Secret Santa

hil Shaw added Daniel Negreanu to this conversation
[04/11/2015 20:47:53] MouldyOnions: whats your plan daniel? midstakes regs are creating forums etc. what do you need from us? we will support you.
[04/11/2015 20:51:24] Phil Shaw: he says he is in talks and will want feeback as things progress, im sure everyone will be helpful/appreciative 😉
[04/11/2015 20:54:12] MouldyOnions: so should we just do nothing then and wait for dnegs to post a blog or whatever?
[04/11/2015 20:54:39] Phil Shaw: maybe ppl can post stuff about their gametype, heres some thoughts from hypers and a new add
[04/11/2015 20:54:49] Phil Shaw: Phil Shaw added Javier Tazon to this conversation
[04/11/2015 20:55:06] Phil Shaw: On 04/11/2015, at 12:05, Javier Tazon wrote:
> I have been talking with most of the regs of 6 max hypers 300$+ and we all agree on the following points that we want to let you know
1 – With this new VIP Level 6 max hypers will die (I can elaborate more this point if you don´t agree)
2 – 6 max hypers, is the format where we think the recreational players lose in a lower rythm, so they are more willing to cash in again if they bust
3 – The recreational player does not fell chased, opossite to a cash table that is filled 3 secs after he seats, and its empty 3 secs after he leaves
4 – There are several recreational players who love this format, and if there is no traffic they may find another format to play but they will lose his money much faster (8superpoker is the most clear example)
5 – It is the format with the most claean environment, having a lot of 6 regs sits, battling for a place on the next slot
For all these reasons we think letting 6 max hypers die will be a mistake for Pokerstars and we would like to discuss some kind of alternatives in order to avoid this
I sent this to support, u all can do it. Nothing to lose

[04/11/2015 20:56:09] Phil Shaw: if anyone can add on other formats that would give daniel some info to go on to start with
[04/11/2015 20:58:34] MouldyOnions: as a player from that group, i agree with all of that, but there is a side from amaya’s point of view. if there is no liquidity, they can always go and play spin n gos for a similar sort of game. the same liquidity defense is also true in cash with zoom.
[04/11/2015 20:59:55] Bryan Pellegrino: yea I mean I think it’s a pretty big issue when you change aspects of the VIP program and certain games become unbeatable. I think we can all agree, different from the casino side, there should not be games/stakes offered that are unbeatable. If they are rake should be reduced and/or the games removed. VIP program has been a way to make many of these otherwise unbeatable or barely beatable game types viable for a while, but now with changes I think a lot of things need to be changed to keep a sustainable ecosystem.

I get that PS wants/needs to make money, but they’ve been the intrustry leader for a very long time now by putting players first and keeping a balanced gaming system. I’d definitely like to hear the thoughts of you Daniel or PS in general on how or why it would be good practice to keep game types unchanged where 95%+ of people are losers, or even 99% if you’re looking at lower stakes included. So I have no problem tbh with VIP programs being reduced long term as long as sustainability is kept in mind and rake is therefore reduced across some formats (or those formats just removed)
[04/11/2015 21:01:21] Phil Shaw: From speaking to other regs in other games:
[04/11/2015 21:02:34] Phil Shaw: Fixed limit games will be hard to sustain at all with the rb cuts to high stakes except the rare ones with a giant whale and even then only the best players will win in those lineups, so most games will die.
[04/11/2015 21:04:28] Phil Shaw: PLO liquidity and games will be hit hard with 5/10+ zoom probably not running and less games at high stakes as they wont be people there to battle or start them etc.
[04/11/2015 21:04:46] Phil Shaw: But maybe more knowledgeable ppl can chime in there
[04/11/2015 21:35:14] Daniel Negreanu: HI Guys, Daniel Negreanu here. Little update on what’s been going on behind the scenes:
[04/11/2015 21:37:25] Daniel Negreanu: I’ve been on calls 6-8 hours a day, about half of those one-on-one with CEO David Baazov. We’ve covered the wide spectrum of issues, but ultimately my main focus is getting him to implement these changes starting Jan 1, 2017 and honor the SNE commitment.
[04/11/2015 21:37:28] Daniel Negreanu: one sec
[04/11/2015 21:37:39] Daniel Negreanu: keep this all private for now.
[04/11/2015 21:41:52] Daniel Negreanu: I’m made some ground on the elimination of the VPPs for high stakes, but that’s secondary to the key issue of integrity in terms of the VIP promises that were made. Again, please don’t share this publicly, but my resignation is obviously in play as much as I’d hope it doesn’t have to come to that. That would be even worse for the players because as of now there is no one else within the company working towards a reversal of these changes. I should add, that I do, as do most reasonable players understand that changes are ESSENTIAL. They just have to happen cause the current system isn’t sustainable. What’s not ok is the fact the changes weren’t adequately communicated to the players in a timely fashion. He disagrees, hence the back and forth I continue to have with him. He also cites that we have done this before as a company, in the French market as well as a change in the way VPP’s were distributed in 2011 I believe, which was announced in Dec. Today I’m gathering information to show him why thats very different. Any feedback on that will be helpful. Here is what I received:
[04/11/2015 21:42:20] Daniel Negreanu: France — VIP Club benefits cut by 32% on average

