As the calendar page turned to October, PokerStars launched its new (“and improved”!) PokerStars Rewards loyalty program. Available on most Stars sites around the world, the update comes after three months of testing with about a fifth of the company’s player base.
“Listening to community feedback, we know our players want more rewards, more ways to earn rewards, more transparency and simplicity,” said Severin Rasset, managing director of poker at PokerStars. “Our recent trial program was not only very positively received – overall we saw a 78% jump in satisfaction scores for the players participating, but it also gave us more ideas about how to make it even better.”
One of the key improvements to the program, according to the poker room, is that it is much more transparent than before, much easier for players to understand their progress. There will no longer be any confusion as to what a player’s targets are and what rewards can be earned. Levels and their progress bars are clear as day, and the site shows players exactly how many chests they still need to earn to hit the next level.
The six chest levels, in ascending order, are: Blue, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, and Black. Every chest has a fixed value, depending on level.
PokerStars says the new iteration of the rewards program offers more value, up to 65% in total rewards. That number is comprised of 25% for players in the “core” program and as much as 40% for those who qualify for the Monthly Challenges.
All poker games will provide rewards, both cash games and tournaments. On top of that, players can earn rewards with any Stars products, including casino games and sports betting.
I am admittedly not intimately familiar with the PokerStars Rewards program, as I am not able to play on the site. Were this pre-Black Friday, I would know all of the ins and outs by heart. What I do know, however, from writing about Stars’ loyalty system in the past, is that it has skewed to the more confusing end of the scale, so any changes to simplify it and make it more transparent should be welcomed by players.
It might be nice to not have to deal with chests and what-not and just have a straight points-to-rewards-type scale, but at the same time, the chests system was PokerStars’ way of “gamifying” rewards, which can certainly be fun. It can keep players engaged with incremental goals and for many, that grinding, that sense of progression, is enjoyable. And as long as it is no worse than an alternative, non-gamified system, it’s fine.