PokerStars Launch New Rewards Program - Chests1 year ago
A new rewards program will be rolled out by PokerStars this summer that again seems to favor recreational players at the expense of regs and may further alienate the grinders whose loyalty toward 'Stars was on shaky ground to begin with.
Known as Stars Rewards, the scheme lumps poker players together with casino and sports bettors, treating each as equal customers and perhaps fails to take into account that it was poker players who propelled PokerStars to the top of the mountain in the online poker industry. Well, that AND virtually ignoring the UIEGA in 2006 and continuing to service the U.S. market while other poker rooms such as Party Poker abided by the new regulations and left.
A Chest of Surprises
The new Stars Rewards will be centered around Chests - not the kind that Dolly Parton is known for - but chests as in treasure chests. Players will be rewarded with Chests based on their play and each Chest comes with it a chance to win a huge prize such as $1,000 in cash, 1,000,000 StarsCoin, a PokerStars Championship package worth thousands of dollars, or a big bet for an upcoming match.
The biggest prizes available will change from time to time, but each Chest will always contain a chance to collect the top prize. It has yet to be announced, but obtaining the best prizes will likely be based on accomplishing some type of missions.
What's in My Chest?
While all players will undoubtedly enjoy opening their Chests to see what prizes may be waiting inside, the problem with the new Stars Rewards program is that one never knows the actual rewards to be received. They are completely random and PokerStars has not released the specific details regarding rakeback percentages or prize figures that correlate to the amount of play or amount wagered, promising only that "the more you play, the bigger the Chests."
This has caused considerable consternation among the forum posters at 2+2, who tend to be a critical bunch to begin with.
"Just another way for them to be less transparent, be less reg-friendly, and try to make the site more about gambling than poker," stated 'Hero Value.'
Also tossed around was the question of whether the highest volume players can boast of being Stars Rewards Chest Pros instead of the Supernova Elite class that was tossed into the muck by PokerStars in a previous loyalty program revamp.
Each and every game played in the casino, poker room, and sportsbook will count toward earning rewards and every individual player's rewards will be personalized. In other words, whatever games you play most, your random rewards will be a reflection of those favorite games.
For instance, sports bettors would be more inclined to receive rewards of free bets, casino players may get instant bonuses, and poker players who favor MTT action will receive tournament tickets that cover buy-ins of events. StarsCoin may also be found upon opening your Chests, which, as always, will be redeemable for tickets, cash rebates, and other merchandise from the PokerStars Store.
Also included in the new Stars Rewards program are "boosts" that allow players to earn rewards at a quicker pace. The boosts will come into play for a given period during every session and are designed to benefit those players who play consistently.
Players in Denmark will be first to experience the launch of the new Stars Rewards. Italy is next on the list, with the rest of the markets serviced by PokerStars set to be added later in the summer. Email notices will be sent to players prior to the rollout in their respective jurisdictions.
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