o Announcement: December 29th, 2011. Effective date 1st of January, 2012

o Link to announcement:…-pokerstarsfr/

· .COM – change from dealt to contributed rake

o Announcement: December 28th, 2011. Effective date 1st of January, 2012

o Link to announcement:…012-a-1145272/

· .COM – 2015 VIP Club changes

o Announcement: October 14th, 2014. Effective date 1st of January, 2015

o Link to announcement:…anges-1481864/

o Quote: “We are considering more significant changes for implementation in 2016. Details will be available in the second half of next year.”
[04/11/2015 21:42:59] Daniel Negreanu: Again, please don’t discuss this publicly at this point. It will only do more damage than good.
[04/11/2015 21:43:21] Daniel Negreanu: I mean specifically, what I have shared of course
[04/11/2015 21:43:45] MouldyOnions: we dont want you to resign daniel, and i think you can salvage this if you approached it from a different point of view
[04/11/2015 21:44:27] Daniel Negreanu: I’m all ears
[04/11/2015 21:44:28] BBZ Staking: Thanks for the update.
[04/11/2015 21:44:29] MouldyOnions: i wish i had something better presented to show you, but ive only had about 20 minutes.
[04/11/2015 21:44:38] MouldyOnions: I think Stars know certain games at certain stakes will die. They are aware lots of games will be completely unbeatable, they have ran simulations on every possible outcome you can think of. So you have to think to the next level up and ask why don’t they care these games will die? The reason is simple, they want them to.

Fun players will go to other game types they supply like spin n gos which are even more profitable for them anyway and don’t require any liquidity. professionals will either quit, attempt to chase the fish harder (which stars are obviously going to try prevent), or move to MTTs which is also a great outcome for stars. Higher guarantees, and lower the massive ROI the average pro has in that field, they can’t lose.

I personally believe they have completely misunderstood how recreational players think about poker. They do not behave the same way as casino players which is where their speciality is, and why they were able to raise $4.8b in the first place.

If you think about how a casino player will look on paper, they are fairly static and simple, all of them enjoy -EV scenarios where they may win something in the short term. They may have a system, but it is almost always irrational with no real proof. This type of player exists in poker too, but not all of them, and how each one thinks as an individual varies significantly more than casinos.

Poker works because you actually can win money and it is a realistic goal because there are clearly people doing it. A lot of them find their way to the game because they have seen evidence of this and from natural self marketing they get the social proof they need to make the dream real. Not to blow your own trumpet Daniel, but you are the reason I found my way to the game from the original WPT. Ivey, Hansen and a few others were equally important. Once you have the player to the game though, the marketing job is not done, and this is what they don’t understand…

