The inaugural PokerStars player’s strike is over leaving most people scratching their heads wondering if their two days away from the tables made any difference?
It’s Christmas time.
A great time to strike, if you are a transportation company. The key is to wait until the holidays when people rely on public transport to help Santa move all those toys and then BAM!
Let them have it.
Pull the lot.
Don’t drive trains, don’t drive buses, don’t drive taxis.
There will be bedlam.
The same happens during a bank holiday.
Let them have it again.
It’s what transportation companies backed by savvy trade unionists have done for years. Find the way to cause the most disruption and give it to them baby one more time Britney style.
So how do you cause maximum impact to the world’s largest online poker room when deciding to strike?
And therein lies the problem of the 2,500+ players who took the moral high ground over the past 72 hrs. There isn’t an easy answer. It’s difficult to see the mess you are making, especially when the strike takes place during one of the site’s most successful promotions of the year.
On the railway, things were easier. We had metrics. On Monday, we typically run x amount of trains. This Monday we went on strike, and we only ran x. But there are no reliable metrics in the online poker industry. Without reliable metrics, there is no way to know if the strike was a success and a failure.
Media outlets have pointed out that the PokerStars Milestone Promotion has masked the success or failure of the strike. I don’t believe that. The leader without badge Dani “Ansky” Stern has always been very open in his view that he doesn’t expect to make much of a hit regarding revenue. It’s not what the strike is aiming to do. It’s seeking to show Stars that their primary customers are unhappy.
People can be critical. They could have gone on strike on Sunday. They could have tried to avoid a promotional period. However, the substantial work of Stern means that PokerStars reputation has been opened up with surgical precision, and everyone has gotten to see their guts. They have treated their customers in an appalling fashion, and now everyone knows about it.
What happens next?
Hopefully, this is just the beginning. To effect change Stern’s fighting troops need more support. If you watch the excellent Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom it was incredibly powerful to see how the movement grew over time. The strikers need sustainable action. Only then will there be any change.
There are people within the hierarchy of PokerStars who will be feeling pretty shitty about what they have done. They will remain silent. They have bills to pay. They were carrying out orders. Hopefully, this movement will give them some traction. Maybe words will start to form, maybe a few sentences, maybe some change?
PokerStars will improve communication. They will also create a communication network with people like Stern. I am not sure it will be as intimate as a player’s council, especially when it comes to decision making. But there will be something better than exists today. Stern and his band of not so merry men and women will be responsible for that.
As for the economic changes. I think that’s a losing battle. The fat cats will take their cream. They will lick it in the privacy of their $9 million Andy Bloch style mansions. Away from the prying eyes of the people logging on and making them very wealthy indeed.
As for the players, strikes are never easy. We now have scabs. That’s not happened before. 2,500+ players will feel a strong kinship. The only downside to an online strike is you don’t get to see 2,500 players throwing eggs at David Baazov as he parks his Tesla and walks into work with his golden studded Gucci shoes.