PokerStars announces VIP program changes, new promotional and rake changes and also some policies changes. These changes become effective in november and the beginning of 2015. All the changes have the main goal to enhance the playing experience and to re-emphasize the fun and social aspects of online poker while attracting and retaining more players to the game.
The big changes will be about Pokerstars’ VIP loyalty program. All changes are made in order to incentivize and reward more players and to encourage competitive play over high volume play, according with a press release posted to the company’s website. PokerStars will introduce a VIP Steps program and alter the FPP currency system. The new currency will be called StarsCoin, and StarsCoin value will be one cent each for all statuses.
The VIP Club rewards will be capped at 30 percent. This change impacting mainly high-volume Supernova and SupernovaElite status players, but the lowest tiers will remain largely unchanged.
Also PokerStars made changes to its policies in order to restrict or prohibit many third-party poker software and other tools. Amongst the changes announced last month were that heads-up displays (HUDs) are no longer permitted to display non-numerical data, categorize players, or dynamically display statistics specific to a certain situation, it was also announced that programs that compute equities of various ranges of hands against one another would no longer be permitted when the PokerStars client is open.
Here is a Pokerstars statement about this subject:
Technology liberated poker from the constraints of bricks and mortar and allowed poker fans to discover the game at their own pace in their own home on the internet. While the tactics of the game may have evolved, poker has stayed true to its core – it’s fundamentally about human competition, which is something that needs to be protected. The game should be about combining logic and an ability to steel your nerves to make that big call or bluff; it shouldn’t be about clicking a button because harvested stats tell you to. For this reason, we are on a path to eliminate many of these technological advantages that are used by a minority of players.
People have differing views on where the line around third-party software in poker should be drawn; it’s certainly something that we constantly debate and review. Technology can aid, but it shouldn’t take over.
Today, we want to make clear that the line will be drawn to preserve poker as a battle of wits and a test of heart. This will only have a direct effect on a small proportion of players and builds upon our responsibility to provide a level playing field for all players.
The new restrictions on third-party software will extend recent changes to our third-party software policy. Last month, we reduced data mining in Zoom!, restricted the use of heads-up displays, and limited the use of Spin & Go seating scripts.
Our intention is to expand these restrictions through major changes within our own software that we will communicate in more detail through 2016. PokerStars wants to offer fun, fair and competitive games of poker globally. These changes aim to help us achieve that goal.
Now, the question is: these changes will affect you? Or not?