Once I started playing online I would see high stakes games run, and think damn, I want to be like that guy (galfond, dwan, townsend etc). I would fish about for a little and lose money, but then I would look at people making a decent living at stakes that were reasonable and look up to them. The dream is there. Until Amaya understand this mindset exists and drives a lot of micro stakes volume they won’t get it. If you kill the winning player, you no longer have the USP which separates you from roulette. Amaya need to be lowering rake at micros so people can naturally experience upswings instead of focusing on killing off a section of players that drive marketing for you.
[04/11/2015 21:45:27] MouldyOnions: you need to make them see, their data doesnt work in this game. there is a reason stars are number 1, and they aren’t getting it.
[04/11/2015 21:46:07] MouldyOnions: dont get me wrong, they need to make changes here, SNE is clearly wrong.
[04/11/2015 21:46:20] MouldyOnions: but they need to take a different view on it.
[04/11/2015 21:46:26] BBZ Staking: I think getting that sort of a reversal via Daniels input is a bit of a stretch.
[04/11/2015 21:46:49] BBZ Staking: And I think I’m in favour of him taking his approach. Fwiw.
[04/11/2015 21:47:25] MouldyOnions: i truely believe in what i just wrote. if you want to get sne reversed for a year thats fine, but i think stars would make more money if they thought about it differently, and thats all they care about.
[04/11/2015 21:47:40] BBZ Staking: Although I agree with the aspirational element you’ve got in mind. Telling David that his plan won’t work and he doesn’t understand what’s going on isn’t something you can expect.
[04/11/2015 21:47:41] BBZ Staking: In my view.
[04/11/2015 21:48:15] Bryan Pellegrino: I also think full reversal is very unlikely at this point from what DN says, I just want to know what will happen to all the dead games.

i.e. if 6max hypers are COMPLETELY unbeatable now, and games just die at $200s+, will they leave them? remove the games? reduce the rake?

Like basically my only question is does stars actually care about the integrity of the poker games themselves
[04/11/2015 21:48:18] Daniel Negreanu: So truth is, there are so many ridiculously amazing promos in store for 2016 that we can’t share. Communication has been awful, just bad news and more bad news for the players. We did have a 18% increase in sign ups this year, but they are obviously losing their deposits at a much faster rate, over 40% faster. Baazov is not the devil. He actually believes these changes will help, and we won’t know for sure until that happens. My main concern and the focus of all my time is not eliminating these changes, it’s delaying them to Jan 1, 2017.
[04/11/2015 21:48:22] MouldyOnions: thats not what i said. i fully agree with what daniel just said, i just think the reason he is struggling to get through to the ceo on even simple moral issues like this is because the ceo is missing the point.
[04/11/2015 21:48:54] Bryan Pellegrino: if with the new changes $1/2 NL is unbeatable for 90-95% of the field (just picked a game out of thin air I dont know how changes affect 1/2 NL). Is stars OK with that, or are they going to actually make efforts to keep the games beatable and fair for people playing them
[04/11/2015 21:49:28] Bryan Pellegrino: if they are then IDGAF about VIP system changes (I mean I think SNE should be honored), but like honestly long term it doesn’t matter if they aren’t just turning poker into a giant casino game that is 48.5% winrate for everybody
[04/11/2015 21:50:04] BBZ Staking: Yeah. And communicating that to someone effectively when that’s their plan and they’ve bet heavily on it is comparable to the tooth fairy or Santa Clause.. Humans don’t work that way. Even smart ones like David Baazov.
[04/11/2015 21:50:15] BBZ Staking: You won’t get a reversal lol.
[04/11/2015 21:51:01] MouldyOnions: daniel do you agree with bbz and i should just go away? i dont want to stand in anyones way, im just trying to present a point. if you feel im off base, then np at all.
[04/11/2015 21:51:01] Daniel Negreanu: His approach, and I think it will work to bring in more players in 2016 than 2015 is based in an aggressive marketing push and absurdly large promotions giving away boatloads of money to the masses. There will be more new unique players on the site next year than this year. I’d bet on that depending on whether or not reversing these changes would delay the implementation of these promotions I can’t share with you
[04/11/2015 21:51:41] BBZ Staking: Yeah I’ve followed his shareholder communications and have gathered that’s the approach. And I think it’s tough to argue with that tbh.
[04/11/2015 21:52:31] Daniel Negreanu: Just so I’m clear, my focus is on delaying the changes to 2017. They are coming for sure. No debating that and I don’t want to spend energy on that. I simply want to focus on honoring the two year promotion that SNE is.
[04/11/2015 21:52:32] BBZ Staking: I do think though that having an assessment of the impact to each game would be something you could look at Daniel…

Certain formats become unplayable as a result. Some of those formats are very popular.. Will they be independently analyzed for rake reductions in isolation? I.e game X becomes unplayable and it gets evaluated?

