Rakeback.com - Don't play poker without it

 

EXCLUSIVE: PokerStars Rake Changes Finalized

By Joss Wood, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer

Occupy PokerStars Rake ChangesPokerStars may run live tournaments in exotic locations, but they work and manage PokerStars from the windswept, wet and rainy paradise that is the Isle of Man. The island is off the west coast of the UK in the Irish Sea, and is as pretty and unspoiled a spot as can be found in the modern world. It also has a regulatory system that is e-gaming friendly.

I’ve spent the last five days there negotiating about the recent rake changes as a player representative.

The invitation came after a torrent of player complaints about the new rake and benefit changes which PokerStars belatedly announced at the end of December. PokerStars listened and has agreed to make extensive changes that reduce the rake for almost all games, confirming their position as the company offering the lowest rake of any major site in the industry.

The Issues

PokerStars introduced substantial rake and benefit changes that changed the way VIP points are awarded from their “dealt” method, to a “weighted contributed” system. Formerly all players dealt into a hand were awarded points based on the amount of rake taken. The new system awards points only to those players who contribute to the pot in proportion to their total contribution. This effectively results in fewer VPPs being awarded to tight players and more to loose players - roughly equivalent to a transfer of benefits from regulars to recreational players, although the total number of points awarded remains the same. The changes particularly affected Supernova (SN) and Supernova Elite (SNE) players.

The player community also raised issues over the viability of certain games and certain levels where disproportionately high rake was seen to be exerting a negative effect on the whole poker economy and deterring new and recreational players.

Microstakes

The biggest changes have been concentrated at the microstakes where the effective rake in bb/100 was at the highest, especially in Pot Limit Omaha. The introduction of new levels at 3c/6c and 8c/16c are designed to make it easier for players to move up in stakes. This should reduce the proportion of regulars playing at the lowest levels and give new players a better experience. The more new players who make poker a continuing interest in their lives, the better the game will be for everyone.

Very High Stakes

At the highest stakes of $25/$50 and above there has been a slight increase in the rake cap. PokerStars still rakes these games at a lower rate than its competitors, and the additional income will be redistributed to provide reduced rake at the levels where most new players start.

Intermediate Stakes

The main change at the intermediate stakes has been an across the board reduction in caps together with a reduction in rake from 5% to 4.5%. The caps become more important at these levels as more pots actually reach the cap, so this will add up to a considerable savings for players.

Supernova & Supernova Elite

The highest volume players were the players most likely to be disadvantaged by the original proposed structure because they play tighter than lower volume players on average. PokerStars has offered a substantial mitigation of this effect.

This year SN and SNE players will have to earn the maintenance level of VPPs for any 10 individual months in the year. They will retain their status at that maintenance level for 10 months automatically. The grinders can actually take a holiday this year!

The VPP maintenance requirements have also been reduced for existing SN and SNE players, who will only have to achieve half the required number of VPPs to retain their VIP status for 2013. For example, a player who made Supernova Elite in 2011 by earning over one million VPPs will qualify for SNE status this year by earning only 500,000 VPPs. A player who made Supernova in 2011 by earning over 100,000 VPPs will qualify for SN status this year by earning only 50,000 VPPs.

Improved Player Communications

PokerStars has decided to start in-person meetings with player representatives twice a year in April and November. Proposed changes can be discussed in advance and implemented changes will be reviewed following implementation.

Who are the PokerStars people?

Everyone we met who worked at a senior level at PokerStars was a poker player. It is clear that they understand exactly how players feel about issues, and I believe that PokerStars is committed to continuously improving its offerings to players. They deeply believe that a healthy game and healthy poker economy is in their best interest as a company.

The thing that surprised me the most was the attitude of Isai Scheinberg, the owner and boss of PokerStars. He is a very clever man with a degree in mathematics from Moscow University (in the mathematics world that’s the equivalent of getting your MBA from Harvard). PokerStars is his baby and he knows every little detail of every aspect of its operations.

What stands out is that he really likes poker players. He loves the game, and he takes a real joy in the successes, trials and tribulations of players and is committed to creating an environment that they like. His aim is to ensure that PokerStars looks after players better than any other company in the business. The idea I proposed that caught his attention the most was to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary by holding a Sunday Billion!

He looked thoughtful for a moment and shrugged. Then he turned to his aide and with his eyes shining said, “Maybe we could do $100,000,000 ...?”.

