PokerStars Drops the Drop

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The PLO drop, that is.

This week PokerStars announced a rake reduction – scheduled to kick in July 1st – for a handful of PL / NL Omaha limits.

New Omaha rake schedule at PokerStars

The change impacts four limits. Before is a chart from PokerStars comparing the previous and new rake schedule:

PokerStars Lowers Some Omaha Rake

While four limits might not seem like much, those stakes account for more than half of the Omaha played at PokerStars in terms of number of hands & active tables.

According to PokerStars, these new levels represent “lower rake than any major competitor.”

The reasoning behind the switch

You can read the complete explanation for the change here. Short version:

  • PLO rakes more often than NLHE.
  • As a result, rewards are more important to a typical PLO player’s bottom line.
  • But rewards at PokerStars skew heavily toward the most active players.
  • The rational solution as viewed by PokerStars was to reduce both rake and VPP multipliers.
  • But PokerStars feared a backlash if they paired a positive change (lower rake) with a negative one (less perceived rewards).
  • So they decided to simply lower rake.

Impact of player feedback on the decision

Player feedback was apparently instrumental to this change, especially the direct meetings PokerStars regularly holds with player representatives.

So does that suggest players at other games (or at different PL / NL Omaha limits) should lobby PokerStars for lower rake in their corner of the lobby?

You might try – there isn’t a lot to lose by doing so – but it sounds as if PokerStars is determined to make this the exception, not the rule, with their rep on TwoPlusTwo stating that “this is not an indication that we will be changing rake for other stakes of PLO.”

Other games were not mentioned.

- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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