The biggest name in the online poker industry, PokerStars, has made its fair share of enemies since its inception 14 years ago. Now, alongside regulators and competitors, players are joining the list of those speaking out against the online poker giant.
Players are planning to boycot the site from Dec. 1-3, according to a thread on twoplustwo.com entitled “Strike/Boycott of PokerStars December 1st-3rd.” The thread was started by poker pro Dani Stern, who is just one of many critiquing the VIP program changes to be rolled out on Jan. 1.
“We ask everyone who values the game of poker at all, recreational or pro, to show their support,” Stern wrote on the thread. “We especially ask those who put in high volume on Stars to do so. Please do not play a hand of poker on PokerStars for those 72 hours. It goes without saying that games are likely to be softer on those days, and we hope that you can resist the urge to play because of that. I truly believe that these changes will bring about devastating effects to the online poker community.”
In addition to not playing for three days, the strike asks participants to withdraw funds from their accounts.
As part of the thread, strikers have been listing their screen names, stake levels, and games they typically play. Over 1,000 players have signed onto the boycott thus far. According to PokerScout, the site has a seven-day average of 14,500 ring-game players.
Stern has gone beyond his twoplustwo thread and taken to social media to fight against PokerStars:
@Therealansky: Poker must be a game that players can win at. It’s what makes it special, and not roulette. An unbeatable game will attract no one.
@Therealansky: Don’t play tournaments. Don’t play sit and goes. Don’t play cash games. Don’t log on December 1st-3rd. Games will be soft, resist the urge.
The reaction to the plannig of the strike has been mixed. Some, like Twitter user Jay Rosenkrantz, have voiced their support.
@DCkrantz: @TheRealAnsky this is epic. It’s like you’re Luke Skywalker leading the Rebellion against the Empire. Use the Force, baby!
Others, like thread-poster KJoff, have voiced the opinion that those striking have a sense of entitlement and feel they should be rewarded for being loyal customers. Just a few of the many comments he posted were [sic]:
1) This misconception that Pokerstars owes anything to you. …
3) The site has treated you with the upmost respect for a decade, giving you numerous priviliges, and you thanked them by bumhunting and taking advantage of every loophole there is to do what’s best for you. …
5) A three day strike is just a joke, a bluff that Pokerstars will gladly call. …
8) You just come off as spoiled brats that don’t know real work and think the whole world should naturally revolve around their best interests.
(Photo credit: PokerUpdate)
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