Daniel Negreanu Speaks Up About Recent Changes on PokerStars

4 years ago
Daniel Negreanu Speaks Up About Recent Changes on PokerStars
03 Nov

As expected, 'KidPoker' recently came out with his explanation of the most recent changes on PokerStars, with special focus on the one most talked about – the rake increase. What was also expected is that Negreanu would support these changes as a good thing and something that will actually influence players in a positive way. How exactly?

The first thing Daniel talked about is that the changes were being prepared long before Amaya stepped in and that they are the result of the changing online poker environment and not caused by the change in company ownership. He also emphasized that PokerStars are still the cheapest place to play online poker.

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.

While it holds true that rake on PokerStars is probably still lower than that of the competition even with these most recent changes, calling PokerStars' VIP program ‘generous’ is somewhat of an exaggeration to say the least. Most players are aware that the only ones really doing good with this program are the top tier players (SuperNova Elites), while everybody else is getting a rather small return on the rake paid. The 2 + 2 crowd was clearly annoyed by the use of the term 'generous' in this context.

Negreanu also further explained that the introduction of the Spin N’ Go format was planned way before Amaya, as it was always the company’s plan to expand their game offerings. Dwelling further, the face of PokerStars explained that one thing that is very important for the company is attracting new players and that the new approach will help a lot with this aspect.

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.

Players’ Reactions

Although Negreanu tried to explain the reasoning behind the decision (and constantly emphasized the fact that most of them had nothing to do with the new owners), players, at least those voicing their opinion on the Internet, seem to be taking it with a massive grain of salt.

For some of them, it is not easy to believe much of what is being said because it is obvious that Negreanu will back a company employing him. Some also believe that it is possible that he is not really being given access to all the relevant information and cannot see the whole picture.

It is hard to say what the real truth is and there is, in all honesty, a bit of everything mentioned above. However, one thing that is really easy to see is that players are bitter and disappointed. Many of them feel they are now in a very unfavorable position and that PokerStars is starting to use their dominant position to secure bigger profits while players are just being overlooked. All the talk about new players coming in and bringing new money is appealing to some extent, but when will it happen? And will it really happen at all?

Ultimately, it is a free market out there and there is nothing stopping a company from raising their profit margins if they do not feel there is a competitor out there who can swoop in and take their place. A lot of it depends on market analysis and future predictions and one would think that a company of this size would have the best guys working on these things. But even the best analysts cannot predict everything, and if those doors are open too far, someone might just see the opportunity and go straight through.

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Ivan Potocki is the editor in chief and one of the lead news writers for PokerTube. His natural flair and enthusiasm for journalism combined with a deep poker knowledge make him an exciting contributor for PokerTube.The experience garnered playing poker professionally for several years and the knowl...Read more


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