Originally Posted by Yoshi63
It's a minor concern in the short-term, but long-term not really. They only have a monopoly because they do things the best. They already have plenty of competition from other sites. If they start doing stuff like that, there aren't barriers-to-entry to prevent the competition from stealing their customers.
Exactly. There are other sites out there. I have accounts at 888 and Party, and while these are both currently a far worse offer for me than Stars, they are still good enough to keep stars in check even now.
Still, poker is a weird market. A few years ago, I played on 888/Pacific exclusively, and only because of the incredible amount of fish on that site (I am a serious recreational player). I had a reg I played and conversed with a lot, who was playing a cool 45/11 style (I sat to his immediate left often and won a few k$ off of him alone). It dried up as others found their way to it.
Things will always balance out in poker because of the dynamics.
Currently Stars have a BIG advantage because of
(1) They are the biggest
(2) Best software -- I played a bit on Party again tonight and boy does it suck.
(3) Reliability -- many people, even those not so much in the know, will have picked up on the fact your money may not be so safe on poker sites. Stars has an aura of reliability that is unmatched.