobs. Many of them have relocated far from their homes and families to pursue it. Finding out, just as you approach the finish line, that your efforts will not be rewarded as you expected them to be is brutal. I cannot in good conscience continue to endorse a poker site that treats its players this way.
It wasn’t an easy decision for Haxton as it meant walking away from a lot of money and severing a relationship that gave him a platform to associate with some of the best poker players in the industry and attend top tournaments across the world. Haxton signed up with Team PokerStars in 2012 and since then has received hundred’s of thousands of dollars in buy-in fees and has also won a lot of money on the PokerStars website.
Haxton isn’t the only player who decided to part ways with PokerStars over its new policy changes. Poker pro Alex Miller resigned in December 2015 and Vicky Coren decided to cut ties with PokerStars in 2014 after the company decided to change its policies from being a poker only website to offering casino games.
Online poker players carried out yet another online strike on the 1st of January 2016 but the impact of that strike is yet come to light.