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regs vs. PokerStars: is partypoker taking the lead?

After the slash in the rewards program announced by PokerStars (the rakeback was effectively decreased by 55%), a group of poker pros led by "girafganger7" (who has won over $6MUSD in PokerStars MTT tournaments) organized a boycott to the Sunday’s $5,200 Turbo Series event. 

regs vs. PokerStars: is partypoker taking the lead?

High-stakes pros boycott PokerStars changes to the rewards program

The latest PokerStars announcements were the "straw that broke the camel's back". Tired of the PS attitude towards poker pros (rakeback going to zero, software prohibitions), over 200 poker pros including high-profile players such as "c.darwin2", "lena900", "omaha4rollz", "Romeopro",  and many others top players decided not to play the PS $5,200 Turbo Series event and publicly show their disapproval against PokerStars actions.

The poker-pros sent a statement to PocketFives, with a claim list:

  • Direct and open communication with the company.
  • Rake clearly visible, not hidden.
  • Rake max 10%, this applies to low stakes and the .eu pool so no more $9.8+$1.2; $11 MTTs.
  • Reassessment of the rake, across all stakes and in formats where the edges are naturally lower, such as PSKO, Rebuys, Turbo, Hypers and combinations of these.
  • Reduction on the length of Late Registration and number of re-entries.
  • Debate on future rake increases.

On Twitter, "girafganger7" shared that he contacted partypoker representatives and the poker room decided to support their task by offering a $5,200 KO event with $1MUSD GTD at the same time.

$5,200 KO Sunday events at PokerStars and partypoker results

On the one hand, the PokerStars $5,200 KO event had 187 participants, breaking the $750,000 GTD prize by $185kUSD.  For being a first message from the poker pros community, the results of the boycott were quite good, because usually, these tournaments smash the GTD prize by much more than 25%

On the other hand, the partypoker $5,200 KO tournament was very successful: it was played by 206 players, smashing the $1MUSD GTD. The Swedish player "STORTjavlaGL" got $193kUSD for winning the tournament.

Although the GTD prize of $750,000 of the PokerStars event was covered, the results of the campaign are undeniable: "girafganger7" confirmed the partypoker event on February 15th, and just 2 days after over 200 players went to the tables and paid a $5,2kUSD buy-in, a success for us.

We remark that the PokerStars event had a $200 rake and the partypoker event one had only $100 in rake. So in fact, players were playing for more money and receiving more rakeback from partypoker just for playing the tournament.


An organized poker movement led by the top MTT players of the world is nothing but remarkable. We support better poker ecosystem for everyone, and that's why our offer is composed mainly by alternative poker rooms which have good conditions for any kind of players. We think that more and more poker pros will join the movement, and for them, we would like to show our support by offering top rakeback deals on alternative poker networks.

We encourage all poker pros tired of having almost zero rakeback at PokerStars to contact our team and start playing at very profitable poker rooms.

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Vargoso 18.02.19
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