July 2017 has been a busy month for poker forum contributors and lurkers alike, with a number of high profile threads making their way into the media spotlight as posters submit feedback on several hot-button industry topics.
Here is a look at the biggest poker news stories currently competing for front page consideration on the Two Plus Two News, Views & Gossip forum.
WSOP 2017 and PokerGO
Day 6 of the WSOP Main Event has begun with 85 players still vying for a final table spot in poker’s marquee yearly event. For the first time in a decade, onlookers won’t have to wait several months to find out who the champion is. A two-day break is scheduled this coming week and the entire final table is set to play out this Thursday-thru-Saturday (July 20th-22nd).
Those looking for an entertaining way to keep up with the televised coverage while submitting feedback for the WSOP, ESPN and Poker Central should look no farther than the NVG board. PokerGO is being supported by several big name players who have performed live commentary duties for the streamed show throughout this year’s Series.
It will be interesting to see how well an upcoming revamp of Poker After Dark is received by Two Plus Two’s forum contributors over the next few months.
PokerStars Rewards Launch
The years’ long obliteration of the PokerStars VIP Club cashback rewards system may not have fully sunk-in as of yet, but the company’s July 2017 front end product is certainly more in-line with Amaya executives’ vision for what recreational players want. Huge rakeback percentages for professional and/or high volume customers were too old-timey if you ask the decision makers at The Stars Group.
The new PokerStars Rewards program thread has been viewed over 160,000 times (with more than 1,400 replies) and features overwhelmingly negative feedback from many longtime players on the world’s largest poker site. That’s actually an intended consequence of corporate shot-callers who are aiming to make online poker less attractive for professional gamblers, but will this brand of “protection” legitimately bring in more casual players? Will PokerStars Chests become just as popular as CS:GO crate opening videos, or come across as a “Bad Luck” Fallout 4 skill tree with no ability perks?
Those in favor of the changes believe they will entice new players, while skeptics point towards a video game savvy 18-25 demographic that already has high expectations when it comes to paying real money in exchange for Time on Machine Entertainment. The PokerStars system suffers from a clear lack of transparency and informed customer retention that directly conflicts with the conviction-based marketing heralded by many of today’s high profile independent personalities.
Moreover, the publicly-traded entity’s stock price dropped more than 50 percent from November 6th, 2015 (days after the company announced it wouldn’t honor cashback loyalty payments it had marketed to its highest volume players) to January 29th, 2016 (days after a small group of veteran players released a public statement on the topic) before mostly recovering. Amaya’s stock price is down approximately 17 percent since May 12th of this year (SOURCE: Google Finance), which was one week prior to the Chests format being revealed.
Meanwhile, PokerStars is banking on a potential deal with government officials in India for access to that country’s mobile user market — estimated to be around 1.2 billion — by the end of 2017. Negotiations are currently in progress according to the site’s top brass.
Matthew Janda’s New Book
Upswing Poker featured pro Doug Polk personally recommends Matt Janda’s Applications of No Limit Hold’em book, which was originally released to the public in 2013. Janda’s new paperback, No Limit Hold’em for Advanced Players, is currently on sale in the Two Plus Two Store with free shipping provided within the United States.
Poker players looking to improve their skills can check out the following thread created by 2+2 Top Dog Mason Malmuth for details and pricing on the site’s Updated Book Specials.
Matt Kirk vs. Leon Tsoukernik
King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik is being sued by Australian rounder Matthew Kirk for an alleged debt of $2 million which stems from a May 27th live game loan. According to court papers filed by Kirk’s defense attorney David Chesnoff, Tsoukernik repaid $1,000,000 (of four loans totaling $3 million) on June 3rd, but has refused to make good on the remaining balance.
The Leon Tsoukernik Subpoenaed Thread already has more than 10 pages of replies as forum contributors weigh-in on the dispute.
Doug Polk YouTube Channel
Doug Polk will soon hand out $30,000 in giveaway cash live on Facebook as part of his 2% WSOP Net Profit Giveaway. Time is running out to Get a Piece of Team Upswing’s WSOP Winnings.
The giveaway drawing will be streamed tomorrow at 7pm PST on Facebook.
10 people will win $500, 1 person will win $25,079.98.
— gN Doug Polk (@DougPolkPoker) July 16, 2017
If you’d like to see what NVG goers have to say about Doug’s social media content, read the Doug Polk’s YouTube Videos Thread that shows the three-time WSOP bracelet winner’s uploads in chronological order… complete with viewer feedback.
(Note: Collaborate directly with two of the best minds in poker. Join the Upswing Poker Lab strategy course today and start dominating the action at your tables!)
David Huber (known as “dhubermex” online) has been involved in the poker industry for more than a decade. He currently assists several poker and gaming entities as a researcher, writer, and consultant. Former Editor-in-Chief & Head Moderator of online tournament rankings site PocketFives (2006-2011).