The controversy surrounding PokerStars' lottery-style Sit 'n Go games known as Spin & Gos reached new heights recently when Daniel Negreanu chimed in with his thoughts on the issue on a 2 + 2 thread in which regular online poker players voiced their complaints against the new concept.
The hyper-turbo Spin & Gos that call for random jackpots to reach as high as 1,000x a single buy-in apparently have recreational players salivating at the thought of pulling off a major score. Meanwhile, online grinders who make a nice living from multi-tabling regular Sit n' Go games and cash action at the expense of those casual players are crying foul over the huge variance at the Spin & Gos and the fact that the games are attracting fish who are needed at regular Sit n' Gos as well as the ring game tables.
The regular players are claiming that Spin & Gos are "killing the games." Their argument centers around the assumption that online grinders are needed to balance the online poker ecosystem, in addition to the casual players who deposit and rarely, if ever, cashout.
Spin & Go Frenzy
Since launching on September 29, over 7.5 million Spin & Go games have been played at the world's top poker site. That caused a 9% drop in cash game player traffic, according to PokerScout. Although actual numbers are not available regarding how many players abandoned regular Sit n' Gos for Spin & Gos, you can likely bet the farm that the percentage is well over 9%.
Enter Daniel Negreanu, the face of PokerStars, who has never been one to hold back how he truly feels on any issue. The outspoken pro and six-time WSOP champ stayed true to form, and in so doing blasted regular players who he said are perhaps dealing with "entitlement issues" under the belief that PokerStars owes them a living.
Do you know what kills games and destroys the poker ecosystem above and beyond all the things mentioned?" KidPoker asked. "Winning players. Yup, you guys lol. The winning players as a whole win a lot more money than the company makes each and every year. Yet, oddly, they still offer VIP programs to the very people who are essentially 'killing the games.'"
Posting under the 2 + 2 moniker of 'DNegs,' Negreanu didn't stop there. His defense of Spin & Gos went even further as he continued to stand up for recreational players --a not uncommon stance for the soon-to-be Poker Hall of Famer.
If Spin N' Go's deterred pros from playing, that actually HELPS the poker ecosystem immensely, it just may not help YOU personally," Negreanu posted. "I love, love, love, and love this concept and if it helps to level the playing field a little bit, while allowing rec players to stretch their dollars a bit further than before, I think in the end that is a win for everyone- even the winning players who are upset about it now."
Don't Put Negreanu in Charge!
Regular players are perhaps fortunate that KidPoker is not manning the controls at PokerStars instead of performing site ambassador duties. If the forthright and opinionated Canadian were holding the reins, PokerStars would not cater to the online grinders as it does now.
You guys don't even want to know what I would do to the VIP programs if I was in charge!," Negreanu stated. "I would focus on giving bonuses to the LOSING players exclusively. They'd play more, last longer, and the pros would get the money in the end anyway. I think it's overkill to not only have pros crushing all the rec players, but then also giving them the majority of the bonuses on top of that?"
DNegs continued his rant and aimed it at online pros who believe they are the lifeblood of the world's top poker site. Negreanu strongly stated that the opposite is true.
The mindset of some pros is backwards," KidPoker insisted. "You think they need you, when the reverse is true. They would do better as a company if pros didn't play at all. They need the rec players, THEY should be the priority, not the pros. If you lose rec players, then pros don't play anyway. If the rec players continue to deposit and play, then the pros will be there to get that money."
The World Owes Me a Living
Lastly, Negreanu's "spin" on the Spin & Go controversy ended with the 40-year-old suggesting that players who earn a good amount of cash and perhaps pay the bills thanks to PokerStars should feel fortunate. He pointed out that online players are free to play wherever they like and that some may have a distorted view regarding what is owed to them by PokerStars.
Look at it this way, PokerStars provides a service that allows some of you to make a living," Negreanu posted. "You are not employees, and they are not your boss. As with any service, if you don't feel it's worth it to use, then you are free to choose a different service. That may seem harsh, but I get a sense that some people have entitlement issues that aren't warranted."
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