Because even if players are aware of that being the plan, it brings forward a lot of optimism.

[04/11/2015 21:52:42] BBZ Staking: And the alternative is probably stronger backlash like striking/etc.
[04/11/2015 21:52:46] MouldyOnions: then no problem, carry on.
[04/11/2015 21:52:56] BBZ Staking: Yeah fair enough.
[04/11/2015 21:53:22] BBZ Staking: If I think of anything relevant to your goal of communicating that effectively and getting things postponed I’ll post.
[04/11/2015 21:53:24] BBZ Staking: GL.
[04/11/2015 21:53:49] Daniel Negreanu: The truth is, if for example we brought in 100 million new players the game conditions you experience now would look much different so they would likely be beatable with no VIP program at all. This is just a theory of course
[04/11/2015 21:54:59] MouldyOnions: the micros are unbeatable, thats the issue imo. kill SNE by all means, but until people can win enough to move up the ecosystem, you won’t grow imo.
[04/11/2015 21:56:04] Daniel Negreanu: Again, if you brought in 100 million (silly number I know) new players playing micro, the games would likely be quite beatable. His goal is acqusition of new players but just as importantly retention of those players
[04/11/2015 21:58:14] Javier Tazon: hypers for example all games are at least 5 regs. With just 1 fish ROI avg of a reg is -0.3%. So that kind of games gonna reduce a lot the traffic without a reasonable rakeback
[04/11/2015 21:58:34] BBZ Staking: Does anyone have anything valuable that furthers Daniel’s goal of getting the changes postponed until 2017?
[04/11/2015 21:58:58] Javier Tazon: people doesn’t want to experiment a 300-400k swing for winning 40k per elite
[04/11/2015 21:59:13] BBZ Staking: I think explaining winning player psychology or approaches is moot.
[04/11/2015 21:59:36] Phil Shaw: On 04/11/2015, at 21:51, Daniel Negreanu wrote:
> His approach, and I think it will work to bring in more players in 2016 than 2015 is based in an aggressive marketing push and absurdly large promotions giving away boatloads of money to the masses. There will be more new unique players on the site next year than this year. I’d bet on that depending on whether or not reversing these changes would delay the implementation of these promotions I can’t share with you
Yeah i think what Daniel needs from us is actionable information and arguements to support his case to Bazoff to roll back the cuts
[04/11/2015 21:59:36] BBZ Staking: We’ll have to adapt to the new environment or force changes outside Daniel via some organized striking/etc.
[04/11/2015 21:59:39] Javier Tazon: And is where fishes loses slower.
[04/11/2015 21:59:39] MouldyOnions: nobody is doing that bbz
[04/11/2015 21:59:43] Daniel Negreanu: What do you see as different about this proposed change and the one implemented in the French Market where VIP program saw 32% cuts and it was announced Dec 29 and implemented Jan 1?
[04/11/2015 22:00:10] Phil Shaw: On 04/11/2015, at 21:58, BBZ Staking wrote:
> Does anyone have anything valuable that furthers Daniel’s goal of getting the changes postponed until 2017?
Lets try and focus on this and support it
[04/11/2015 22:00:17] MouldyOnions: yes i agree
[04/11/2015 22:00:20] BBZ Staking: I didn’t know what winning player win rates were on .fr Daniel. My expectation is that they were higher.
[04/11/2015 22:00:47] BBZ Staking: If you can prove that or get data for that point, then that should have some validity. Because if you make changes but games are still immediately beatable.
[04/11/2015 22:00:50] BBZ Staking: By the best players.
[04/11/2015 22:00:55] BBZ Staking: That’s one thing to swallow.
[04/11/2015 22:00:57] BBZ Staking: It’s a pay cut.
[04/11/2015 22:01:03] BBZ Staking: It’s another to say poker is now broadly unbeatable.
[04/11/2015 22:01:10] BBZ Staking: So win rate spreads?
[04/11/2015 22:01:12] Javier Tazon: And how much traffic reduce experimented France after the regulation? I am Spanish and I know the Spanish numbers..
[04/11/2015 22:01:13] BBZ Staking: Across sites?
[04/11/2015 22:01:25] Daniel Negreanu: I’m pushing back on several arguments. Two being the French market cuts and the VIP distribution changes announced in Dec and implemented in Jan. These things did happen, my goal is showing him why its very different
[04/11/2015 22:01:39] BBZ Staking: Right.
[04/11/2015 22:02:45] Daniel Negreanu: Devil’s Advocate, a site cannot guarantee games are beatable. If, for example, all that were left were all players of equal skill, ANY rake would make the games unbeatable.
[04/11/2015 22:03:07] BBZ Staking: Yeah correct.
[04/11/2015 22:03:44] BBZ Staking: There’s a human element to implementing the changes and having a base be receptive to them though was my point that’s contrasted between .com and .fr in my view.

