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PokerStars Responds to Complaints over PokerStars Partners Affiliate Culling

logo-pokerstars-partnersLast week’s trimming of what have been termed as “unproductive” affiliates drew significant industry attention connected to the nature of the “lifetime” affiliate deals that have long been the standard of the industry, which turn out to be anything but.  In response to FlushDraw’s piece on the affiliate culling of an unspecified number of PokerStars Partners affiliates, PokerStars issued a brief statement directly to FlushDraw, confirming the trimback.

According to a PokerStars representative:

“PokerStars has agreements with thousands of third-party websites (‘affiliates’) to market our services to new players and encourage them to play at PokerStars. PokerStars routinely reviews its agreements with these affiliates to ensure that they are productive for the company. Earlier this week, PokerStars ended the agreements with a very small number of affiliates who were not recruiting many new players, and who were doing little active promotion of our services.”

FlushDraw would like to thank PokerStars for reaching out and contacting us on an issue where online-poker and online-gambling sites — not referring specifically referring to Stars — have traditionally declined to offer comment.  The brief statement confirms the culling while reaffirming one of the conjectured statements in the original piece; namely, that PokerStars, as with most online-gambling sites, expects partnering affiliates to be active in perpetually promoting and growing the market.

Martin Sanermo, the Swedish-based affiliate and owner of the largely UK-facing poker.org, which was among the sites directed to remove its promotional materials for PokerStars, continued his attack on the company on the PokerAffiliateListings (PAL) boards.

Sanermo chastised PokerStars for continuing to attend new industry conferences and purportedly seeking to sign up new affiliates while at the same time getting rid of some of those already onboard.  Sanermo named two Amaya Group Ltd. representatives who are allegedly attending the late-October Barcelona Affiliate Conference, a major industry gathering.  However, and attendance by Stars reps in Barcelina appears to small-scale; neither Amaya Group Ltd. (formerly Rational Group), nor the two specific affiliate partnership programs it oversees, PokerStars Partners and Full Tilt Partners, are listed as sponsors of the event.

Sanermo posted the following at PAL in direct response to the Stars statement, which also appeared elsewhere.  (FlushDraw apologizes to our readers for technical difficulties which resulted in some weekend downtime for the site.)

We were not given a single warning. Furthermore, although we did not send them tons of players, I highly doubt that there are thousands of affiliates who are doing better.

The only thing I can take from this is that if you get a substantial amount of players, and down the road (for whatever reason) don’t send as many, they will terminate your account. No warnings given.

In other words, if your old players to new players ratio is not satisfying them, you’re out. Remember this next time you make a commitment with PokerStars.

Other affected affiliates confirmed their own affiliate terminations, including Daniel Moravec of Las Vegas-based Best Odds Corp.  Moravec, a well-known veteran famous for his aggressive tactics toward other affiliates, stated that he received initial notification “according to the affiliate manager Ryan Harper, for predatory reasons,” before receiving his officila 7-day termination notice, which he duly posted.  (Moravec was featured in a FlushDraw two-parter earlier this year for his enforcement attempts regarding a highly suspect — and likely spurious, in this writer’s opinion — trademark claim over the term “Mac poker“.

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