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There’s always a new innovation or new development in the poker world. Some explode in popularity while others fizzle and become a poker trivia answer. Then there are those things in poker that just won’t seem to go away no matter how much we want them to.

Today we look at 7 things we wish would go away for good in 2017. Comment below and tell us what you would like to see go the way of Five Card Stud.

PokerStars Rake Hikes / Reward Changes

For more than a year, poker players around the globe have been complaining about the changes made by PokerStars in terms of both loyalty rewards and rake. The changes to rewards have alienated high volume and high stake players while the increase in rake has made it more difficult for players to improve their hourly rate, especially in heads-up games.

The problem is that there are more changes expected from the company in 2017, and unless they roll back some of the changes of the last 18 months, they are likely to be met with additional backlash. PokerStars is already under fire for what has been viewed as money grabs and it is time for them to back off and allow players to regain some trust in site – if such a thing is even possible anymore.

The November Nine – Televised

While making the WSOP Main Event final table is a career accomplishment for poker players, watching the event unfold is sometimes as painful as playing $1-$5 Seven Card Stud.

There’s been a lot of discussion whether to continue the November Nine concept and while the sentiment seems somewhat split, a change in format may be an alternative. Rather than broadcasting the entire November Nine on ESPN, perhaps cut it down to the Final 5. The WSOP could always live stream the first four eliminations.

With only a couple of exceptions, there’s usually not enough action during the first half of the November Nine to keep player’s attention. Save the footage for the edited version and cut the three day affair back down to two.


Supporters of online poker and gambling in general should agree that we would like to see RAWA become a thing of the past and stay buried there. With the upcoming Trump administration, there’s significant concern that RAWA will remerge in one form or another.

I recently spoke with a colleague that firmly believes that RAWA will either go to a vote this year or become attached to a must-pass form of legislation. Everyone is naturally concerned with the Trump connection with Sheldon Adelson and many fear that 2017 could be a tumultuous year for online poker regulatory efforts.

Unlimited Re-Entry

While we can agree that we likely will never be able to get rid of re-entry events at this point, there’s still something that can be done for unlimited re-entry tournaments. The main gripe against these events is that someone that’s rolling deep can just keep taking shots until they either hit a stack or the re-entry period ends.

Dan Shak is an outspoken opponent for unlimited re-entry in High Roller tournaments for this very reason. How many players can really afford to put in 5 or 6 bullets at $25k or more? The same argument can be made for lower buy-in tournaments. Was this the reason that people wanted re-buy tournaments killed at the World Series of Poker?

POY Points for High Roller Tournaments

High Roller tournaments have grown to the point now where one cannot compete for a Player of the Year title without being a regular in High Roller events. There are many out there that would argue that Fedor Holz is nowhere near the best player in 2016 despite winning over $16 million.

David Peters ended up winning the GPI and CardPlayer POY titles this year but the majority of his earnings were in high roller events as well. The argument made by some is that those playing in High Roller events aren’t necessarily the best players, but they are the best among those that can afford (or get backed) to play that high.

Read More: Do High Roller Tournaments Skew the View of the Poker World?

The only way to even the playing field for Player of the Year is to eliminate points for High Roller events. Essentially, anything $25,000 and up receives zero POY points for the annual awards. If the WSOP wants to award points for High Roller Events, that’s a different story. That’s one to three events a year. There aren’t multiple $25k WSOP High Rollers running every month like at the Aria.

Extensive Coverage on EVERY Online Poker Bill

How many times have we rolled our eyes when we see extensive reporting about online poker bills in states that have little or no change of passing. Annual examples of such bills are Mississippi and Washington State.

While the poker media loves to have content to write about, most of us already knows what’s going to happen with these pieces. For example, I know that if a bill is filed in Mississippi on January 10th, it will die in committee by January 20th. At least that has been the pattern.

Granted, there are times where we get a pleasant surprise such as New York. When that happens, THEN we can go crazy reporting on it. Until then, these types of stories deserve a brief mention at best.

Rounders 2 Rumors

At some point during the year, a random or obscure rumor about Rounders 2 will pop up or an actor connected with the first film will say something about a sequel and the poker public loses their minds.

If a sequel were going to be filmed, wouldn’t it have happened already? At this point, the window for creating this sequel and it drawing well at the theaters may have passed. This is a film that would have been better suite for a 2006 to 2010 release, not 2017 or later.

Until we get an announcement from a studio regarding production of the film, it is time to put the speculation of this sequel to rest. There’s plenty of other clickbait material out there to capitalize on.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.