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PokerStars Increases Rake on SNGs
October 31, 2014 - 01:05
Hyper Turbo Rake Goes Up 20%
PokerStars announced today that a rake increase of 20% on hyper turbo HUSNGs, as well as increases in most popular forms of SNGs, is imminent. Players have taken to social media and message boards and shown an overwhelmingly negative response to this. Director of Communications for PokerStars, Michael Josem, told the twoplustwo community that these changes would help PokerStars attract new players.
But many players were not buying that reasoning. Fresh off the introduction of Spin and Gos, a lottery style poker game that has proven incredibly popular, but invoked some negativity for the casino like setup of the game and the siphoning of players from heads up sngs, HUSNG players are not happy to see this rake increase. Regular jyg4me, stated on his blog, "PokerStars had such an amazing reputation, and a complete monopoly over the industry, I really question if greed might get the best of them." HUSNG.com user emptyseat said "I am devasted by this announcement." Veteran HUSNG user cdon said "This is a huge blow to hobby grinders & the profitability of online poker in general." $200-300s pro Currr14 said "I'm really worried about the recent changes Amaya has made to PokerStars. Amaya's objectives are clear they would like to eliminate the professional poker player from the games. I feel this will ultimately end poorly for their business as well since people will stop battling other regs as there is no money to be made with the increased rake and smaller edges."
One of the few optimistic remarks came from HUSNG videomaker and software designer, Coffeeyay. "While the rake increase is painful, it certainly does not change the profitability of this format. Hypers will continue to be an incredibly profitable game where after working hard on your game you can achieve very high $/hr with significantly less variance than most other popular formats (MTTs, 6max, etc). So let's not lose our heads of this."
PokerStars was purchased earlier this year in June and officially handed over to Amaya Gaming in August.
October 31, 2014 - 02:11#1
I am also sad to see Coffeyay coment, because he is one of the person who was at Poker Stars to negotiate for better HUSNG conditions .Coffeyay with these coment's defend he's business. Also hypers are harder even single month and with these changing rake system profitabilty are going to be very small - minimal with big variation. Look at my example, my entire year is brake even, with rakeback I'm on small profit, my current result are -255 buy in from ev line for this year and with these changes dont see many possitives to play.
October 31, 2014 - 04:53#2
I'm sorry if my words upset
I'm sorry if my words upset you, but I don't see how you can argue with my point. While no one likes rake going up, if you're beating the games at 3%+ ROI (which again guys I've worked with all have at their stakes) we're looking at a 10% max pay cut, likely less when you include that you'll likely end up with a bit better rakeback since you'll be earning more VPPs.
No one likes to earn less, and obviously 10% is nothing to take sitting down. We should be upset and make it clear to the management that this move is something that hurts us. But at the same time for those willing to work on their games and improve, it won't change the fact that HUSNGs are one of the most profitable formats with one of the lowest variances.
As for the PokerStars meeting, when I was there they made it clear to me that they believed that rake at hypers was too low given the huge influx of regs from other formats, but that they would not increase it as a good will gesture since increasing rake is not popular. It seems that the new management decided we'd had good will for long enough and that if rake was believed to be too low, then it should be raised. This tells me that it is important to express our disdain and make ourselves heard in order to continue discouraging moves like this. That being said though, claiming hypers is dead is really inaccurate.
October 31, 2014 - 05:33#3
I propose we do a residual sitout. Lets slowly erode their bottom line the same way they have ours for years now.We group together everyone who is a gold star vip or higher. Have a 6 day rotational sitout, excluding sundays. More specifically, say we gather 3000 players(an example), we give everyone a day to sit out and (1 out of 6 excluding sundays) . So in this instance we would have 500 players sit out on monday, 500 on tuesday etc... This gives everyone 1 day off a week, does not cost them sunday and fucks over stars b/c the effort is collective and slow. This way SNE grinders are not effected adversely nor are the games insanely soft causing others to cross over the picket line to play during the sitout. In other words we collectively protest as a union of pro/semi pro poker players. We dont need a petition or mass sitout, we simply need an organized effort to gain leverage in a negotiation only coffee is invited to. Either way if we do nothing we will continually subject ourselves to monopolistic abuse. If stars prefers to be uncooperative with us then we will not uncooperative with them. How their bottom line appears to investors is where it hurts and as long we continue to cooperatively erode their cash flow and send those reports to their investors, after a few quarters management might change their tune.
October 31, 2014 - 09:06#4
Hi coffeeyay, can you
can you please explain me that: it won't change the fact that HUSNGs are one of the most profitable formats with one of the lowest variances.
Everybody here writes that the variance is very very high. Now you write that this format is on with the lowest variances.
November 1, 2014 - 18:53#5
Variance is high everywhere
Variance is high everywhere in poker. But HUSNGs have much lower variance than other popular formats. Hyper HUSNGs have more variance than turbos, but much less than 6max or MTTs.
