PokerStars continue to place their focus on the recreational player with the news of significant changes to the 2017 VIP Club rewards system aimed at improving their experience.
PokerStars continue to focus their attention on their core customer, much to the chagrin of the professional poker player, with news of another change to their VIP Club Reward system.
The news came from the PokerStars Corporate Blog in the form of a blog post titled 2017 VIP Club Changes written by Head of Everything Communications Wise, Eric Hollreiser. As a PokerStars customer, I also received an email notifying me of the upcoming changes.
So what’s it all about?
Firstly, it’s a milestone that can be referred to down the line when people start complaining about a lack of notice. It’s a lesson they have learned from their 2016 VIP Club Changes debacle.
The changes remind you why Victoria Coren-Mitchell tore up her Pokerstars contract with a move away from a strictly poker orientated rewards system to one designed to encourage you to gamble across all three vices of poker, casino and betting on sports.
Hollreiser was keen to point out that ‘players won’t have to play any specific platform in order to progress’ along the rewards system ladder, but I bet a date with my wife those who thrash the ass off all three will be the ones gaining the most from the new regime.
That Word ‘Trust.’
The blog post stated that the changes made to the 2016 VIP Club worked in as much as PokerStars has seen ‘improvement in the key areas’ they targeted. Hollreiser points to more players seeing the flop, increased deposits by recreational players, and greater stickability for newer players as proof of the success of their KPIs, but the lack of trust created by PokerStars creates a problem with communications like this.
There needs to be more transparency with data supplied as evidence to back up Hollreiser’s claim. Simply, highlighting the benefits doesn’t cut the mustard.
I am one of the recreational players and so the decision to tailor a rewards system to my personalised needs is great news for me, even if that means bad news for the grinders.
The Supernova status is also going through another upheaval. From January 1, 2017, their annual status will become a monthly one until the new reward system launches. Supernova status gained in 2016 will remain until the new program kicks in sometime in 2017.
Trawling through the forums, to gauge feedback to the announcements, I was interested to see so many players saying they can’t wait to jump ship and hop aboard Phil Galfond’s RunItOnce (RIO) Poker. Unfortunately, Galfond and co will face the same problem as PokerStars. They need to find out who their core customer is and provide them value.
Recreational and professional players can’t both be your core audience.
PokerStars has chosen their side.
Why do people think RIO will choose differently, and if they do, how on earth do they make it work profitably?