We have been hearing from PokerStars about its new rewards program for what seems like a decade now, but according to a post on the PokerStars blog Wednesday, it looks like players will finally get to see it in action soon. PokerStars Director of Poker Innovation and Operations Severin Rasset said that by the end of this month, the new system, called Stars Rewards, will be rolled out to Denmark with Italy to follow shortly thereafter. Later this summer, most of the rest of PokerStars’ markets will have Stars Rewards up and running.
The Stars Rewards program, per the blog post, will involve “Chests,” each of which will contain a prize. Players can earn Chests through play in any game – poker, casino games, or sports betting. Aside from that general idea, Rasset did not specify exactly what it will take to earn a Chest, but one would think it wouldn’t be all that different to how rewards are earned now, through raked hands, VIP Player Points (VPPs), or something similar.
To make the journey towards earning Chests potentially more attractive, PokerStars “gamified” the process by implementing a progress bar which shows how close a player is to earning the next Chest. It is a concept virtually anyone who has ever played a mobile game or many modern video games should be familiar with – these games incentivize us to play by dangling a future reward in front of us and displaying our continuing progress toward that goal. As players get closer to that goal – in this case, a Chest – they tend to accelerate their play.
Rasset explained in the blog post what sorts of rewards players can expect:
Chests will offer a variety of rewards including StarsCoin, free sports bets, tournament tickets, casino instant bonuses, and more, all personalised to reflect your gameplay. For example, a tournament player will predominantly receive tournament money or tournament tickets, whereas a sports-bettor would receive free bets. You will also earn StarsCoin from Chests, and will continue to be able to redeem them in the store at the same rate for cash rebates, tickets, merchandise, and more.
That’s cool. There’s nothing worse for a cash game player than receiving tournament tickets (well, getting coolered with K-K versus A-A is worse, but you get my point).
The value of rewards in the Chests will vary, too, with a chance for players to receive a “big top prize” like $1,000 cash, 1 million StarsCoin, or a travel and tournament package for a live PokerStars Championship event.
Every day, there will be short periods of time in which players will receive a Stars Rewards “boost.” During these times, progress towards the next Chest will be sped up. As is the case with most of Rasset’s blog post, that’s about all the detail we are being given on the matter, but one might expect to receive double the normal rewards points (or whatever the counting method is) during a boost period, or something to that effect.