New Rake Structure

  New Rake Old Rake (2011)

Stake

Players

%Rake

Cap

Players

%Rake

Cap

NL 2

2

3.5%

$0.30

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

3.5%

$0.30

3-4

5.00%

$1.00

 

5-9

3.5%

$0.30

5-9

5.00%

$2.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NL 5

2

4.15%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.15%

$0.50

3-4

5.00%

$1.00

 

5-9

4.15%

$1.00

5-9

5.00%

$2.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  New Rake Old Rake (2011)

NL 6

2

4.25%

$0.50

 

 

 

 

3-4

4.25%

$0.50

 

 

 

 

5-9

4.25%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NL 10

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.00

3-4

5.00%

$1.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$1.50

5-9

5.00%

$2.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  New Rake Old Rake (2011)

NL 16

2

4.50%

$0.50

 

5.00%

 

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.00

 

5.00%

 

 

5-9

4.50%

$1.50

 

5.00%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NL 25

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.00

3-4

5.00%

$1.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$2.00

5-9

5.00%

$2.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  New Rake Old Rake (2011)

NL 50

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.50

3

5.00%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

4-5

5.00%

$2.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$2.50

6-9

5.00%

$3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NL 100

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.50

3

5.00%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

4-5

5.00%

$2.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$2.80

6-9

5.00%

$3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  New Rake Old Rake (2011)

NL 200

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.50

3

5.00%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

4-5

5.00%

$2.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$2.80

6-9

5.00%

$3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NL 400

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.50

3

5.00%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

4-5

5.00%

$2.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$2.80

6-9

5.00%

$3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  New Rake Old Rake (2011)

NL 600

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.50

3

5.00%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

4-5

5.00%

$2.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$2.80

6-9

5.00%

$3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NL 1000

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.50

3

5.00%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

4-5

5.00%

$2.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$3.00

6-9

5.00%

$3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  New Rake Old Rake (2011)

NL 2000

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.50

3

5.00%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

4-5

5.00%

$2.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$3.00

6-9

5.00%

$3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NL 4000

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$1.50

3

5.00%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

4-5

5.00%

$2.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$3.00

6-9

5.00%

$3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  New Rake Old Rake (2011)

NL 5000

2

4.50%

$0.50

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$2.00

3

5.00%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

4-5

5.00%

$2.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$3.00

6-9

5.00%

$3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NL 10000

2

4.50%

$2.00

2

5.00%

$0.50

 

3-4

4.50%

$3.00

3

5.00%

$1.00

 

 

 

 

4-5

 

$2.00

 

5-9

4.50%

$5.00

6-9

5.00%

$3.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  New Rake Old Rake (2011)

NL 20000

2

4.50%

$2.00

2-3

5.00%

$2.00

 

3-9

4.50%

$5.00

4-9

5.00%

$5.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NL 40000

2

4.50%

$2.00

2-3

5.00%

$2.00

 

3-9

4.50%

$5.00

4-9

5.00%

$5.00

  New Rake Old Rake (2011)
Stake Players %Rake $Cap Players %Rake $Cap
.02/.04 2-10 4.50% .01 2-10 5% .04
        HU 5% .50
.04/.08 2-10 4.50% .04 2-10 5% .08
        HU 5% .50
.05/.10 2-10 4.50% .04 2-10 5% .10
        HU 5% .50
.10/.20 2-10 4.50% .10 2-10 5% .20
        HU 5% .50
.25/.50 2-10 4.50% .16 2-10 5% .40
        HU 5% .50
.50/1 2-10 4.50% .40 2-10 5% .50
        HU 5% .50
1/2 2 2% .50 2-10 5% 1
  3-4 3% .80   5%  
  5-10 4% 1   5%  
        HU 5% .50
2/4 2 2% .50 2-3 5% 1
  3-4 3% .80 4-5 5% 2
  5-10 3% 2 6-10 5% 3
        HU 5% .50
3/6 2 2% .50 2-3 5% 1
  3-4 3% 2 4-5 5% 2
  5-10 3% 3 6-10 5% 3
        HU 5% .50
5/10 2 2% .50 2-3 5% 1
  3-4 3% 2 4-5 5% 2
  5-10 3% 3 6-10 5% 3
        HU 5% .50
10/20 2 2% .5 2-3 5% 1
  3-4 2.5% 2 4-5 5% 2
  5-10 2.5% 3 6-10 5% 3
        HU 5% .50
15/30 2 2% 1 2-3 5% 1
  3-4 2% 2 4-5 5% 2
  5-10 2% 3 6-10 5% 3
        HU 5% .50
30/60 2 1% 1 2-3 5% 1
  3-4 1% 2 4-5 5% 2
  5-10 1% 3 6-10 5% 3
        HU 5% .50
50/100 2 1% 1 2-3 5% 1
  3-4 1% 2 4-5 5% 2
  5-10 1% 3 6-10 5% 3
        HU 5% .50
100/200 2 1% 1 2-3 5% 1
  3-4 1% 2 4-5 5% 2
  5-10 1% 3 6-10 5% 3
        HU 5% .50
200/400 2 1% 2 2-3 5% 2
  3-10 1% 5 4-10 5% 5
        HU 5% .50
500/1000 2 1% 2 2-3 5% 2
  3-10 1% 5 4-10 5% 5
        HU 5% .50
1000/2000 2 1% 2 2-3 5% 2
  3-10 1% 5 4-10 5% 5
        HU 5% .50

comments powered by Disqus

Top Rakeback Offers

View all rakeback offers

Check Out These Sites

Join Banc de Binary
>> Bet on asset value changes

Join Option FM
>> Try your skill at trading Bitcoins