Here's a set of articles that talks about variance in a number of different formats:
The variance in HUSNGs is mostly on a short term basis--your bankroll will fluctuate a lot over the course of an hour, but it stablizes much faster so things like break even months are very rare. In MTTs you can have break even years
October 31, 2014 - 07:28#6
Coffeeyay seems to be in
Coffeeyay seems to be in cloud cuckoo land where every high volume HUSNG player has a 3% ROI.
Wake up cuckooyay.
October 31, 2014 - 09:03#7
I don't put in much volume
I don't put in much volume into poker of late, though was planning on getting busy again, may have to reevaluate after what's going down! Anyway yeah all for any reasonable initiative to have players, both regs and recs, have their voice heard. But saying that I do think the only REAL long term solution to this is for PokerStars to have genuine rivals like it did back in the day! This effective monopoly situation that PokerStars has enjoyed since Black Friday was never a good situation... luckily until now it wasn't generally abused. If some group, either poker players or otherwise that we could trust (I know hard to come by... especially in this business) could get something going and even if the software and game selection were inferior at the onset, which they would inevitably be, if we would still be prepared to support that venture with a decent percentage of our online game time then maybe a rival could be built from the ground up so to speak...I don't think that is going to happen in this uncertain and fractured marketplace but one can dream!
November 1, 2014 - 18:51#8
A 3%+ roi is very achievable.
A 3%+ roi is very achievable. It takes time and dedication put towards study, but having worked with so many players and been part of the HUSNG.com Staking/Coaching program for so long I know that even 4%+ is 100% realistic for those who are dedicated and put the hard work in to become solid.
Of course not everyone has that, and the increased rake certainly hurts those players with lower ROIs more than those players with higher ones, but in the end the only difference between those two groups of players is time and effort put into improvement.
November 3, 2014 - 07:08#9
Wanted to brighten the mood a
Wanted to try and brighten the mood a bit cause all I have seen since the rake increases is people withdrawing their rolls and quitting poker saying its the end etc. 3% is defs achievable, before the 30s on pokerstars started a division and there was less reg warring I had my EVROI over 4% over a 5k sample.
If you are playing on a site like this with a high % of your games vs recs you can certainly achieve a decent EVROI with hard work. Even try turbos where there is more of an edge, 10% EVROI on them is possible if you game select right and dont get involved in ego wars vs regs.
October 31, 2014 - 08:56#10
Hello there, What about for
What about for whom get 1%, 2% ROI from HU Hypers.. the game still continues beatable like before, after increase rake? The pack of Chadders0 that defend aggressive bankroll management (50 Buy Ins to move up and to 35 buy ins to move down) maintains in your opinion? Or that increase rake of 20% makes all the difference?
Coffeeyay, do you think that HU Hypers still will be the top of the profits of all formats SNGs on Leaderboards at Sharkscope in the future after that iminente change?
October 31, 2014 - 17:53#11
RE: Query about 1-2% ROI
RE: Query about 1-2% ROI under old rake with new rake applied you can tweak the calcs posted here:
October 31, 2014 - 18:04#12
One of the few optimistic
One of the few optimistic remarks came from [CONFLICTED] HUSNG videomaker and software designer, Coffeeyay. "While the rake increase is painful, it certainly does not change the profitability of this format. Hypers will continue to be an incredibly profitable game where after working hard on your game you can achieve very high $/hr with significantly less variance than most other popular formats (MTTs, 6max, etc). So let's not lose our heads of this."
Let's call a spade a spade.
November 1, 2014 - 02:23#13
Why do you feel he's
Why do you feel he's conflicted? He has no interest in higher rake. He coaches a lot of players and plays poker as well. Both of those things are better business when the game is large, profitable and thriving.
Yes, he met with Stars (along with Chadders, and JosselTheKiller), but it's not like he works for Stars. He advocated lowering the rake for reg war matches at those meetings, and Stars took the idea the reps came up with and did a smaller version of that for a month trial (but did not renew).
Personally, I feel like any rake increase should've come 2-3 years ago when hypers were gaining profit every year. Now that we've come down some from that peak, a rake increase doesn't make sense to me. Especially since Amaya, Stars' parent company is clearly not hurting for money (Stars made 300-400 mil the last two years and Amaya has them on pace to make more this year).
Of course, they see competitors with high rake generally, and probably feel it makes sense to be more in line with them. We'll see how it goes, Stars got as big as they did by having very player friendly policies which included lower rake than anywhere. I myself have told countless beginners over the years that Stars is the only place to really play because the rake is lowest and games are plentiful. That fact may or may not change, we'll see how other sites do or do not respond, and how PokerStars responds to player concerns (assuming players make their voices heard).
