Saturday, November 01, 2008

Rakeback is Better

PokerStars can claim that it has "the best online poker rewards program," but that's not true for most poker players.

PokerStars tiresome advertising on the Two Plus Two Pokercast is misleading because most players would rather have 27 percent of their rake deposited into their Full Tilt accounts every Friday, and most players don't play enough on a single site to rack up the 100,000 annual points needed to get the best benefits on PokerStars.

Yes, those players who do reach Supernova level on PokerStars are rewarded with bonuses, tournament entries and prizes that exceed the value of regular old rakeback. But for players like me who choose to spread their play around several sites, there's nothing better than cash in my account as a reward that's directly proportional to the amount of rake I contribute.

By comparison, Stars' reward program gives the best value to its hard-core players while shortchanging those who don't play as much. A 2+2 thread discusses this discrepancy in-depth.

The result is that I almost never play at Stars. I like Stars and I would give them more of my business, but there's simply no incentive for me to log on. I have about 1,500 points accumulated so far this year, an amount that earns me next to nothing. I guess I could splurge on a deck of cards.

I sympathize with those who don't receive rakeback on Full Tilt, but I can't understand why you would play on PokerStars regularly unless you're a high-volume player who dedicates most of your play on a single site.

UPDATE: The Two Plus Two Internet Magazine evaluates PokerStars' VIP program in the November issue.

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