Rakeback: as viewed by poker rooms.
If you’ve been an active poker player long-enough, and you’ve taken advantage of some kind of rakeback deal (which would be the right thing to do), I bet you heard certain people talk about how they hate rakeback and how those who offer rakeback are a bunch of thieves, and so forth and so on.
Who exactly are these people who are so offended by the whole rakeback phenomenon? Are they poker players? NEVER. They’re always representatives of certain poker affiliates, those who do not offer rakeback. I haven’t really heard a poker room representative speaking up against rakeback, and I most definitely never heard a player complain about rakeback either. (complaining about dishonest providers is a different matter, I’m talking about the rakeback phenomenon in general terms here)
Why is it that some people can’t stand rakeback then?
Let us take a closer look at the picture as a whole: first of all, the most important perspective of all, that of the poker player. Players get part of the rake they pay to poker rooms back, and thus, they get an edge which is quite impossible to obtain without rakeback. Just think about a player who generates $1000 in rake for a poker room. He gets 30% of that rake back, ($300) while the room gets to keep the rest ($700) if our guy loses $200 in the process, he’ll still end up with $100 in winnings. This example also shows how rakeback can turn on otherwise losing player into a winner. Obviously, rakeback is absolutely beneficial from the player’s point of view.
Now then, what about the poker room’s perspective? Take the above example again. Our player who would’ve ended up a loser otherwise and his bankroll would’ve been completely depleted, not only managed to save his bankroll, but he also managed to win some money. What better incentive would one want to keep a player coming back for more and thus implicitly generate more rake, than that? This guy is sure to come back for more, and he’s almost certain to generate $700 in net rake for the poker room the following month.
Remember, the poker room’s interest is not to see this or that or the other guy go completely broke and leave the game. If it were up to them they’d prefer that nobody ever completely run out of money. So what’s wrong with giving up $300 in profit one month if you recover $700 the next month? Absolutely nothing in the world. Poker rooms realize this and that’s why they refrain from slamming smaller poker rooms who offer their players rakeback. They know that rakeback is a weapon that they themselves might one day resort to.
So who are these rakeback-haters again? Webmasters who feel their website will be deprived of income due to the fact that no player in their right mind would ever consider passing on an offer like rakeback, which they cannot offer themselves.
They are scared of rakeback on account of the fact that it will drive players away from what they promote.
On one hand I can understand them perfectly. They’re merely looking out for their own interests, and you cannot expect someone to work against himself. What I cannot understand however, are those who lash out aggressively against those poker rooms that do offer rakeback, calling them thieves and murderers of the online poker market.
Think the whole issue over again in light of the facts presented in this article and decide for yourself: is rakeback really the scourge of the online poker world?
I don’t think so.
- by Jonathan Paige