The changes on .fr didn’t render the games uneconomic for the best players and still left aspiration to speak to Ryan’s earlier point.

Here I think they do.
[04/11/2015 22:03:57] BBZ Staking: But I agree with you that acting on that has a bit of a fallacy in it..
[04/11/2015 22:04:06] BBZ Staking: I still think it’s worth mentioning.
[04/11/2015 22:04:25] BBZ Staking: Mostly I think it’s better for David if we all swallow his changes and continue on..
[04/11/2015 22:05:05] BBZ Staking: And respecting that we’re humans in an ecosystem seems ok’ish.
[04/11/2015 22:05:08] BBZ Staking: Beyond that…
[04/11/2015 22:05:26] MouldyOnions: i believe you should adjust the rake depending on how beatable the games are. so in a game where everyone is equal skill, you have 0 rake. but obviously, the nature of such a game wouldnt be appealing for poker anyway.
[04/11/2015 22:05:40] BBZ Staking: Or Amaya, so it’s moot.
[04/11/2015 22:05:41] BBZ Staking: Lol.
[04/11/2015 22:06:14] Phil Shaw: FWIW i agree 100% about the idea of being able to play poker seriously as vital to both recs and regs, otherwise its just another casino format. Im not sure how much Bazoff understands that and if he sees it as just another casino game with a bottom line attached, or if he even cares since from his perspective its better to funnel players elsewhere?
[04/11/2015 22:06:17] MouldyOnions: i was responding to daniel who clearly presented an example.
[04/11/2015 22:07:14] MouldyOnions: i dont feel this chat is going anywhere, and i have nothing to contribute regarding extending the enivitable, so i will back down. good luck to everyone.
[04/11/2015 22:07:17] BBZ Staking: Is this the best we can do for Daniel lol?
[04/11/2015 22:07:43] Daniel Negreanu: moulds, I don’t think that’s a reasonable solution at all. How could a company offer zero rake? There are costs with running a site and a game with zero rake would not work
[04/11/2015 22:08:26] MouldyOnions: they wouldnt daniel, they wouldnt offer a game like that to begin with. i was just answering your example for ho wi would adjust. its clearly not viable in this case for a business, but it is for real poker games
[04/11/2015 22:08:51] BBZ Staking: All we have to answer is why should Amaya postpone their changes?
[04/11/2015 22:09:00] BBZ Staking: We have Daniels reasons.
[04/11/2015 22:09:39] BBZ Staking: I think player psychology is different due to the current competitiveness of the games, (lower winrates) which will result in a less receptive player base to the changes and potentially subscriber losses.
[04/11/2015 22:09:50] BBZ Staking: Daniel can use it or not.
[04/11/2015 22:09:54] BBZ Staking: What else do we have?
[04/11/2015 22:10:23] BBZ Staking: On 04/11/2015, at 22:08, BBZ Staking wrote:
> why should Amaya postpone their changes?

