^^ If the top players leave the player pool the games will get softer. If the games get softer then the ratio of withdrawals:rake will go up in favor of withdrawals. Its in the poker sites interests to have tougher games because edges between players is smaller. Only to a degree of course. There are obvious downsides when games get too tough, like fish busting their deposits too quickly and getting turned off of the game. The reason fish bust so fast is because there are too many regs in the games that have massive pre-rake edges over them. If the reg:rec player were lower then many rec players that could be described as semi-fish could in some cases become only marginal losers and possibly break even are marginal winners at the microstakes.
Even the best players at small-midstakes often don't make much from the lesser skilled regs because the edge required to come out ahead after rake is huge.
I don't believe that Stars or the smartest 2p2ers fully understand the inner workings of the poker ecosystem because of how complicated it is. There has to be a balance between withdrawals and rake where grinders have an incentive to grind and feel that things are fair and the poker site can continue to profit at the same or higher level.
The idea that people suggest Stars just take a hit to their profits just to be nice is lol. These people are delusional. Trying to come up with solutions that will improve the health of the games and allow stars to collect more rake while allowing grinders to continue grinding with that sense of fairness should be the focus.
I think that from Stars perspective right now, it could seem pretty risky to lower rake in hopes that the overall health of the games improves and keeps fish depositing. If the plan fails then they a) cost themselves a bunch of money in short term profits and b) they have another PR s***storm on their hands.
One thing I don't get is the whole philosophy behind the reload bonus. Don't get me wrong, its a nice gesture. I'll take the $250 when I can get it, thank you very much. That $250 comes from the rake we pay( stars profits ), but I doubt they get the return they're looking for. I'm merely speculating but I would guess that a large percentage of players that take advantage of the reload are going to be grinders and the amount of recreational players that do take advantage of it and somehow manage to clear it before going bust is probably close to nil.
Most recreational players are found at the micros and small stakes, and only play like 1-2 tables. To clear the last reload bonus you had to earn 5k vpps ffs. A silverstar will take almost 7 months to clear this and I doubt very much that there are many who's deposits will survive long enough.
This is just plain bad. Fish deposits $500, clears say $50 of the bonus before getting raped at the tables and winds up feeling tricked and ripped off by the site. They then stop depositing and they tell their friends to 'beware of reload bonuses, the sites just want your money and you'll never clear the bonus because it takes a year to clear.... etc etc etc.'
You'll also get those guys that probably deposit 3-4 times to chase that bonus, move up stakes to try and clear it at a reasonable rate and these guys are destined to get raped in short time too. Again, this is bad.
I'd be really curious to see what the numbers are. How much money was cleared in the last reload bonus? $250k? That's only 1000 grinders. Could be far more than that. For most grinders clearing the $250 reload, the money never actually hits the tables. Many players have like 40+ buyins already and unless you're playing really low micros the $250 isn't going to be a big factor in shot taking.
What I think would be better for the health of the games, and the overall experience for the recreational player would be to only offer the reload to the rec player and make it super easy to clear. He's going to lose it anyway ffs, but at least it will keep him in action longer. If he gets more bang for his buck he might have a more interesting story to tell his buddies at his next home game.
The grinders will benefit because of all this extra money being injected into the economy and those benefits will be reaped more based on quality of play as opposed to just pure volume.
Stars, you guys need to cater more to the rec players. They are the lifeblood of the poker economy after all. The regs are of course needed to churn their deposits into rake but as long as their fish then regs will never go away.
Whatever happened to that idea of different badges that can be displayed at the tables?
When you guys came out with the idea to allow players to display their vip status at the tables it was gold man. I think a lot of rec players get proud when they hit silver star and they display it proudly. Its a good concept that is worth expanding on, I've got a few ideas but maybe everyone reading this thread can help come up with more:
Final table badge. Somebody binks a final table in a MTT, give em a badge that lasts a certain amount of time.
1st place badge in a MTT is another obv one.
For cash games, I think some sort of 'Action Badge' might be a good idea that can be displayed on tables where the player was the first or second player to sit down at cash table. Obviously good for everybody to encourage tables to get started quicker.
Milestone Badges: When somebody plays a certain number of hands, give em a badge.
Royal Flush, Bad Beat etc. Some of the things that PTR had, just leave out ones that have a negative image for rec players like the bot badge.
I know that Stars will inevitably start moving towards integrating social networking features into the software. In the interim how about having a player profile that you can edit and an option to allow players to view it or not. Players could include stuff like quotes or their favorite games to play etc.
A lot of these things might seem silly to grinders but they'll be fun for rec players. Look at Facebook. I get dozens of requests on a weekly basis to play the most ridiculous and childish games but these are grown people that are clearly enjoying this stuff.
Your software has been great, but you guys are really slow with this stuff. A truly innovative business approach would have had all these things integrated into the software back in like 2008 imo. Social networking isn't new anymore. Its quite old but you guys are not there yet.
If I didn't know better, I'd say you guys must hate money, but wait....