Opinion: Stars Should Muck Parts of Their FTP Affiliate Policy

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Wanted to quickly point people to an article I put together for QuadJacks this week.

The gist: PokerStars recent decision to shut out former Full Tilt Poker affiliates from the new Full Tilt contains a troubling policy that will, in many cases, result in PokerStars paying out less than full balances to FTP players.

I don’t have a problem with Stars not paying outstanding affiliate debt.  That’s legitimate.  I also don’t have a problem with Stars untracking players from affiliates (which, it should be noted, is not something the company has explicitly said it plans to do).

My only problem is with the proposal to claw back funds that affiliates had already been paid by FTP.   As I wrote at QJ:

Funds derived from affiliate earnings are player funds.

To me, this is basically self-evident. Full Tilt Poker paid affiliates via player account transfers (this was the only option available to affiliates). Once the money went from Full Tilt to the player account,it became player funds. The money is, for all intents and purposes, no different than money deposited by the player or transferred to the player by a friend.

Read the whole thing.

I think this is a really nasty move on the part of PokerStars, and I think they’re getting off pretty lightly.  I also think it sets a very poor precedent regarding what type of behavior players are willing to put up with from poker sites – specifically the world’s largest (real-money) poker site.

If you feel the same way, I strongly encourage you to spread the word about this policy to other players.

For those wondering, this decision by Stars has absolutely zero financial impact on me personally.  I just think it stinks.

- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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