- Rake for poker rooms on the Merge Gaming Network has increased in no limit and pot limit games, from 5% to 5.5%.
- Rake caps and rake tiers have also changed which will lead to further rake increases in most scenarios.
- No immediately plans to increase tournament or limit rake.
Rake for poker rooms on the Merge Gaming Network has increased in no limit and pot limit games, network representatives announced this week. The changes came into effect on May 1.
Previously, 1c was collected for every 20c in the pot; the interval is now 18c, a change from 5% to 5.5%.
Rake caps and rake tiers have also changed, which will lead to further rake increases in many scenarios. The 50c rake cap for heads up games is now $1; the $1 cap for 3-handed is now $2; and caps at full tables, which was previously $3, is now $4 at low stakes and $5 at NL600, Merge’s highest stake.
According to Carbon Poker representative, who announced the changes in a support thread on poker forum 2+2, there are no plans to increase tournament rake. The rake at Limit games, which was drastically reduced six months ago, is also not expected to change.
To an extent, Merge plans to offset the impact of the increases with “more rake chases, races, cash back promotions, increased guarantees, etc.”
Over the last 6 months, the network has lost approximately 20% of cash game traffic, according to data from PokerScout (graph produced via pokerfuse PRO), underperforming competitors in the unregulated US-facing online poker market.
US traffic has been buoyed solely by the Bodog Poker Network, whose Bovada skin still accepts US players. It is now clearly the market leader in the unregulated US market, according to independently tracked data. The previous #1, Revolution, has seen declines more pronounced than Merge’s, and could soon slip to the #3 spot.
The network today consists of fewer skins: Felt Stars Poker, RPM Poker, Black Chip Poker and Hero Poker have all been sold, moved to another network, or closed.
Earlier this year, it ended rakeback network-wide and all players were transitioned onto a VIP system.
Data used under license from PokerScout.com. Graph via pokerfuse PRO.
Correction: The article originally stated that the rake cap is now “$5 at midstakes and higher.” It is more accurate to say that the $5 rake cap applies only to 3/6, which is Merge’s highest stakes.