Yesterday, we brought you an update as to what happened after poker players met with Amaya Gaming and PokerStars executives to discuss the changes to the VIP scheme that has caused two boycotts to take place. The players who attended were not happy about the outcome and PokerStars did offer a press release on their blog to discuss what happened at the meeting.
In the statement, which was posted by Eric Hollreiser, PokerStars commented on the questions the company has received in regards to the recent meeting between PokerStars/Amaya and the high-volume online players. While most details of the meeting are to remain confidential, Hollreiser stated he wanted to provide the PokerStars perspective of the meeting, which was held outside of Montreal at the headquarters of Amaya.
Hollreiser stated that the poker economy was discussed as well as associated issues. PokerStars listened to what the players had to say and then shared information including marketing plans and internal data. The PokerStars VIP rewards program was the hot topic of debate and Hollreiser stated that information was shared that showed why PokerStars made the changes and expressed their regret that the changes have made some of the high volume players angry.
PokerStars stated it was not their intention to make players angry, yet it was anticipated due to the nature and the timing of the rewards reduction. PokerStars noted during the meeting that the VIP benefit is a one-year program and the company retains the right to change or eliminate the rewards provided at any time.
PokerStars executives believe that the changes made to the VIP program will improve the ecosystem of online poker and are part of a broad-based plan by the brand to do so. The company feels the changes are successfully helping to balance the brand’s responsibility to recreational players, the game of poker and the interests of employees and shareholders of the site against the expectation of the professional poker playing community.
The blog posted ended in Hollreiser stating that even though the outcome may not have been what players wanted to hear, the meeting did demonstrate that an ongoing dialogue can help to provide a greater understanding. PokerStars hopes to build upon the meeting and continue to listen to players, even if the brand is in disagreement. The full statement can be read here.
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