PokerStars Tweaks Rake, VIP Bonus Structure
Fixed limit rake has been slightly reduced and FPP bonuses made more attainable on PokerStars according to a statement today by Lee Jones, “Home Games” Manager at the online poker room.
The announcement, published on the 2+2 poker forums, is in response to a recent round of player meetings in March and customer feedback on the forums.
Fixed limit rake at $1/2 and $2/4 will be reduced, with the caps at 3-4 handed dropping from 80c to 70c and those at 5+ handed also cut.
The size of VIP bonuses will also go down, along with their corresponding FPP cost. The value is unchanged, but it will mean players can cash in FPPs sooner. For example, Supernova players normally have to save up 250k FPPs to convert them at a 0.016 rate and receive a $4k bonus; this has been lowered to a $1600 bonus and a cost of 100k FPPs. Similar reductions have been made at all VIP tiers.
The changes are expected to come into effect on June 1.
The fixed limit reductions comes following large scale rake changes made in February following player consultations at the beginning of the year. Although rake was reduced at most low- and mid-stakes, $1/2 and $2/4 suffered and some reported rake increasing at full tables. This change looks to address this anomaly.
“There have been a bunch of posts claiming that since our rake structure changes in February, the effective rake has actually gone up,” he wrote. “Well, we’ve gone back and analyzed the rake changes we made and how they’ve affected the overall customer base.”
According to the data, 88.8% of players during the sample week paid less rake thanks to the changes.
“Bottom line: the rake has gone down for a huge majority of players,” he added, citing further data posted back in February corroborating the rake reduction claim. “The rake changes we made in February after the player meetings, which were quite substantial for micro stakes, resulted in about a 3% reduction in total rake. We have reconfirmed that the reduction of VIP rewards we paid due to weighted contributed (WC) is between 1.5% and 2.0% of total rake.”
The information is unlikely to placate those staunchly opposed to the changes and critical of the way PokerStars handled the issue.
“People don’t like 'having the wool pulled over their eyes’,” one long-time 2+2 poster “Perfection” wrote, claiming PokerStars misled players regarding the original changes. “[2+2 posters] believed Stars were above that. But the events of Dec/Jan proved otherwise and were something we would have expected of less reputable companies.”
PokerStars rejects the idea that any players were misled, citing announcements made on public forums just prior to the switch informing players of the changes.