PokerStars opens dialogue with poker community

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Mar 14, 2012 Posted in Online Poker News, Poker Industry News | No Comments »

In a first of its kind move, the world’s largest online poker site, PokerStars, has announced a scheduled meeting with representatives from the poker community in an effort to open a dialogue between the two sides. The announcement comes on the heels of a severe backlash by the poker community after PokerStars made several changes to their VIP Program including switching from the “dealt” to the “Weighted” method when it comes to allocating rake to players.

The meeting is scheduled for April 11-13, 2012.

According to 2+2 moderator Mike Haven, he was contacted by a representative from PokerStars, receiving the following message:

“The first is to hear what players have to say. They state that listening to their customers has always been a very important part of the PokerStars decision-making process. They are the most experienced actual users of the product and thus able to provide important feedback on the software.

“The second is for players’ understanding of why PS does what they do, and that what they are doing is with good intentions and considerable logical thought and reasoning. What is posted here in these forums probably compares favourably with other companies, but they feel it’s only the tip of the iceberg. They are a private company that doesn’t have to publish financial details. There are some important topics that it’s simply not appropriate for discussion in public.”

There is no word on who will be involved in the talks, or what other forums/players/communities were contacted. At 2+2 they have opened up the three spots they have been granted to the entire community, with seven players stepping forward and throwing their hat in the ring to represent the poker community. There are three spots open for the PokerStars talk, and the 2+2 community is currently voting on who the representatives will be.

This is the first time that an online poker site has reached out to the poker community in such a manner, and could lead to more player-friendly policies enacted at PokerStars –which means at every poker site since PokerStars is the industry leader. Hopefully the discussion will not simply be PokerStars schmoozing these representatives and hoping that they will react positively to future criticism of the site.

Here is a look at the seven self-nominated players that made the cut and are in the running to be a representative at the meeting:

* Alex Wice

* OMGClayDol

* plo ufo

* shaundeeb

* Soepgroente

* steel108

* The Lipo Fund

Here is a look at Mike Haven’s complete post from 2+2:

PokerStars Steve has informed me that PS would like to invite three player/user representatives to the Isle of Man in April to Meetings with Management and key staff to discuss various matters; where confidential data and information can be revealed to them, (under Non-disclosure Agreements), that is not appropriate for public display.

It would probably be best to have one user selected by us from each of the three main groups of players: Sit & Go; MTT; and Cash Game.

PS believes there are benefits of meeting and interacting with players in person. Face to face interactions result in much better communication and a better understanding of other participants. In addition, meeting face to face allows them to feel comfortable passing along certain confidential data that will not leave their headquarters in any printed or electronic form.

Representatives would have value time to express opinions and suggestions directly to PokerStars staff, including defending against any counterarguments. This is a major opportunity to try to change PS policy and decisions, as well as touring their world headquarters, meeting the people who work there, and seeing how things operate.

From PS’ point of view, they believe they can gain from the meetings in two ways:

The first is to hear what players have to say. They state that listening to their customers has always been a very important part of the PokerStars decision-making process. They are the most experienced actual users of the product and thus able to provide important feedback on the software.

The second is for players’ understanding of why PS does what they do, and that what they are doing is with good intentions and considerable logical thought and reasoning. What is posted here in these forums probably compares favourably with other companies, but they feel it’s only the tip of the iceberg. They are a private company that doesn’t have to publish financial details. There are some important topics that it’s simply not appropriate for discussion in public.

Steve would like us to choose our three delegates within the next two weeks. (Note that PS does reserve the right to veto, but they state they will only do so for very good reasons. They are prepared to tell me any such reasons, in strictest confidence, and I will be able to state in public whether or not I think any veto is reasonable and legitimate. However, hopefully, this card will not have to be played; especially if we treat the selection process as seriously as possible.)

This will probably be the first of a number of relevant, structured threads. Let’s use it to ask for volunteers and nominations. Perhaps a linked and dedicated thread for the “curriculum vitae” of the possible representatives, only, to give us all background information to help with our eventual voting process, should be next?

Please don’t post random comments and one-liners, which may well have to be deleted if the various threads go off their main topic.

Thank you.

MH

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