I have in prior years asserted that online games can be beaten even though all split pots are raked.
However, more recently, having played a ton of hands from micro limit cash last year on PokerStars, both in Omaha and Stud H/L, I came to the conclusion that one must strive to play at a minimum level in order for the rake to be overcome if one is to play split pot games, and that below that minimum, it is simply long term impossible to do.
This conclusion was derived from playing mostly 10c/20c Stud 8. Despite playing, as far as I could tell better than everyone in those games, whether it is in starting hand selection, folding where they wouldn't but should, or not missing bets, I could never come away a winner unless I won a big pot and immediately left the table.
This was later confirmed by looking at my FPDB statistics, which showed the rake was a whopping 5.5 big bets per 100 hands and that literally nobody who had put in more than a few hundred hands of volume was winning.
I also tried my hand at the Omaha 8 tables, and that didn't go any better.
I'm sure you didn't need convincing, but I'll do it anyway.
If you remember that far back, iirc I was up over $1.2k at $0.50/$1 full ring over many thousands of hands ( <20k iirc ) back in the days that used to run a lot on Stars. I came on the forum saying you could beat this game.
For some reason
I used to do better on the $0.50/$1 than the $0.25/$0.50 though. I was still winning in the smaller game but not as much and not as quickly. But I didn't clock it at the time.
I wish I still had the original PokerTracker Omaha to show you.
Anyway, yeah, it's a big problem at the lowest games. PokerStars/others won't be alleviating it. So what do we do?
I think the answer has to be either:
1) To play at a high enough level such that it isn't so significant for your winrate that it prevents you from winning, but that is problematic if you can't afford to play higher due to low bankroll (as has been so often my problem, though gladly no longer)
2a) To play in H/L tournaments instead, so that in effect you are having to pay a session fee rather than having your split pots raked, and one that is relatively insignificant and absolutely less than the amounts you will pay in rake on cash games
2b) To simply avoid split pot cash games if cash must be the way to play for you, and focus on a one-winner game. Personally I recommend 7 card stud (the low/micro stakes games are ridic loose and good), that is, if you can avoid the alleged Chinese colluders
There ends my views on the subject.
If your answer is answer #1, (and this question goes out to the guys playing maybe $2/$4 FL and above, and probably something like $0.50/$1 NL/PL and higher) my question to you is:
What do you consider to be the minimum level of games for rake to not be so significant that it prevents players who should be winning from winning?
Also, and this is to everyone, what are your thoughts? Any stats/screenshots you can show will be great for the thread.