Ten days later than planned and just four days before the changes will go in to effect, PokerStars has announced rake changes to ring games and changes to the VIP program.
As expected, the biggest and most controversial change is the switch to weighted-contributed method for calculating rewards. The change is expected to adversely affect high-volume players.
Also announced is a switch to a pure percentage-based rake calculation, replacing the more complex stepped increments currently in use. Caps and rake percentages have been tweaked which, according to PokerStars figures, will significantly reduce the rake in micro-stakes games.
There have been increases as well – to make them “more consistent across different stakes, game types, and currencies” according to the announcement – particularly in some short-handed CAP games.
Along with rake and structure changes, there were other poker room announcements – including the confirmation that the new licensed poker rooms of Belgium, Denmark and Estonia will share the international player pool as expected. The rewards programs may differ to accommodate the operating costs in each jurisdiction.
But it is what was not announced that comes as a dissappointment to some. Many had hoped that the expected switch to weighted-contributed – which will negatively affect the rakeback of high-volume players – would be counter-balanced with an increase in VPP multiplier or other such peace offering. Also expected by many was the announcement of PokerStars’ take on “Rush”-style poker, still slated for a January beta-test.