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Old 11-06-2014, 03:52 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 184
Waaay TL:DR post from a "rec" player regarding Poker Stars/ Negreanu statements.

Hi, I've been reading all the threads, opinion pieces, comments etc on the new changes and what they mean to everyone.

Chief amongst a lot of the commentary here and other places online is the discussion about "Rec" players, who they are, what they want etc. "They want a fun game!"..."No, they want to win 3 grand in a Spin'n'go!"...."No, they just want action, excitement after a few drinks" etc etc.

Sometimes after reading a few of these posts, it sounds like a bunch of Cargo Cult cavemen discussing how to get the planes back. "Grok think plane want water. Me divert river!" "No, Grug know plane like runway! Not water".....

As a "rec" player myself, I thought I'd write a post on what I personally feel about the whole thing, which you may all of course ignore because fish fish fish blah blah. Or not. Maybe explaining my mindset will help.

Firstly, fish/rec players aren't fxxking idiots. I'll save you brags about my IQ/income/job etc and just say that the main obstacle to me being a "winning reg" is probably tilt, BRM and sho-chu and soda.

I got into poker almost 13 months ago to wile away my commute here in Japan, which runs to around 2 hours a day. In addition, I have a new baby, so I'm not going out much anymore. My focus is on filling in the time I must be sitting somewhere (train/couch) and unable to do anything else.

Before I played chess and had managed to get into the top 7-10% (by ratings) on My poker goals (which I was prepared to spend some money on) were: Learn new game. Get better. Start to win.

See that last one Mr Negreanu? START TO WIN. Why does anyone play any game OF SKILL? I notice you and Poker Stars have an actual legal obligation to prove that it is, in fact, a game of skill right? Unlike, say, roulette. So, just like playing chess, video games,tennis what have you......rec players play to WIN.

Can we all win? Become a pro? Hell no. Quit my job? Nope. Find the grind? No. Just get better and make a buck or two if things went well. Hell, train fare would be enough to give me a sense of satisfaction. Because the only way to prove you are "winning" in poker is by winning money. Right? Otherwise, you are losing.

So, what is the best way to increase "rec" players?

INCREASE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO CAN WIN AT POKER. Does this mean introducing some stupid-ass gambling games like Spin'n'Go? No. If I wanted to gamble, I'd play slots on a casino site for gods sake. Where's the sense of accomplishment in that?

My initial poker forays were, as you would expect, 20 bb/100 losses at 2NL for ages.

But I studied, read, got hold of HEM2 (mostly for study purposes.....yes it's won me some pots, it's also frozen my tables during hands a bunch of times and cost me more than I paid for the fxxking thing), read some more, joined 2plus2, etc etc. I played 300,000 hands of NLHE, and racked up 35,000 VPPs, Platinum/Gold Star, all kinds of other different games and tournaments and slowly got better and better. I also spent about $5,000.

I am a GREAT customer for Poker Stars. I AM the "rec" player you want/need to keep/attract more of.

Now, I've never REALLY been aware of the amount of rake until the publicity over the recent increases came about as probably most "rec" players aren't (as I have seen many posters say...."You are correct!" guys/'s not our job). But the current discussions and after starting playing O8 and Badugi every now and then (you want to play me at O8 btw.....I SUCK) have made me pay attention. If you go all-in and then split the pot in O8, do you know how much of your stack you get back after they rake that?! It's eye opening if you never considered rake before. Badugi, you play someone heads up for 1/2 an hour and you notice both of your stacks evaporating before your eyes from rake.

So I looked into my stats on HEM and lo and behold, my stats say I am losing at 3.7 bb/100 (playing NLHM) over my 300,000 hands. And I am at minus 2.2bb/100 of 50,000 hands at NL50! And you know who got most of that?

Poker Stars did.

I lost far and away more to Poker Stars than I did to other players. They rake me (as far as info I can find online and my stats say) around 7-10 bb/100 typically. It seems, all things being equal, that I AM "winning" at Poker, I'm just not "a winning player". Well fxxk me. How about that? All that pain and mental anguish and frustration for nothing!

