Pokerstars cancels rake increases
The worlds largest online poker room has been making some changes since the new owners arrived, one of which sent serious turbulence through the poker community. Rake increases have been a hotly debated topic since Pokerstars announced changes in October 2014 Pokerstars argued that with new taxes coming into effect for online gambling in many countries across the world, they had to raise rake to deal with this fact. The counter argument would be that Pokerstars, as a large company of great turnover, could easily absorb most of these extra costs if they felt it was in the best interests of the company in the long term. Significantly denting profit margins of pro players who put in the highest volume of games at mid to high stakes, in a time when earning a living from online poker is harder than its ever been before, seemed a risky path to tread. It is not clear whether the outcry over these rake increases resulted in players spending far less time at the virtual tables, but latest developments would suggest the response from players hasn't been in tune with what was expected by Pokerstars. In the first week of January 2015, just a few months after announcing the increases, many of the rake increases have now been reversed. The newly introduced 'spin & go' tables will keep their increases though. Other changes such as the removal of weekly sit and go leader board prize money continue to damage the earning potential of sit and go specialists, but in certain areas, Pokerstars has backed down on issues due to “feedback, and new analysis.” This will be welcome news for many players who have been fearful for the future. Upon acquiring Pokerstars, a statement was made to suggest that nothing would change for poker players and it was business as usual. Although this has turned out to be untrue, recent developments do show that Pokerstars is listening to its customers. 2015 will undoubtedly be an interesting year for the company and its players as Amaya gaming continue to outline their vision for the future for Pokerstars, and by extension, online poker as a whole.
Pokerstars vs Greedstars
New Team Pro Additions
New additions to team Pokerstars in January 2015 have perhaps shown a glimpse of how the company hopes to expand in future. Kosei Ichinose has become the second Japanese players to be signed up, and Aditya Agarwal has become the first Indian national to join the team. This move to embrace up and coming talents from India and Japan could hint at a wider drive for growth in these markets. Japan has long been known for its love of computer based gaming and is at the cutting edge of gaming and electronics sectors, making this country a logical target market for Pokerstars India is also a logical choice for expansion. India is a country where chess has become very popular, with an Indian holding the title of world champion up until last year. So as a country which has shown a love for another great 'mind sport' it would make sense that the game of poker has potential for growth there too. It is important to note that India is one of the most densely populated countries on earth with 1.2 billion people living there. This means that a breakthrough for Pokerstars in India and a popularity surge for online poker there, could result in substantial growth for the game, along with the Pokerstars brand.