Paying the King's Ransom to Play at PokerStars
PokerStars, PokerStars, oh how the industry loves to talk about PokerStars.
You would think that PokerStars can be US online poker's savior after reading Steve Ruddock's recent piece. Meanwhile, California Tribes (minus the Morongo) view them as the devil.
Love them or hate them, PokerStars is the world's top site and where the majority of the ROW spends a large portion of their online poker dollars.
Then they go and tinker with the rake. Check out the post at the 2+2 forums regarding upcoming rake changes that PokerStars plans to implement into their games.
To say that poker players are pissed is an understatement. Depending on what you're playing, you will see anywhere form a single penny increase in rake to a complete doubling of your rake.
So, what's the story here? Amaya was supposedly happy with the income brought in from PokerStars and Full Tilt and now they are raising their rake and in some cases punishing the players that are fueling their online empire.
Are these changes being made in anticipation of entering the United States? Are they hoping higher rake will help bolster earnings the first couple of years? Or is a simpler explanation at hand.
PokerStars is the top dog in the online poker world and many argue they have a virtual monopoly on the industry. What happens when you have all the power? You control the marketplace. Simply, I think PokerStars raised the rake because they could.
Will some people leave? Sure. There will be some protestors that leave the site, but I seriously doubt it will be enough to make a long-term dent in profits. We could see a short-term dip that gets a lot of press, but in the end, people will come back or start playing because the games are there.
PokerStars is the king of the online poker world. If you want to play there, you are going to have to pay the king's ransom.