VIP changes for 2016

The VIP Club is making changes for 2016. The first major change is the introduction of VIP Steps, which provides a clear, easy way to see your progress toward VIP statuses. For more information on VIP Steps, click here.

VIP Steps is an improvement – a large step forward – making VIP Club clearer and more accessible to more players. It is especially an improvement for recreational and occasional poker players, giving them goals that they can complete in a single session.

The rewards earned by players are also changing. While the impact is significant for the highest level VIP tiers, it will affect a small percentage of our entire player base. 

Most players from BronzeStar to GoldStar statuses will continue to earn, on average, rewards similar to those earned at present. Some may earn less and many will earn more. The average percentage of rewards by status will remain unchanged or improve, such as for ChromeStar status players who will see up to a 10% increase in average rewards.

Rewards for higher status players are being reduced, and reduced significantly for those who earn more than 200K VPPs each year. We have always believed that poker should primarily be played for the fun and competitive aspects of the game. However, in recent years, our VIP Club rewards have become so enticing that we have inadvertently altered why some people play and how they play.

We are introducing these changes to move towards a more balanced long-term poker economy and to return the game back to one that rewards skill via winning at the tables rather than playing primarily for volume.

It was never the intention of the VIP Club to alter the fundamental reason for playing poker. We’ve come to the realisation that the current situation has to change, even though we understand it will upset the high-status players that are affected.

It’s not a decision that was taken lightly, but is being made after months of analysis and investigation to find the best possible model for the long-term viability of the poker ecosystem. For more information about why this is critical and what other changes we’re making to improve the player experience, please read this blog post.

So what’s changing for the high-volume players? First, beginning January 1, 2016, we will recalibrate the rewards system to limit the incentive to play solely for these rewards. VIP rewards for first-time Supernova players will continue to be 28% of contributed rake. However, rewards are capped at 30% for players who earn more than 200K VPPs. PlatinumStar status players will have about a 10% reduction in their overall rewards. In recognition of those players who have already earned Supernova Elite status, or who will by the end of the year, the benefits cap for players who earn Supernova Elite in 2015 will be 45% in 2016. 

Finally, to help offset some of the significant costs (inclusive of high transaction costs for deposits and withdrawals) incurred in offering high stakes cash games, players will no longer receive VPPs when playing high stakes cash games (see details below).

Below is an outline of all the changes which will all go into effect on January 1, 2016:

  • All rewards will be given in a new currency called StarsCoin, each of which will have a fixed value of $0.01
    • All FPPs will be converted to StarsCoin on January 1 at a rate of 1.2 StarsCoin for every FPP.
    • Players may use their FPPs as they currently do to purchase cash bonuses, tournament tickets and merchandise at current FPP prices until midnight ET, December 31.
    • All prices in the VIP Store, including tournament tickets and cash rewards, will be updated on January 1 to reflect the StarsCoin value of $0.01.
    • Tournament buy-ins will be updated to StarsCoin values.
  • All current rewards – FPPs, Stellar Rebates, and Milestone Rebates – will be consolidated into a single form of reward called StarsCoin
    • Click here for complete details of the StarsCoin rewards for each VIP Step.
    • Players who earn Stellar Rebates and Milestone Rebates in 2015 will still be able to purchase them in the VIP Store in 2016.
    • On average we are aiming for the following percentage of rewards as compared to the current reward system:
    • Status2016 Average Rewards
      BronzeStar No change
      ChromeStar Up to 10% increase
      SilverStar No change
      GoldStar No change
      PlatinumStar 10% decrease
      Supernova 0%-27% decrease
      200k+ 27%-60% decrease
  • Players will not earn VPPs for high-stakes cash games
    • Players will not earn VPPs for pot-limit and no-limit games with blinds of $5-$10 or higher, 8-game $10-$20 or higher, and other limit games with blinds of $10-$15 or higher (limit hold’em of stakes $15-$30 and higher).
  • VPP multipliers for all shared liquidity licenses will be as follows:
    • 5.5 VPPs for each $1.00 USD or CAD in fee paid, 6.5 VPPs for each €1.00 EUR in fee paid, or 8.25 VPPs for each £1.00 GBP in fee paid for all tables, no matter how many are seated at the table.
    • Microstakes games are as follows:
    • VPPs awarded per $1.00 USD in rake collectedVPPs awarded per €1.00 EUR in rake collected
      $0.01/$0.02 10 €0.01/€0.02 12
      $0.02/$0.05 8.5 €0.02/€0.05 10
      $0.05/$0.10 7 €0.05/€0.10 9
    • These changes result in an increase in VPP multipliers for UK, DK, BG, and SH.
    • This change results in a decrease in the VPP multiplier for tables where 8 or more are seated.
    • VPPs drive your progress towards completing VIP Steps. For more information on VPPs click here.
  • VIP Store
    • Cash Rewards will be offered as follows, and there will be no restrictions by VIP status:
      • $25 – 2,500 StarsCoin
      • $100 – 10,000 StarsCoin
      • $1,000 – 100,000 StarsCoin
    • Some examples of MTT, Spin & Go and Sit & Go tickets:
      • $0.10 Sit & Go tickets – 10 StarsCoin
      • $0.25 Spin & Go and Sit & Go tickets – 25 StarsCoin
      • $1 Spin & Go and Sit & Go tickets – 100 StarsCoin
      • $1.50 Sit & Go ticket – 150 StarsCoin
      • $3.30 MTT ticket – 330 StarsCoin
      • $11 MTT ticket – 1,100 StarsCoin
      • $215 MTT ticket – 21,500 StarsCoin
  • VIP Freerolls
    • The Supernova Quarterly Million freeroll will be discontinued
    • The last Saturday of every month will feature:
      • $5,000 25 StarsCoin buy-in tourney for BronzeStar+
      • $20,000 freeroll for ChromeStar+
      • $30,000 freeroll for SilverStar+
      • $100,000 freeroll for GoldStar+
    • Other Saturdays on a weekly basis:
      • $2,500 25 StarsCoin buy-in tourney for BronzeStar+ 
      • $10,000 freeroll for ChromeStar+ 
  • Supernova Elite VIP Status will be discontinued on January 1, 2017
    • The benefits cap for players who earn Supernova Elite in 2015 will be 45% in 2016.
  • There will no longer be monthly maintenance requirements for Supernova and Supernova Elite statuses
  • Hall of Fame Rewards
    • 5M and 10M VPP prizes will be rewarded through December 31, 2016.
    • 5M rewards offers two options: Tag Heuer watch or $2,500 Apple gift certificate
  • Concierge service for Supernova and Supernova Elite status to be discontinued

Please visit our recent blog post for more information about changes to the VIP Club and other changes planned to help us focus on the competitive spirit of this great game that we all love – poker.

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