By Joss Wood, Rakeback.com Staff Writer
A high number of grinders made a living from the paid-weekly 27% rakeback program on the old Full Tilt, but with the re-launch looming, a degree of uncertainty exists regarding the future of that system.
How will the new management handle the rakeback system? Will it be eliminated and replaced with PokerStars-style VIP rewards?
Additionally, will players who unknowingly signed up without rakeback be given a chance to take advantage of any future program?
Five distinct possibilities exist, and in no particular order they are:
In an effort to convey continuity and a sense of 'restoration', Full Tilt could simply reinstate the old scheme. People with rakeback would continue to get their monthly cash back, while new players who sign up through Rakeback.com would also receive 27%. However, old players (like me) who missed out would be out of luck.
Possibility #2: The Big Tent Strategy - Include Everyone
Revolution Gaming bought the old Cake Poker network and instituted an hourly rakeback model where every player is entitled to rakeback. What’s more, the rate is 36% regardless of volume. As the saying goes, you attract more flies with honey than vinegar, so it's entirely possible that Full Tilt would give all players 27% (or more) rakeback regardless of how/when they signed up.
Possibility #3: Follow the PokerStars Model
PokerStars might just go for a straight copy of their own VIP program. Instead of Supernova Elite, players might work towards an equivalent value 'Iron Man Elite'.
Clearly those in charge of Pokerstars knew what they were doing as they built the world's largest poker site, so why not standardize the approach across both rooms? This approach could be the death knell of traditional rakeback, and would force players looking for cash rakeback towards smaller sites.
Possibility #4: Hybrid: Grandfather Existing Players
Even if we do see a hybrid of the PokerStars VIP program, FTP may also keep the old Iron Man scheme and 27% rakeback. Existing players would get to continue on as normal so as to not make any further waves with players and affiliates alike, but newbies would be on a new PokerStars VIP-style scheme.
It's no secret that PokerStars has always (accurately) fancied itself as a "serious poker site", hence no casino, sportsbook, or gambling of any kind. However, in line with a general industry move towards building a recreational player model, PokerStars could shift the benefits down the volume ladder and make the Full Tilt deal especially attractive for new and low volume players.
Just as automobile companies offer high-end and low-end models, PokerStars could maintain its high-brow image, while taking advantage of the segment of the poker population who feed the poker economy.
Benefits at Full Tilt were a combination of rakeback, Iron Man medals and the Black Card program, which generated substantial cash and bonus rewards for high volume players. Those without rakeback only got the VIP benefits - this two tier economy is the way many rooms worked back then, but the poker world has changed.
PokerStars has always adopted a policy of treating every player the same. There is no privileged sub-group on a better deal. The only way to get more rakeback is to earn it by putting in the volume. As Full Tilt’s new owners, PokerStars has to decide whether to follow their own model or restore a version of Full Tilt’s old scheme.
So which possibility do you think is most likely? Share this article on Facebook to discuss with your friends and vote in our poll!
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