The new PokerStars rewards system, logically named Stars Rewards, went live for players in Denmark last week; it should be available to Italians shortly. It is a significant departure from VIP program the world’s largest online poker room had previous and to this point, reviews are not good.
Stars Rewards begins with reward points, which are earned at the rate of 100 points for every $1 paid in cash game rake or tournament fees. It is important to note that points are NOT earned at No-Limit and Pot-Limit cash game tables with blinds $5/$10 and up or Fixed-Limit games with stakes of $20/$40 and up. High stakes cash game grinders are shit out of luck.
Points can also be earned wagering in the sports book and the online casino, but we will focus on poker in this article.
As players earn points, a progress bar – which can be viewed at all times – fills up. When it fills completely, the player unlocks a Chest. From the discussion on the internet forums, it appears that the number of points needed to unlock a Chest varies from player to player. In fact, here we are – PokerStars does give a vague explanation:
Reward point requirements depend on the Chest type you are playing towards, but are also personalised based on your profile. Some of the factors which impact points requirements are recent activity, game-type and net deposits.
If you’re earning one Chest per session or fewer (i.e. if your last four Chests of the same type were each earned on different days) we’ll make sure the points targets for your progress bars remain achievable so you won’t miss out on regular rewards – and the chance of winning a big prize!
There are six different color Chests: Red, Blue, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. It seems that as a player earns multiple chests in a single day, the color changes. Each color has a maximum value: Red and Blue are $100 max, Bronze and Silver are $500, and Gold and Platinum are $1,000.
The contents of the Chests are random, but are tailored to the player (poker players will receive poker-related rewards) and the more valuable chests will average better rewards. Rewards can be things like cash, tournament tickets, StarsCoin, and points to the next Chest.
The value of the Chests is determined by pre-set probabilities, displayed on the PokerStars website. Generally, the prizes seem to be crap. For instance, one-third of the time, the value of the Red Chest will be 6 cents. It will almost always be 60 cents or less, with a 1 in 10,000 chance of being $100. The most valuable Chest, Platinum, has a top prize (1 in 10,000 chance) of $1,000, and a value of less than $20 a full 90 percent of the time.
Players can also receive “Boosts,” which accelerate the points earning rate for a limited time. New boosts can be started 8 hours after the completion of the previous one.
As mentioned, Italy is next on the list to get the new Stars Rewards program, with the rest of the PokerStars markets coming this summer.