By James Spillane, Rakeback.com Staff Writer
Over the past year PartyPoker has been trending towards more of a recreational player focus, beginning with the removal of NL and PLO stakes above $5/$10 in June 2012.
In November of that year some game selection filters were disabled in the client. January 2013 saw Party rakeback capped at 30% instead of 50% as the Palladium Elite VIP level was discontinued, and in March the playerpool was partially segregated to protect recreationals from sharks.
This latest change sees some higher end bonuses - an incentive for strong players to grind high volume and multitable - take longer to attain, including the removal of the popular $3,000 bonus for 20,000 points.
Prior to changes made to the PartyPoints Store in the last few days, this was Party's bonus rewards table:
Instant cash options were also available, although these offered less value than bonuses. Some Palladium Elite instant cash options remained. These were still capped at 30%, in the absence of the 50% rakeback equivalent bonuses once achievable at that level.
Changes now apply at the Palladium level, including the removal of the $3,000 bonus, replacing it with a $5,000 bonus requiring twice the rake to attain. 30% value now comes in the form of a $15,000 bonus requiring five times the rake. Achieving the same value now takes longer for high volume players.
Support has confirmed that the instant cash option is no longer available at any VIP level.
This move by PartyPoker is in contrast to for example PokerStars which in 2012 made it easier to purchase bonuses at all levels including for high volume Supernova VIPs. Full Tilt Poker have announced the return on July 1st of Black Card and its high tier bonuses, a favorite of professional players.
U.S. facing rooms like Americas Cardroom & Red Star Poker pay flat rakeback of 27% - 36% to players every week, regardless of volume. Even playing just one $10+1 tournament, 27 cents rake is reimbursed.
The games at PartyPoker are certainly more beginner-friendly with many mass-tabling regs leaving as a result of these changes - however as those beginners become more experienced the question arises whether softer games are worth it given lower rewards, and a segregation method the exact details of which are still unknown.
Up to 30% Rakeback + €1000 Bonus
Up to 70% Rakeback + None Bonus
Up to 22.2% VIP Rakeback + $500 Bonus
Up to 30% VIP Rakeback + $600 Bonus
Up to 30% Rakeback + $1000 Bonus
Up to 27% Rakeback + $1000 Bonus