PokerStars Drops the Drop

The PLO drop, that is.This week PokerStars announced a rake reduction – scheduled to kick in July 1st – for a handful of PL / NL Omaha limits.New Omaha rake schedule at PokerStarsThe change impacts four limits. Before is a chart from PokerStars comparing the previous and new rake schedule:While four limits might not seem like much, those stakes account for more than half of the Omaha played at PokerStars in terms of number of hands & active tables.According to PokerStars, these new levels represent “lower rake than any major competitor.”The reasoning behind the switchYou can read the complete explanation for the change here. Short version:
PLO rakes more often than NLHE.
As a result, rewards are more important to a typical PLO player’s bottom line.
But rewards at PokerStars skew heavily toward the most active players.
The rational solution as viewed by PokerStars was to reduce both rake and VPP multipliers.
But PokerStars feared a backlash if they paired a positive change (lower rake) with a negative one (less perceived rewards).
So they decided to simply lower rake.Impact of player feedback on the decisionPlayer feedback was apparently instrumental to this change, especially the direct meetings PokerStars regularly holds with player representatives.So does that suggest players at other games (or at different PL / NL Omaha limits) should lobby PokerStars for lower rake in their corner of the lobby?You might try – there isn’t a lot to lose by doing so – but it sounds as if PokerStars is determined to make this the exception, not the rule, with their rep on TwoPlusTwo stating that “this is not an indication that we will be changing rake for other stakes of PLO.”Other games were not mentioned.

PokerStars Drops the Drop

Bet Raise Fold Opens and Raises

Two big developments for online poker documentary Bet Raise Fold.The first: An official opening date for the film, which is set for June 30th. The premiere will be on June 12th in Las Vegas at the Palms.The second: If you’d like to attend that premiere, you can get a package that includes premiere tickets (but not travel) by chipping in for Bet Raise Fold’s official Kickstarter campaign.Support levels start at $15 (gets you a digital copy of the movie) and run all the way up into the many-thousands of dollars.There are some neat rewards, but my favorite has to be:Visit the Kickstarter campaign here. Teaser video for BRF below:

Bet Raise Fold Opens and Raises

Ultimate Poker: To HUD or Not to HUD?

Ultimate Poker launched in late April without hand histories, a decision likely driven by both technical necessities and a cautious approach toward the potential by-products of hand histories such as data mining and heads-up-displays.Now it appears that (limited) hand histories are on the horizon at Ultimate. And support for HUDs seems to be on the table as well.That’s per tweets from Chris Danek, Ultimate’s Poker Product Manager:Danek also suggested that the issue of supporting HUDs was in play at Ultimate HQ:Would HUDs be legal in Nevada?Even if Ultimate does eventually offer support for HUDs, it’s quite possible that current Nevada law outlaws their use:Nos. 2 and 4 seem particularly problematic for HUDs and tracking software in general. Obviously NV regulators could tweak regulations for online gambling to clarify the situation.Head to Danek’s Twitter to see the whole debate.

Ultimate Poker: To HUD or Not to HUD?