Alex Dreyfus Addresses PokerStars

December 1st, 2014 | by Brian Corlisse
Dreyfus writes an open letter to Amaya.

Dreyfus pleads with PokerStars

The CEO of the Global Poker Index (GPI), Alex Dreyfus, might be in the middle of trying to “sportify” poker, but he recently found time to pen a letter to Santa Claus or, as he calls the man in red, “SantAmaya”.

Leading with a double reference to Black Friday, Dreyfus uses his fabricated letter to Santa as a way of addressing some of the community’s recent concerns with the direction Amaya is taking PokerStars. Following the departure of Victoria Coren from the site’s roster of sponsored pros, Dreyfus claims that a number of players have written to him to express their concern at the recent changes taking place at the world’s largest poker site. 

Seriousness Through Humor

Although the GPI’s head honcho stops short of criticizing PokerStars, moreover Amaya, he does state that he hopes certain things will happen in 2015. Of course, the tone of the open letter is tinged with humor; however, the sentiments expressed are certainly not made in jest.

One of the biggest concerns Dreyfus seems to have is that Amaya could be forgetting the principles on which PokerStars was built. Quoting the site’s famous advertising slogan “find the poker star in you”, Dreyfus urges the site not to forget the “poker” in itself.

While the letter could be seen as a self-serving critique of PokerStars, the intent of the letter appears to be a defense of poker players and the community at large.

I wish for PokerStars to realize that its rake increase will affect the lives of Poker Ambassadors, the Heroes. These are inspirational individuals for casual/ recreational players,” wrote Dreyfus.

Do it the Right Way

As well as outlining the direction he hopes Amaya doesn’t take with PokerStars, Dreyfus also explains that he’d like to see a sports book introduced in 2015, but only if it’s done effectively. Citing previous platforms that have faltered when it comes to sports betting, Dreyfus believes quality over quantity should be the aim when it comes to building the site’s overall offering.

So far the community’s reaction to the piece has been mixed, but there’s no doubt Dreyfus has touched on some of the recent concerns players across the world have expressed with regards to PokerStars’ recent changes. Whether Amaya and PokerStars listen, however, remains to be seen.

Extract from Alex Dreyfus’s Letter to SantAmaya

“I wish for PokerStars to not forget poker in 2015. Your line was ‘Find the Poker Star in you.’ Hopefully you’ll not forget to find the ‘poker in you’.

I wish for PokerStars to remember that poker is the foundation of the company, and sometimes the time spent on diversification may eventually affect its grassroots, stopping innovation that’s needed to continue creating growth in your market.

I wish for PokerStars to realize that its rake increase will affect the lives of poker ambassadors, the heroes. These are inspirational individuals for casual/recreational players.

I know that you make the best decisions for the company, for its shareholders, but I wish you to remember that the journey is long. Long term decisions will always pay better than short term ones.

I wish for PokerStars to acquire a Sportsbook (along with a strong casino), but do so without making the mistakes made by party.bwin and Betclic-Expekt-Everest.  Please SantAmaya, remember what Mrs. Claus always said: Bigger is not always better.”


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