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  • PokerStars Loses Cash Game Traffic After Recent Protests

    Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 by Ryan

Remember back to the talks about those protests on PokerStars? Many people felt that they didn’t have much of an affect on the poker site, and that it really wouldn’t affect any of the decisions that were made by the site. Quite a few of the high stakes players came together and sat down at tables but simply refused to play, instead sitting out from the action. The reason for this was because of PokerStars’ recent changes to their VIP program, and also to their rake structure as well. Essentially, the site figured that they may lose a few players here or there, but they would be making quite a bit of additional money it seemed. Unfortunately for Stars, things have gone quite opposite though, as it seems that they have lost some of their cash game traffic because of these protests to start the new year.

After a bit of review, it looks like the players who actually ended up leaving came from PokerStars.fr, which is their site in France. Their total cash game numbers made them drop from seventh place to ninth place in the recent rankings, and they even fell to second place in their own country, as Winamax.fr surpassed them as well. In total, it was said originally that the numbers for players who took place in this protest included 120 total players, but they are very high stakes players, including Supernova Elite players as well. So why does this affect Stars so much? Mainly, it’s because of the fact that the players who are not playing on PokerStars.fr are reported to have raked over €5 million this past year.

PokerStars.com on the other hand saw a small increase of 5 percent in their cash game traffic, but this is actually considered a negative when in comparison to the other sites in the top 10. Most other sites saw increases of between 10 and 30 percent in total, which leaves PokerStars as the site that benefit the least this past week. It will be interesting to see how this is all handled by PokerStars, but currently there are player reps from the protesting site planning on meeting with PokerStars reps this coming week, which could help the two sides find a solution to the issues at hand.

The players who are protesting feel that PokerStars is simply looking to expand and gain more profit, and also to recruit more recreational players that will deposit onto the site more. While this does make sense for the business side of things, the high stakes players who have remained loyal feel that they deserve a better deal overall, as they are losing quite a bit of money from this new system. Only time will really tell what will come, but the meeting this week could give a lot of answers to both poker players and poker fans, and it will also potentially determine how the next few months go for Stars. We will keep you posted as more news comes out about this current online poker situation.

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