PokerStars began unveiling new policies for its VIP Club that are set to be implemented in 2107.

The massive changes are part of a larger effort to attract more recreational players to the PokerStars ecosystem without alienating their highest rollers. It’s a delicate balancing act and, so far, those VIPS aren’t very happy with the proposed changes.

Online poker forums have been buzzing for months about the new plan and company officials had dropped clues about proposed but no official word came from PokerStars until last Friday when they sent out an e-mail to the their VIP Club members which read, in part:

Today we began contacting players to provide notice of important planned changes to our VIP Club, notably that our current VIP Club, with rewards centered around monthly and annual statuses, will be replaced sometime in 2017 with a new, combined rewards program for poker, casino and sportsbook.

Most of the changes detailed on Friday were aimed at Supernova-level players, PokerStars’ top-tier VIPs. Chief among them is a new policy making requiring Supernova players to earn that coveted status each month. Under the previous policy a player only needed to reach Supernova once and would remain at that status for the rest of the year.

Some members of the online poker media have already suggested that this is the beginning of the end for PokerStars’ most elite VIP-level.

VIP players at PokerStars will also suffer a cut to their rakeback from 30 percent to 28 percent, a move that was announced earlier this year.

PokerStars is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the elite players on the VIP level.

On the one hand, these big-time players generate plenty of revenue for the company thanks to their incredible volume of play. On the other hand, one man’s VIP is another man’s shark, and that’s not-so-good when it comes to attracting and retaining recreational-level players.

It’s a delicate balancing act to maintain and it will be interesting to see how Pokerstars’ most prolific players react.


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