Unusual press release suggests trouble brewing with PokerStars' Asian partners

Jon Pill
Posted on: November 27, 2020 13:00 PST

It appears that 6UP is looking to sue Flutter Entertainment over its hasty withdrawal from their shared market.

6UP was PokerStars's biggest partner in the Eastern markets, until Flutter took Stars over and dropped China, Macau, and Taiwan from their rosters. They gave players a couple of weeks to clear out their accounts. But from the 1st September onwards, accounts registered in those jurisdictions couldn't get a seat on the Stars software.

6UP's press release states that: "6UP will authorize legal action against PokerStars' parent company, Flutter Entertainment, to prove that the terms and agreements reached are reasonable, seek compensation for loss of goodwill and profits, and stand up for the rights of Asian players."

Curioser and curioser

The press release has a few unusual features that muddy the situation.

The first is that the press release, though signed by 6UP was issued by the EQS Group. Public records do not appear to show the relationship between EQS and the two poker sites.

We have reached out to EQS to request some clarification of their role in this matter, but have yet to hear back from them.

There are also quirks in the language used. Some of these suggest a non-professional writer or translator. For example, in the release, PokerStars itself "was considered to be an exploitation of 6UP," and is accused of ignoring both "the Asian version of players" and their "interests and interests."

In other places, the choice of language is oddly non-specific for a piece of professional content. "legal action" could mean a great many things, and the release refers elsewhere that this is all "according to reliable sources," without giving any hints as to who they might be.

The release has some similarities to a recent 2+2 thread, in which similar claims of upcoming legal action were threatened.

In this thread, two users named "jena" and "pokerninja88" both echoed the "reliable sources" wording. The structure of these users' posts and the press release are similar. Commenters in that thread were quick to assume that the posters (each of which have just two posts to their name) were employees of 6UP.

None of this is conclusive of shenanigans but it does seem highly irregular.

Some kind of fight

With Stars as their partner, 6UP was the only real challenger in the Eastern markets to GGPoker. Many saw this as Stars giving up. Letting the new guy in town take over. But 6UP has been left in the lurch according to this. Though there are some hints that this might be more of a P.R. battle than a legal one.

The 6UP site still (at the time of writing) rather forlornly advertises its association with PokerStars, various upcoming tournaments, and events with Red Dragon Poker, one of its own spin-offs.

It seems clear that someone was put out by PokerStars' exit from the market. It could be a P.R. stunt by disgruntled players, or the first move in a legal battle company-to-company. Which of these two options it turns out to be will probably remain unclear until papers are filed with the courts or Stars makes a counter-statement.

We will keep you updated as this story develops.

Featured image source: Twitter