In any case, worse news has happened (Black Friday for example), and HUSNGs actually grew a lot after Black Friday. Not that I think HUSNGs will grow as a result of a rake increase (quite the opposite actually), but my point is that I think players can certainly weather these changes, at least the hard workers.
To be clear, I don't like these changes. It's like getting punched in the face though, you'll survive, you'll weather it, but you're not happy and you're not any better off.
November 1, 2014 - 08:10#14
Conflict is in managing perception not the rake itself
He coaches a lot of players and plays poker as well. Both of those things are better business when the game is large, profitable and thriving.
This is why I believe he is conflicted.
He profits from the perception that the game is profitable and thriving.
He is incentivised to provide an optimistic opinion to increase the perceived value of the products he profits from.
November 1, 2014 - 10:51#15
Exactly I agree, I mean no
Exactly I agree, I mean no offense to Coffeyay and I think he is a great person, but for example he is selling a great tool for HU, if the game dies it's something negative to him.
November 1, 2014 - 16:46#16
That's assuming that
That's assuming that Coffeeyay can influence a lot of people to either keep playing poker or quit poker. Ultimately, I do not believe that is true for any single person in HUSNGs. At the end of the day, money doesn't lie. If a reg is making 50% less bc of changes, it doesn't matter what Coffeeyay or anyone else says. Similarly, if Coffeeyay says games are dying (like many have for many years), that matters none if a player is making same or more profit.
Sure, negativity or positivity can be manipulated, but I don't think that's very true for one single person.
At the end of the day, Coffeeyay is fairly well aligned with any other profitable player or business in HUSNGs. They want to make the most money possible and that only really exists if the game is large and profitable.
November 1, 2014 - 18:47#17
Pay cuts suck. No way around
Pay cuts suck. No way around that--and don't think I didn't have my own personal freak-out and sadness time. But I'm trying to be realistic and point out that it's really not as big as it sounds, and that for most players life will be business as usual (although with a small pay cut).
I'm an optimistic guy in general though, I could see how I'm sounding saccharine to someone more pessimistic, especially since it's all text.
November 1, 2014 - 09:59#18
Coffeeyay: 10% max pay cut?
Coffeeyay: 10% max pay cut? At 1,8-3% ROI (old rake structure) it's 15-25%. Everyone's ROI will be lower with 0,4%. For an 1,5% ROI guy it will be kinda devastating. (+the edge is smaller and smaller)
And nobody talked about it yet here, but raising the rake for the people at 1,5-3,5 is just unfair. (it will be 4% at 1,5$, LOL)
November 1, 2014 - 18:44#19
Here's a link to a post that
Here's a link to a post that has a google spreadsheet with the exact numbers:
As long as your ROI is >2% and you have some VIP level (which will be easier to achieve) you are looking at around 10% or less. I think 3%+ is very achievable with some hard work and dedication, so in the end <10% cut is very realistic.
November 1, 2014 - 23:41#20
Aren't there guys that just
Aren't there guys that just play outside psdotcom and have hyper husng games like 94.45+5.55, 189.9+10.1, 286.3+13.7, and these games will still have much higher rake than the new rake on starsdotcom, but they continue to play on those other sites instead of psdotcom. Is it cuz they're losing money with higher rake???...don't think so.
November 2, 2014 - 13:00#21
There are some sites that
There are some sites that rake very high at HS and have low player rewards. But the volume of players (winning and losing) that play is very low.
There are also sites with high rake, but 60%+ rakeback, which makes their actual rake far less than advertised.
There are some sites that cap rake at $5 or $10 too, which makes HS very playable (yet their volume is fairly low bc low stakes rake is so high and nobody wants to play there).
November 2, 2014 - 13:21#22
I'm new to poker, being
I'm new to poker, being playing for 1 year and a half. And I live in Lyon, France where the rake is very high. But if you work hard you can beat the games. So, I think Coffeeyay is right. Of course losing part of your profit it's never good. But I think that now, the regs that can't make a good profit will have 3 options : a) work harder, b) move down or c) leave the games.
November 3, 2014 - 11:02#23
I just left PokerStars. Not entirely, but I'm not playing there 100% of my grind time and I hope not even 20% of my time will be spent there in the future. Rake was already so abusive in microstakes when I began playing but the softer field of these stakes made it up. Now with division charts all over and reg battles increasing, I guess a massive dropdown on income will affect most players trying to win their spots on higher stakes. Not sure if weak regs will be leaving and this will balance the field, which I definitely don't agree with, or people will just really play massive amounts of games to make it up with the new rake.
January 5, 2015 - 12:42#24
January 5, 2015 - 14:37#25
They reversed the change.
They reversed the change.
January 5, 2015 - 16:07#26
why? have you got more
why? have you got more details?
January 5, 2015 - 18:08#27
I'm really interested in this
I'm really interested in this too.
Did volumes decrease so much that they were actually worse off after the rake increases?
Are they reverting all the changes or just some formats?