Based on request I publish this post on it's own thread, I modified the original post a little bit. Original post is here
There are a few things to consider....my analysis is not exhaustive but at least gives something to think about.
First of all I'd recommend reading GGARJ's great post
about developing as a player. Cliffs are that you shouldn't play too many tables at once when you are climbing the plo ladder. You can see my post as a continuation to his post. The main goal is move up as soon as possible....as at midstakes the rake is not such a big issue anymore.
Some of my thoughts...
Volume (read: hours played) is an important consideration on deciding where to play.
With 200k VPP points on Stars you achieve ~41% rakeback and $14k. With my playing style that would mean play either ~420k (35k monthly) hands of PLO50 deep tables or ~298k (24,8k monthly) hands of PLO100 deep tables (I mostly have played these and not the normal tables).
For anything less than this, you are most likely better off playing on eurosites. It doesn't have to be this clear-cut though, but it's something for you to find out what works the best for you.
Rake and Rakeback
You have to be aware of how much rake you are paying when you play, they are far from equal across the sites. Based on my experience Stars has the lowest rake across the board, which partially makes up for lower RB%. Check the rake structure from each site and see if you notice clear differences. If you find a low rake site with good RB%, play a few thousand hands and see how it feels. Rinse and repeat if you don't like it. Eventually you'll find your match regarding rake, rakeback, software and other issues.
There are eurosites that offer handsome flat RB% up to 60% afaik, so I'll use that as a base for calculations.
Very important consideration is also the timing when the rakeback or bonuses are paid.
Let's say that you make 200k VPP on Stars by December 28th, a large part of the bonus payments will occur during the last quarter of the year. On eurosites you receive your rakeback weekly, once a fortnight or monthly, or some combination thereof. This provides added security for your bankroll during the year.
Not only is the esthetic qualities and practicality of the software important, but so is the quickness of it. For example on Entraction and Microgaming you get more hands per table per hour than on iPoker, or the normal tables on Stars (which include the deep tables). Stars also offers fast tables and Zoom poker, which is obviously ultra fast.
This correlates to how many tables you can effectively play on a certain network without it having a negative effect on your winrate. So you need to find your threshold how many tables you can play efficiently on a certain network and base your calculations on that. If you try to play too many tables, you might go from slightly winning player to slighty losing player very fast.
Other features, like auto-rebuy, preferred seating etc somewhat important for the end result as well, since the lack of these features will take your attention away from the important stuff and they affect the multitabling ease.
Obviously you need to make sure that there are enough tables to play during the hours when you are free to grind. Download a few poker softwares and see for yourself.
You also need to research which sites has the softest games and use that in your decision making. I'm not gonna say which site is soft and which not, that's up to you to find out. On some sites the game is loose, on some sites the game is on average a bit nittier. You gotta find the games which suit you the best.
Here you have a table with a basic analysis with 3 scenarios. It's my own calculation so you need to create your own based on your preferences. I wanted to compared PLO50 playing 100bb tables on eurosite vs PLO50 deep ante table on Stars.
-enough volume to reach 200k VPP on Stars and receive ~41% rakeback equivalent
-grinding 100h per month
1) you play 4 tables on eurosites and Stars, both USD
2) playing 6 tables on Stars, that having an effect on winrate
3) eurosite tables in EUR
Based on this simplified analysis based on my assumptions and preferences, only on the 2nd scenario should I play on Stars, and even that is close. My goal is to maximise your hourly earnings, not bb/100 necessarily, so in scenario 2 I should sacrifice 2bb/100 in winrate to earn more by playing 2 more tables. Please keep in mind that all these calculations are theoretical and only created to encourage you to do your own calculations.
Therefore I recommend you to gather your own data, make assumptions based on past results and calculate based on them. These calculations are based on an average monthly winrate of 5bb/100 which may or may not be correct.
You gotta make them yourself based on your preferences.
I have talked to a couple of HS players regarding these matters and they all agree that rakeback is very important at lower levels, but so is developing yourself as a player, finding the softest games and putting in the volume. Most of them have spread their action on multiple networks when they were raising through the stakes.
For myself, I can put in enough volume even on Entraction where the games are sometimes scarce, since I only play 4 tables there. Still I sometimes play Stars ante games because I feel like it, even if it might not be financially the smartest decision for me. You gotta do what feels the best for you at the time you wanna grind!
And finally, no matter if your rakeback is 10%, 41% or 60%, if you are a losing player or if your bankroll is not big enough, you have a wonderful chance of losing all your money.
Clearly the most important thing is to find an environment where you can best train your skills, rakeback should be considered an added bonus and it should not be the main consideration.
EV++ bankroll simulator
is a very useful tool, play around with it and see how it looks for you.
So which steps should you follow?
1. Separate your poker roll from other money and decide which stakes you can comfortably play.
2. Estimate your monthly/annual volume.
3. Check which networks offer games that run well on your stakes and see if they have tables running during the hours you wanna play.
4. Get yourself rakeback deals to different networks you want to play in. You don't have to choose just one network, you can play on multiple sites and play where the softest games are running.
5. Do some calculations based on your estimated volume, rake paid, rakeback, assumed winrate etc to see where it makes the most sense for you to play. We are in this to make money, so why not maximise the potential?
6. Remember to have fun