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My Two Cents On The Pokerstars Changes

Forfatter: Negreanu Blogs

2 Stemmer
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Tags: PokerStars
I wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about some of the recent changes at PokerStars and throw in my two cents. First of all, I think it’s really important to note that some of the recent changes were going to happen well before the new ownership group took over. The online poker landscape has changed over the last few years and many of these changes were inevitable in a competitive market for the company to continue to be the world leader. While I get it, nobody gets excited over rake increases, I think it’s really important to note that PokerStars remains the cheapest place to play online poker. The rake increases are still smaller than what the competition offer, and that’s before you account for the generous VIP programs.

Several years ago the WSOP announced some increases to their rake in tournaments. I heard from a lot of poker players who complained that they would be unbeatable and no one would want to pay that kind of a rake. Since that time, the WSOP continues to break attendance records each year. Back then, despite having no affiliation with the WSOP other than being a fan, I understood the reasoning for the increases and accepted that the company needed to do what they felt was necessary, while at the same time understanding that players wouldn’t love the changes.

When the new popular Spin N’ Go format was introduced on PokerStars, many thought this was based on a directive from the new AMAYA group. That’s just not true. Broadening the game offerings was always something PokerStars looked to do each year and the plan to launch Spin N’ Gos was put in place long before AMAYA came around. While the ownership group at PokerStars may have changed, most all of the key employees and decision makers at PokerStars are still in place and from what I’ve seen, it’s business as usual for the most part.

PokerStars has, and always will look to be regulated in more and more markets, and depending on different government regulations that can be both costly and create some barriers. PokerStars is regulated in more countries than any other online poker site, and I don’t believe it’s even close. It’s always been the company's policy that regulation is a good thing, despite the cost.

The other area that has helped PokerStars remain #1 for as long as it has, has been the company's ability to attract NEW players. As I wrote in a previous blog, bringing new recreational players to the game, poker games simply die. It’s imperative that we attract new players and I do believe the company's strategy will do that. If that strategy works, that could mean more profit for online grinders in the long run. Of course, that remains to be seen over the next couple years, but I’m confident in the company's vision and I am fully aligned with the direction they are going. I have met with the new owners and I think they have some really exciting and innovative ideas to attract more casual players to the game.

This text was written by Daniel Negreanu originally here.