Earlier this month, rising online poker room GGPoker overhauled its Fish Buffet loyalty program, introducing new “Black” ranks with fixed weekly cashback up to 60%.

The new Black ranks come as an expansion of its previous Fish Buffet program, offering players rewards with a flat cashback option and weekly payouts.

There are four new Black Ranks starting at Black Fish awarding cashback at a 20% rate with the highest level Black Shark promising 60% flat cashback. These Black ranks are maintained for a year and require certain points to retain them.

The rankings are based on FPs (Fish Points). Players earn FPs every time they play real money poker or wager on casino games. Currently, players on average, earn 100 points for every $1 they generate in rake.

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But this factor is based on an unknown value dubbed Player Value Index (PVI) that categorizes players based on their playing style, net withdrawals and various other factors. The value of the PVI ranges from 0 to 2. It is believed that recreational players have a value close to 2 while high volume players have less than 1.

“On average, players will be rewarded 100 Fish Buffet points for every $1 paid in rake and [tournament] fees,” the site states. However, “this value may vary based on a variety of factors, such as but not limited to, game type or tournament played, player behavior at tables, and deposit history.”

The new Black system incentivizes players to put in more volume, a throwback to old rakeback-style systems where players were rewarded flat cashback in proportion to the amount of rake or fees they paid at the tables. The more they play, the bigger the rewards.

GGPoker Fish Buffet Black Ranks

Rank Rewards Cashback Rate Duration Required FPs to Renew
Black Shark (Highest Tier) $1 per 167 FP 60% 1 Year 5,000,000 FP
Black Whale $1 per 200 FP 50% 1 Year 1,750,000 FP
Black Octopus $1 per 285 FP 35% 1 Year 750,000 FP
Black Fish (Lowest Black Tier) $1 per 500 FP 20% Lifetime No Requirement

Previously, the Fish Buffet program offered players up to a maximum of 50% average rakeback, starting at the “Plankton” level and going up to “Shark.” Each of these levels was to be completed with a timeframe ranging from 24 hours to 30 days.

However, upon completing a level by earning enough points, the prizes are determined randomly with a spin on a wheel consisting of four to five different prizes. It is possible to even earn 100% percent cashback on rake at higher levels in this system.

This randomized mechanism still exists, but the new Black levels are for those who prefer flat cashback as a weekly payout with no randomization or wheel spin involved. Plus, now players have year-long requirements to maintain Black Rank status.

However, players must be Shrimp or higher level to move to Black rankings with flat cashback. Players that achieve Black Fish can now receive 20% cashback for life. GGPoker also allows players to move back and forth between the two systems, thus allowing flexibility.

The Fish Buffet program now consists of 24 different levels with each level having different FP and time limit requirements.

The entry-level is Plankton which rewards 15% cashback on average. Players now need to earn 700 FP to unlock their entry-level reward that ranges from $0.75 to $2. However, now players get 7 days to complete this level instead of 24 hours.

The mid-level Crab tier awards anything from $12 to $60 for 12,000 FP while the Shark – the highest tier – rewards prize between $750 to $7500 for 750,000 FP.

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Fish Buffet Changes Overview:

  • New Black Ranks introduced offering a fixed cashback with the weekly payout on Mondays
  • Maximum rewards on average have increased from 50% to 60%
  • The old randomized mechanism rewards system is still available
  • Players can move back and forth between both systems
  • Players now earn fish points for playing casino games as well

The loyalty program has been revamped as GGPoker seeks to capitalize on the upward trajectory and attention it has been receiving following the phenomenal success of the WSOP 2020 online bracelet series.

The WSOP series brought in a huge influx of new players to the site. In fact, even before the WSOP series was announced, the network was showing steady signs of growth.

The new rewards system is expected to further strengthen its position in the market and allow it to better compete with the long-standing leading online poker room, PokerStars.