[04/11/2015 22:10:51] MouldyOnions: thats simple. because the negetive press will ruin them.
[04/11/2015 22:10:58] BBZ Staking: Are SNE’s retaining their current multiplier? Isn’t it a part of the expectation that the multiplier carries though the following year?
[04/11/2015 22:11:22] BBZ Staking: Isn’t that broadly understood if not directly communicated?
[04/11/2015 22:11:25] Daniel Negreanu: yes BBZ I would agree
[04/11/2015 22:11:55] Daniel Negreanu: vast majority of $20 depositors don’t even know this is happening, nor do they care
[04/11/2015 22:12:06] BBZ Staking: Yeah I agree with that lol.
[04/11/2015 22:12:56] Phil Shaw: On 04/11/2015, at 21:58, Phil Shaw wrote:
> Im most unhappy with the way its been delayed and spun out this year to keep people playing, and the instability it creates for people over the viability of their careers, as sne if effecively a job for a lot of ppl.

[04/11/2015 22:13:18] BBZ Staking: Yeah I think communication should be improved. So does Daniel.
[04/11/2015 22:13:25] Phil Shaw: I think thats a large sentiment among the snes
[04/11/2015 22:13:27] BBZ Staking: If you scroll up he mentioned that from go.
[04/11/2015 22:13:35] BBZ Staking: But that doesnt help us with this.
[04/11/2015 22:13:41] BBZ Staking: On 04/11/2015, at 22:08, BBZ Staking wrote:
> why should Amaya postpone their changes?

[04/11/2015 22:14:13] BBZ Staking: Lots to be pissed about. And lots you guys can talk about doing aside from this convo with Daniel.
[04/11/2015 22:14:26] BBZ Staking: But for Daniel I think we should focus on this, because I don’t see another way to add value in this situation.
[04/11/2015 22:14:28] BBZ Staking: As it stands presently.
[04/11/2015 22:15:36] Phil Shaw: Sure, but as it stands legally i think they can do what they want, its just a matter of image/pr etc
[04/11/2015 22:15:57] Phil Shaw: and making a case for a years extension
[04/11/2015 22:16:05] Bryan Pellegrino: On 04/11/2015, at 22:02, Daniel Negreanu wrote:
> Devil’s Advocate, a site cannot guarantee games are beatable. If, for example, all that were left were all players of equal skill, ANY rake would make the games unbeatable.

Decent devil advocate’s point but I think it’s also answered above, nobody would have interest in this game and amaya would not and should not offer it

this is the delicate balance of poker games themselves. Take an everybody-equal-skilled game like War and it’s obviously not interesting or offered. Take a super high-skill game with no chance like Chess, and also not offered or interesting to the masses.

The goal for the sites best interest (and ours) is to make something with enough randomness so that everybody has interest in playing it and bad players can beat good players in any isolated incident, BUT the skill gap should still be enough to overcome rake, it shouldn’t be a game that is beaten by no one because everyone loses to rake
[04/11/2015 22:16:39] Daniel Negreanu: I think I have a solid case for it. Been on this 24/7 so unless you guys have anything new I’m going to craft an email and then do another call with David
[04/11/2015 22:16:58] BBZ Staking: GL
[04/11/2015 22:17:02] BBZ Staking: Thanks again for coming in.
[04/11/2015 22:17:22] MouldyOnions: nothing from me, except a good luck and lots of love.
[04/11/2015 22:17:39] Javier Tazon: thank you for your effort, Daniel.
[04/11/2015 22:18:21] Bryan Pellegrino: agreed, thanks and really I think as also mentioned it would go a very long way if Pokerstars just came out with a statement saying they will be working to maintain a fair balance in game types on a case by case basis

i.e. VIP rewards going down but rake will be looked at and adjusted to make sure enough (whatever PS/communities threshold is) players can win at the game that it’s still a viable form of poker under the new changes
[04/11/2015 22:18:27] Bryan Pellegrino: thanks for all the help, and good luck ont he call
[04/11/2015 22:20:59] Daniel Negreanu: Ok guys. Will let you know.


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