PokerStars

PokerStars restarted their poker room server this morning, putting into effect the new rake structure changes that PokerStars claim will reduce total rake by almost 3%.

In addition to the reductions that were announced following a week-long meeting, PokerStars decided to also reduce certain stakes of low stakes NL and FL Hold’em, and rolled back the proposed rake increase at NL5000. PokerStars says that the original proposals would have reduced rake by 2.22%; with these new reductions, this figure is 2.94%.

The reductions are not distributed equally between games and stakes. In accordance with the wishes of the player panel, cuts were focused at microstakes games (7% reduction split evening across all games). Low stakes games also get a welcome 4% reduction, but high stakes games will see an 11% increase overall. NL and FL Hold’em come out better with 4% and 3.3% reduction respectively, with only 0.6% at Omaha games.

The changes come after PokerStars announced it was switching to the “weighted-contributed” (WC) rake allocation method, unpopular with many high volume players and which brings with it a cut in total rewards a site pays out. The switch went into effect in January whilst the rake structure changes were postponed until the player meeting.

According to PokerStars’ numbers, the WC switch will increase their cash game revenue by 1.5%, so the rake reduction of 2.94% goes beyond compensating for the change and results in a significant net revenue loss for PokerStars and a gain for the players. Some dispute these figures, and await verification from observed play now that the new rake tables have been implemented on all tables.