Upcoming PokerStars VIP program changes likely to drastically impact the poker room’s best players. Poker Central teams with NBC Sports to provide television high stakes poker content. Check out these stories and more in the Monday Hit and Run.
PokerStars VIP Program Changes Coming This Summer
PokerStars has released additional details of the Poker Stars VIP Program, which will go into effect as early as this summer. In a development symbolic of the online poker world as a whole, cash-based rewards will be slashed in favor or more recreational player friendly rewards. The poker room’s highest volume players could see the largest decrease in benefits, with OnlinePokerReport estimating declines up to 85% for some players.
Full and specific details are still to be announced, but the general theme of the changes is clear. Instead of giving out large cash rewards for the highest rakers, PokerStars will award more immediate and random rewards. The criteria for rewards will not only take into account volume and stakes but also frequency of play and net deposits. According to a PokerStars blog post, the players most impacted by the changes will be contacted by PokerStars with more information.
Despite pushback from many of PokerStars’ most frequent high-volume customers, PokerStars is apparently emboldened by the results of the introduction of VIP Steps. According to PokerStars, the changes have forced players to refocus on poker competition rather than rewards. Those changes have resulted in more hands seeing the flop, larger pots and increased activity from new players, according to the post.
The PokerStars VIP changes are expected to first go live in Denmark by the end of May with other markets most likely seeing changes this summer.
– Poker Central has partnered with NBC Sports to provide televised high stakes poker to the masses. The partnership will debut with the broadcasting of the Super High Roller on the NBC Sports Network in late May. The Aria’s Super High Roller with its $300,000 buy-in, has attracted some of biggest names in poker including Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Fedor Holz and Daniel Colman.
– Xavi666 took down the 11th anniversary of the Poker Stars Sunday Million with a $1,093,204 score on Sunday. He bested 55,834 other players in the $200+$15, $10 million guaranteed event. In other tournament news over the weekend, Steve O’Dwyer won the UK$400k Super High Roller at PSC Macau, where he beat Fedor Holz heads-up. Meanwhile, at the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdowm, Dan Colman leads a final table that also includes Robert Mizrachi.
– Add 32Red to the list of online poker rooms that have left Australia. Last month, the Australian Senate passed an amendment of the country’s online gaming laws after online poker exemption failed. Additional poker rooms are expected to follow suit once the ammendment is finalized.
– GrinderSchool.com poker training video of the day is a tutorial on middle stage play in multi-table tournaments.
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