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Old 06-28-2013, 05:33 PM   #30095
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,604
Re: ***Small Stakes PLO BBV THREAD***

might be interesting for some people:

Original von PokerStarsSteve
Thanks to the 5 players who joined us on the Isle of Man for our PLO rake player meetings over the past 36 hours.

Effective July 1st, we are reducing rake for PL/NL Omaha (all variants) from $0.01/$0.02 through $0.10/$0.25, as per the below table:

We are proud to offer what we believe to be lower rake than any major competitor. This change makes our rake even lower for microstakes PLO. In addition, players at NL/PL games up to $0.05/$0.10 will continue to earn rewards faster due to their higher VPP multipliers compared to the 5.5x/6x offered at other games:

$0.01/$0.02: 10x
$0.02/$0.05: 8x
$0.05/$0.10: 6x

These meetings were held to continue discussion of PLO rake that took place during player meetings in April 2012 and April 2013. Participants were invited based on recommendations made by participants in the April 2013 meetings.

In the April 2012 and April 2013 meetings we reviewed with players the results for winning players at various different game types. Data showed that PLO players were winning at least as quickly as players in other games when VIP benefits were taken into account.

Because Omaha hands tend to reach the flop more often and have significantly larger average pots, more rake is taken per hand and thus more rewards are earned per hand. Rewards make up a much larger portion of a winning player's profits at PLO than at NLHE. It's more common at PLO for a successful player to be breakeven or losing at the tables but still have a sufficent winrate when taking rewards into account.

A minority of players earn our highest levels of rewards. For games at which top players rely on their rewards for a significant portion of their winrate, less frequent players find it difficult to earn a sustained long-term profit. We discussed in both April 2012 and April 2013 the possibility of making changes that wouldn't significantly alter the overall net rake taken at games but would make winning easier for players with low VIP status.

After evaluation of all options available, it was clear to us in both April 2012 and April 2013 that lowering both rake and VPP multipliers is the correct way to decrease the difference in results experienced by players of differing VIP status while keeping overall winrates the same. However, we knew that such a change would be very difficult to implement successfully.

Many players are more aware of reward levels than rake levels. Such reductions would affect their more visible rewards negatively, positively impacting only the less considered rake. Rewards would have to be decreased by a percentage multiple times larger than the percentage decrease for rake in order to balance the impact of the two changes. The result would likely be many disappointed players.

Additionally, both reduced rake and reduced VPP multipliers would make it more difficult to earn status. Players accustomed to earning certain VIP statuses would be disappointed to learn that it would take substantially more play, perhaps double or more, to earn the same VIP status.

Last but certainly not least, forum reaction has been negative in response to other combinations of changes that include both benefits and drawbacks for players. Our experience has taught us that even if such changes balance in favor of the players, the presence of any single component that impacts players negatively results in a strong negative reaction.

Even if the changes would result in theoretically better conditions for players, this would not do the site nor the players as a whole any good if players would be less happy as a result.

We decided that additional discussion was necessary with leaders of the PLO community. In the April 2013 meeting, we agreed to host additional meetings with such players.

June 2013 Meetings
We reviewed past findings with the players and listened to their input. Our prior conclusions still seem correct, and in fact match up well with data independently gathered and analyzed by players.

Between June and April meetings we took the opportunity to further discuss internally the challenges of implementing a VPP multiplier reduction along with a rake reduction. We came to the conclusion that such a change would simply not work, in large part due to the challenges listed above. We simply do not think that such a change would be peceived positively, nor would it result in a happier player base overall. The negative sentiment would likely overwhelm any benefits from the reduced importance of VIP Status in determining overall results.

The players brought with them some ideas for comparing rake levels at different games and stakes that were similar to some we had been considering internally over the past month or two. We look forward to maturing these ideas and completing data analysis based on the results. We will work in parallel with players, keeping in contact and sharing ideas along the way. Such work will take many months to complete.

For now, the evidence we have suggests that PLO games are healthy, though PLO winnings are more heavily dependent than NLHE winnings on VIP status. We will continue to evaluate regularly based on all available information, including any results of analysis completed using new methods.

We believe we already offer the lowest rake of any major site and that our VIP rewards are extremely competitive at a minimum and for many players the best around. We are also extremely proud of our software, customer service, game integrity, and segregation of player funds. We hope you share our belief that we are offering the best product for the lowest price.

Rake Change
The rake reduction announced today for microstakes PLO will go into effect on July 1. This reduction makes our already lowest rake even lower while maintaining the elevated VPP multipliers for these players.

We did consider reducing both rake and VPP multipliers for microstakes PLO, dropping the VPP multipliers to the 5.5x/6x amount used for higher stakes and all limit games. For the reasons mentioned above, we decided to simply reduce rake instead.

Looking forward
This is not an indication that we will be changing rake for other stakes of PLO. We do not currently have any such intentions. We will review the impact of this change in the coming months and consider the learnings when making future decisions about rake.

We look forward to continuing conversation with player representatives about PLO rake.
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