Merge Stopping Rakeback – Is The Rakeback Model Dead?

Some big news just in from the US-friendly Merge Poker Network today. Rakeback deals will stop at the end of this month, with all players being transferred to the VIP club instead.

It will largely depend on what stakes and how much volume people play to see how their returns are affected. Since the VIP club it tiered the lowest value and volume players who previously had rakeback will have to settle for lower returns than their current 35% flat rate. For the higher volume small stakes players things could well end up as around equal… yet the highest value and volume players who reach the top tier could easily see their returns up to 45% – a solid increase.

For me this is great news – I have never been a fan of the flat rakeback model. The list of sites who are still offering this is now growing ever smaller, and at this rate the old model will be gone by the end of this year!

Instead of turning poker players into high volume small stakes multi-tablers, the VIP clubs incentivize people to move up levels, getting better at poker, challenging themselves and enjoying the games more.

I have written this before, and the high volume grinders shake their heads and say ‘he does not get it’… Yet year after year those grinders burn out, get bored and fed up with the game… most end up hating the game they once loved. With only the Revolution Network and some extremely shark-infested small European networks still offering Rakeback, it seems that the online poker operators have woken up to the fact that this is a dying model – and focused instead on more sustainable deals. There is no point focusing on ‘the volume man, the volume’ if that very strategy is killing your games for the few players who do actually deposit! Merge have go this, and credit to them!

Why VIP Clubs Are Miles Better

VIP clubs incentivize players to challenge themselves to move up from the lowest limits, as well as putting in the volume of games. While rakeback traps people at the micros, encouraging them to add more and more and more tables until the beautiful game of poker becomes more of a data-entry job!

Carbon Poker already have an excellent VIP club, with daily cash-back (up to 45%!!), the ability to buy bonuses and free tournaments. They also have generous reload bonuses, some cool promos and leaderboard contests, tournament events and satellites… In short everything a player might look for!

New players can get off to a great start with a 200% matched welcome bonus (max $5k) and free downloadable poker calculator / HUD system. With just 1 Carbon Point from real money play you can add a month of free poker training at pro site ‘Drag The Bar’ too. Check out Carbon Poker for yourself now, coupon code CARBONPK gets you this great deal!!

I’ll look forward to bringing you more announcements that rakeback is gone from other sites as the year progresses – lets retake Poker for recreational and aspiring players, the days of robotic multi-tabling are coming to a welcome end!


Category: Merge Poker