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PokerStars to Change Rake Method

Just 2 days after their record breaking 10th anniversary Sunday Million, it seems certain PokerStars will follow Full Tilt, PartyPoker and others by changing from the dealt rake method to the weighted contributed rake method.

PokerStars affiliates were sent the following email within the last 24 hours:

On January 1, 2012, we will be changing the way we calculate revenue share for affiliates. When calculating revenue for commission purposes, instead of rake being split between all players dealt into the hand, rake will now be calculated based on the players who contribute to the pot. This has been updated in the Terms and Conditions, which you can review at:…Conditions.html

No poker site has ever calculated affiliate revenue using a different method to the one used to calculate a player’s rake. Prominent figures working within the industry have commented that it’s highly unlikely this change will apply exclusively to affiliates, and thus there’s a strong possibility that players will also be subject to the contributed method.

Although PokerStars have not made an official announcement to the general public regarding the change, representatives have hinted the change is imminent.

PokerStars Steve recently apologetically posted that “Plans do sometimes change. Unfortunately it will be at least a few more days before changes are announced” in the Supernova Elite Thread.

For some time industry experts and poker rooms have considered the dealt rake method unfair. The rake paid is split equally between all players that are dealt into the hand. This allows tight players and short stacker’s to enjoy the benefits of large pots being played and gives them a clear advantage in terms of the rake they are deemed to have generated. As poker rooms have become more conscious of poker ecology and the fact that high raking, educated poker players need to be sustained by fish, they have deemed it necessary to implement a fairer system.

Karim Wilkins, the CEO of RakeTheRake, commented: “I think the move by PokerStars was expected. In fact I recommended the change to them earlier this year. It’s the method most rooms use these days. Affiliates should be rewarded based only on the money their players’ generate in rake. Our players are tight players so we will a drop in commission but I think it’s perfectly fair.”

Weighted contributed is slightly more complicated than the dealt method and it divides rake paid in proportion to each player’s contribution to the pot.

Many will view this change as unfair and unnecessary, but Pokerstars are undoubtedly doing this with the future of the room and ecology in mind. It is possible to reward players under the dealt rake system for a long period of time, but it makes their task of keeping a suitable balance between recreational and serious players difficult.

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Jamie Nevin