So, I see Poker Stars is now adding a 2.5% fee to my transactions for foreign exchange (I'm a N.Z guy, living in Japan). They are increasing the rake on games I play. Adding in a bunch of "gambling" games.

Why? Well, to attract "rec" players like me it seems. Their mantra to us (as spelled out in their publicity) is "Don't play poker to make money, play for entertainment", and Daniel Negreanu now says the "problem" with online poker is "winning players".

You see the message this sends me as a "rec" player Poker Stars? You see what your statement says to me as a "rec" player Mr Negreanu? Have you ever read "Catch 22" where the requirements to get sent home from the frontline keep getting increased every time someone gets close to fulfilling them? I'm playing the best I can right now and yet you add (conservatively) another 4-5 bb/100 I must beat onto my games or I will continue to lose. Forever.

This is how I personally translate your statements:

"You, shane536, are a fxxking chump and a gambler. We regard poker as the same as Blackjack or Roulette and we are certain that no matter what we do, you will continue playing. We know rec players want one thing and one thing only, and that's to gamble, and that losing money month in, month out (ie NEVER EVER EVER WINNING THE GAME) will not ever stop you playing. If you DO ever get good enough to "win" or even (horror!) cash something out, both we and Daniel Negrenau will regard you as a "problem" we need to do something about."

Wrong fxxkers. I want to learn to play a game well enough to win at it. That's it. It could be poker. It could be chess. There are a LOT of things I can spend my entertainment dollars on besides poker, and telling me that Bet365 is just as crappy as you are doesn't make me stick with you. It just makes me want to stop playing altogether. The choice isn't "Poker Stars or xxxxPoker", it's "Poker or some other skill game". Get it?

Why would anyone play any game they COULD NEVER WIN longterm unless they were a total degen? You know why I stopped playing poker on Bet365? Because their tables were covered in stupid slots widgets and roulette. I came to Poker Stars because they were "serious" about Poker.

So, can everybody win? No, of course not. Maybe I would never be good enough to win! Maybe most people wouldn't! My personal abilities are beside the point. The reason Poker players play the game you "love love love" Daniel is because it's not Blackjack or Roulette. Because, long term, you CAN beat the game by getting better at it.

How do you get more people to play?


The main impediment to me being a "winning" player and continuing to play is Poker Stars damm unbeatable (to me) rake. What do you think I say to any of my friends who express interest in learning the game (and many do) after seeing me studying and playing away?

I say "You'll never ever win. Ever." They know I'm good at chess, so trust me, they believe me. And it's true isn't it? The proportion of people who get to actually win (outside this forum where every single person is caning it at 10 bb/100 profit of course is miniscule and you have just made it probably twice as hard at the micros where we play.

What could be done? Well, dropping rake by 50% would be good.All those people who can't beat the rake, suddenly becoming winning players? How about cutting the number of tables people can play? Would that help? Dunno. Maybe the "pros" would be forced to play 200NL to make a living instead of 20 tables of 5NL or Hyper turbo satellites and I wouldn't have to play against them? Who knows. I don't. It's not my job.

I can only say how I feel personally.

So, this I promise you, as soon as I get my next bonus (98% there) I'll drop back to 2NL or just play tournies til it's gone and then quit. I'll quit because you see the goals I have set myself as a "problem". Because you see me as an ATM that just pays and pays every weekend. Because you make insane profits already and now you want more. Because you say "don't play poker to win (ie make any money at all) play poker to LOSE (ie for fun)". Because 4bb/100 is an awesome win rate at 50NL, but no-one blinks at you, Poker Stars, getting 10-12 bb/100. Because massive amounts of great looking, complex, secure, online gaming can take place outside of poker without them having to rape the players like you do. Because the games are getting worse, not better. Because you are abusing your monopoly position. Because Spin'n'Go isn't poker. Because your site is getting as cheesy as Bet365. Because you have no idea what I want and keep misrepresenting my wishes.

The "rec" players.
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